Sermon Illustrations

“Hairy Gorillas!” Numbers 21:32-35 Key verse(s): 34a:“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you, with his whole army and his land’.”

David and goliath! The battle of the little guy against the big guy. Big industry verses the consumer. One man standing against the crowd. Get the picture? It is one that is often repeated in our society these days; as one epic cultural and social battle follows another. There are so many issues and so few people willing or courageous enough to tilt with them. When the challenges loom large and foreboding, sometimes we’re just too tired, to distracted and, frankly, too scared to pull out the sword of the spirit and tote that shield of faith. The helmet of salvation askew and the breastplate of righteousness only loosely girded, we are fearful to go out to battle against so many foes; foes that are bigger, faster and smarter than we are. Frankly, why should we endeavor to smite the wicked all by ourselves when an army of believers might better fit the need?

How often have you felt that there just wasn’t enough of you to defeat the bulk of them? They’re everywhere; the overwhelming foes of goodness and God’s will. They are bigger, stronger and faster than we are and that’s why we simply feel sometimes that standing in the gap simply isn’t such a good idea. From “Desperate Housewives” on television to Islamic terrorists in Baghdad, the foe looms large and menacing. Stand and fight when the odds are so foreboding? What good is a Christian that gets run over and trampled by the foe? Or, is there value in just putting on the armor and making yourself available?

“It was a dark and dreary day in 1916, a day well suited to the most brutally devastating rout in all of football history. One look at the two teams showed trouble ahead. On the Georgia Tech side were semi-human monsters, gorilla-like behemoths trained by John Heisman, the man football’s highest award was later named after. Heisman was a fanatic. He would not let his Yellow Jackets use soap or water because he considered them debilitating. Nor could they eat pastry, pork, veal, hot bread, nuts, apples, or coffee. His reason? ‘They don’t agree with me,’ he growled, ‘so they’d better not agree with you.’ The Yellow Jackets, with eight All-Southern players, were intent on building their reputation. They lured lowly Cumberland to the game with a $500 guarantee. The Cumberland team had several players who had never played football before. The official who accepted the offer had long since graduated and left the team in the hands of the team manager. Even the trip to Atlanta had been a disaster: Cumberland arrived with only 16 players. Three were lost at a rest stop in Nashville. The game began. Georgia Tech scored 63 points in the first quarter, averaging touchdowns at one-minute-and-twenty-second intervals. Even after such a lopsided start, the rest of the game was filled with tension and drama! No one questioned who would win, of course. But could Cumberland players be convinced to finish the game? The manager, George Allen, paced the sidelines, exhorting the team to ‘hang in there for Cumberland’s $500.’ They did, and with it collected the honor of the worst loss in college football history: 222-0.” (Source Unknown.)

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