Summary: We can step out in faith and climb mountains, or we can keep to ourselves and trip over stones.
Climbing over mountains, tripping over stones
1 Sam 17:1-57 and John 11:1-50
The style of this is actually segmented narrative, telling three stories at the same time and bringing them together at the end.
1st Story: (1 Sam. 17:1) 1SA 17:1 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
1SA 17:4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
1SA 17:8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 10 Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
1SA 17:12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was old and well advanced in years. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
The Philistines have declared war on the Israelites, King Saul called for all able-bodied males to join the army. David the youngest of his brothers was left home to tend the sheep. However while tending his sheep he showed great courage. A lion and a bear tried to take sheep, but they met their end at the hands of David. Yet David wished he could be with his brothers on the hill, ready to battle the Philistines.
2nd Story: Diana and Robert were a young couple, devout in their relationship with God. They had tried for years to have a family, they were finally told they could not. So they decided to adopt, they selected a beautiful young boy named Billy. About a year after bringing Billy into their home, God had blessed them, Diana was pregnant, test revealed they were about to have a little girl. They named her Hope, for she was all they had hoped for.
3rd Story: (John 11:1)NOW A MAN NAMED LAZARUS WAS SICK HE WAS FROM BETHANY, THE VILLAGE OF MARY AND HER SISTER MARTHA. THIS MARY WHOSE BROTHER LAZARUS NOW LAY SICK, WAS THE SAME ONE WHO POURED PERFUME ON THE LORD AND WIPED HIS FEET WITH HER HAIR. SO THE SISTERS SENT WORD TO JESUS, “LORD THE ONE YOU LOVE IS SICK.”
Mary, Martha and Lazarus were good friends of Jesus. And now Lazarus is sick and the sisters send for Jesus, for they knew he was a great healer.
1st Story: 1SA 17:17 Now Jesse said to his son David, "Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines."
1SA 17:20 Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.