Today we continue in our study entitled, The Construction of a Kingdom. Thus far we have learned from the failures of King Saul and God's election of the David, a young shepherd boy, and gained valuable insights as to the conditions necessary for God to construct His kingdom in our lives.
Now what do I mean when I say that God wants to construct a kingdom in our lives? Romans 14:17 - for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. God wants to fashion His rule in each of our lives, which provides His peace, His purpose, and His power for living.
The last time we looked into the life of David, we found a faithful shepherd boy, whom God had anointed to be king. 1 Samuel 16:7 - But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. David became God's choice for the kingdom because he possessed the kind of character - spirituality, integrity, humility, personal security, and an understanding of authority - that God was looking for. God saw David's heart and said, That's what I'm looking for. That's somebody I can use. What does God see in your life? What does He see in me?
A bar of raw steel is worth roughly $5. If the steel is heated and hammered on the anvil by a blacksmith and made into horseshoes it will be worth $10 at the sporting goods department of Wal Mart. A lengthier process of cutting, refining, and molding that bar of steel can manufacture sewing needles and the value becomes $350. Use the most detailed process of refining, paring, shaving, heating, and microscopic manipulation on that bar of steel and a master watchmaker can fashion the delicate main springs for Rolex watches and it will yield $250,000.
In the creative hands of God, we're like that $5 bar of steel. He wants to construct His glorious kingdom in us, but be assured that the most tedious process of refining and life manipulation must take place. Personal battles and difficult circumstances become crucibles where God turns up the heat to refine us for His purpose.
The next two messages in this series will deal with the pressures, strains, and ordeals which David, the shepherd boy had to endure on his way to becoming a king. What we'll find is the overcoming faith of a man after God's heart, unbowed to the threats of circumstances and challenges to God's glorious purposes in his life.
Theme: In order to institute His kingdom in our lives, God will allow us to encounter personal battles. He will lead us to face Goliath.
1 Facing giants can be an intimidating experience. (I Samuel 17:1-19)
Our text takes us to the crux of an impending conflict between the Philistines and the army of Israel, located in the Valley of Elah, a vast canyon nearly one mile wide. On opposite sides of the valley was sloped terrain and situated on the facing slopes were the armies of Israel and the Philistines.
The imposing Goliath appears in verse 4, announced as the champion of the Philistines. This military champion steps out ready for battle. He stands well over 9 feet tall and he wields the fiercest of weaponry; a bronze javelin with a spear head weighing almost 25 lbs. He makes Shaquille O'Neal look like he belongs in munchkin land. He donned a bronze helmet and a heavy coat of mail with bronze leggings. Beyond that, his shield carrier went out before him into battle, for added protection.
Goliath offers a challenge to the Israeli soldiers in verses 8. Standing down in the valley, he demands for someone to face him in battle. In fact, verse 16 informs us that this continued on for 40 days. Day after day, Goliath breathed his threats and challenges, while flaunting his size and impervious strength.
By the very sight of Goliath, the armies of Israel were dismayed and greatly afraid. The Hebrew wording reveals that the spirit of the mighty Israeli army was beaten down to defeat. They were paralyzed with fear.
Personal valleys become the sites of personal conflicts. They are the giants of the soul. Goliath comes in many forms and shapes, albeit all very large. Your giant may be an overwhelming set of circumstances; a terminal medical condition, a personality in the workplace, or a situation with your employment. For some it is the goliath of habitual sin that meets you in the valley of weakness to continually intimidate you and rob you of personal joy, hope, and freedom.