Summary: Do Not Lost Heart 1) Your Lord fights for you. 2) Your Lord fights through you.
They shook with fear every time he came out to challenge them. And who could blame them? How would you like to face a nine-foot giant in a duel to the death? This giant carried a spear whose brass tip alone weighed 18 lbs. That’s as heavy as eight hymnals. Even if you could pick up eight hymnals with one hand, would you be able to throw them any distance with accuracy? This giant must have been able to, for he was no oaf, prone to trip over his own feet. He had been a soldier since youth. The fact that he had survived into adulthood must have meant he was athletic enough to dodge spears and arrows hurled his way. That’s impressive when you consider how, as the biggest target on the field of battle, he must have attracted such deadly missiles.
Have you ever had to face anyone as scary as the Philistine giant Goliath? Actually there is an enemy that we all face who is bigger and stronger than Goliath. Here’s how the book of Revelation describes him. “Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads…‘woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short’” (Revelation 12:3, 12).
Although Satan is not literally an enormous red dragon with seven heads, he is immensely powerful and filled with hatred towards you. He can’t stand the thought that you will end up in heaven while he will have to forever suffer in hell for his rebellion against God. So he will try to break your faith in the one true God to drag you down to hell with him. Satan will throw various temptations your way hoping to distract you from Jesus. Or he will make your life miserable through financial ruin and sickness as he did in the case of Job, hoping you will give up on God. It’s these kinds of “giants” in particular that we want to focus our attention on this morning. Does your heart melt with fear when you think about what would happen should you get cancer, or should your parents suddenly die leaving you and your siblings on your own?
King Saul and his soldiers melted with fear when the giant Goliath bellowed out his daily taunts. But then a teenaged shepherd named David stepped forward and proclaimed: “Do not lose heart.” Sure, that was easy for David to say. He had just stopped in to deliver some food for his brothers who were soldiers. At the end of the day he could return to the safety of his home and his daddy far away from Goliath. What did David know about courage? Plenty as it turned out. David would not just offer words of courage, he would demonstrate courage when he took on and defeated the giant Goliath. Wouldn’t you like to have such courage when facing your giants? You can. Just remember, as David did, that the Lord fights for you, and that the Lord fights through you.
Just so we’re all on the same page, let me remind you that the story of David and Goliath is not a fairytale. It’s a battle that really happened about 3,000 years ago in Israel. We believe this because the Bible is the inspired Word of God. You can trust what you read in the Bible, no matter how fanciful it may sound, because God has promised never to lie to us.
So picture the scene with me. On one hill the Philistine army was stationed while on the opposite hill were the Israelites led by King Saul. Instead of attacking, the Philistines daily sent out their champion Goliath to challenge and taunt the Israelites. We’re told that no Israelite wanted to take on Goliath but shook with fear when they saw and heard him, even King Saul.
So David, the teenaged shepherd, must have come off as one cocky kid when he offered to fight Goliath. If he wasn’t being cocky, then he was at least totally clueless. How could a boy take on a seasoned warrior and giant like Goliath? Wouldn’t that be like a teenager today thinking he could play in the rough and tough NHL and score goals? Actually, there have been teens who have done just that. Wayne Gretzky, for example, scored 51 goals in his first year in the NHL as an 18/19-year-old.
So perhaps David wasn’t clueless when he offered to take on Goliath. Perhaps he was just confident in his abilities because he was the Wayne Gretzky of the slingshot world! No. David wasn’t eager to fight Goliath because he had confidence in his own abilities. His confidence was in the Lord. He knew that the Lord would fight for him when he took on Goliath. Because, as he explained to King Saul, when lion and bear had attacked while he was tending his father’s sheep, David had not only been able to rescue the sheep, he had also grabbed the wild animal by its hair and killed it when it turned on him. David concluded that just as the Lord had been with him then, he was certain his Lord would fight for him when he faced Goliath. After all, by defying and belittling the Israelites, Goliath had defied God himself.