Summary: The seventh, and final in a series exploring keys to true spiritual freedom and victory in the life of the believer. This message explores facing similar battles multiple times in our lives.
(Extensive inspiration for this message, and this series taken from Francis Frangipane’s "This Day We Fight".)
(Video clip – Veggie Tales – David and the Giant Pickle, available at ScreenVue.com)
So there we have it. The end of the story, right? At least as we package it for our children. Cute boy with five smooth stones slays nasty giant with just a sling shot as a weapon. We kind of pick these neat and clean spots to tie up the stories of our Biblical heroes that we portray to our kids, but that is rarely the whole story, let alone the end of the story.
I want to make a suggestion today. It would seem that as generations pass through the church, we do them a great disservice when we portray the characters of the Bible with all their might, and glance over or completely skip their life struggles and frustrations.
For example, in children’s Sunday school or children’s church, we will portray. . .
- Jonah in the whale, subsequently saving a whole city, versus pouting at the end of the story
- Elijah on Mt. Carmel in great victory, versus suicidal under a tree
- Moses parting the Red Sea, and shouting “Let my people go!” versus killing an Egyptian slave master, or striking a rock in anger.
- Abraham, climbing the mountain with great faith to sacrifice Isaac, versus lying about his wife being his sister, more than once!
Why do I think that is a disservice? Well, I think this can lead to an adult life where failures, struggles, repeated spiritual battles make us feel less righteous, less holy, or less worthy of God’s grace. Maybe like some kind of immature, spiritual freak.
But this is the beauty of God’s word. It is full of humans. Regular people. People who like us, faced many years of their lives where they didn’t win. Where they lost. Where Satan gained ground in their lives and in their testimony. But they fought back.
Of course, David by the creek with Goliath was not the end of that story. (Example of when my children discovered the part where Goliath gets decapitated and David marches into the city with his head.)
But that wasn’t really the end either. In fact, it wasn’t until this past year that I had revealed to me a whole ‘nother chapter in this story.
Turn with me to 2 Samuel 21. 2 Samuel 21:15 (read). I want us to see two things here. First, who is Israel, who is King David fighting with? (The Philistines) Ring any bells from David’s childhood? What was Goliath? (A Philistine)
Second, remember last week, what does it say is happening to David? What has David become? (Weary)
Now, why might David be weary? Well, it is because he is human, and he has been through the ringer. If you follow the journey of David’s life in 2 Samuel, you will see that in chapter 5 he faced the Jebusites in the taking of Jerusalem. Remember those guys from a few weeks ago? They said even the blind and the lame would keep David from taking the city, but after centuries of failure by the various tribes and people of God, David finally whooped the Jebusites, and took the city.
Subsequently, the ark of the covenant was brought into the city, but not without the death of Uzzah during which God got angry, and then David got angry with God. You can read all about that in chapter 6. But when it finally does make it to Jerusalem, David is ready to worship and party only to have his wife throw a wet blanket on the whole thing.
Then, in chapter 11, there is the whole encounter with Bathsheba, and King David is plunged into the depths of adultery, murder, deception, and the death of an infant child. And I’m only getting warmed up.
In chapter 13, one of his sons rapes his daughter. So another son kills the rapist, and has to flee for his life. That son eventually returns in chapter 14, but has undergone a bit of an evil transformation. Next thing you know, David is on the run for his life from his own son, and eventually is forced to send his armies after his son, Absalom, who ends up dying in the chase after his head gets caught in a tree in chapter 18.
Folks, I’m telling you, I’m not making this stuff up. Just 15 chapters of life. Is there any question as to why David might be a bit weary? I’m weary just thinking about it. And now he is face to face with giants. . .again.
So picture this scene. David is facing the Philistines, and probably thinking, “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” And these constant, ongoing battles against these mammoth people, combined with the struggles of life are taking their toll. David is worn out.