Summary: Our biggest giants are often those that come from inside of us.David’s example helps us to identify them and defeat them with God’s help.
I. The Anatomy of a Giant
1. Giants highlight our inadequacy 17:1-7
A. Physical description of Goliath 4-7
B. Average hgt. of Isralelite in ancient times 5’6”
C. Everything covered, with a dedicated front guard
D. Israel had few swords 1 Sam. 13:16-22
Although there were some battles since where they may have picked up more swords, but certainly inadequate armor and weapons.
E. Compare and contrast: Giants draw our attention to what we don’t have.
2. Giants keep us stuck in inaction v.8-11, 16
40 days 2x per day, Goliath took his stand. Even with thousands of men at his disposal, Saul and the army did nothing. Even though he’s big, he’s still one man, right. But giants have a uncanny way of framing the issues that confromt us on their own terms.
ILLUSTRATION:Ever know someone who had a big problem, yet every solution you try to give to them they have a reason why it won’t work. “Yes, but. I know that seems like a good idea, but…” And on and on. They are locked into looking at things in only one way, the way that makes them inadequate, totally helpless to resolve the problem.
BY ALLOWING GOLIATH TO FRAME THE PROBLEM, SAUL WAS BLIND TO SOME REALITIES:
a. God is not limited by Israels lack of weapons
Contrast 1 Samuel 14:6
Jonathan and his armor bearer singlehandedly kill 20 Philistines, then panic sweeps over the camp. They begin killing themselves, and the Lord rescued Israel that day. GOD ISN’T HANDICAPPED
b. Saul forgot God’s promises
Gen. 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse
Fast forward a few hundred years. The Israelites were disciplined for running away from giants, and a whole generation died in the wilderness. When they were ready to enter the promised land, God said
Deut. 20: 1-4 READ IT.
DEUT. 28:7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
Over and over again God gave his promise that he would be with Israel, to go before them in battle and defeat their enemies.
TRANSITION: BECAUSE SAUL FORGOT THE PROMISES, AND GOD’S POWER, HE STAYED STUCK IN IN ACTION, HESITATING WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ATTACKING.
APPLICATION: Doctor says, no hope. Sinful habits conquer us, and we have no power. No job, and no prospects. BUT THAT’S NOT THE WHOLE STORY. What has God promised you?
GIANTS HIGHLIGHT OUR INADEQUACY
GIANTS PARALYSE US TO INACTION
3. Giants often appear in the wake of past failure. 14:1-46
14:1-14 Jonathan attacks the Philistines
15-23 The Philistines are routed by God’s power
24-46 cf. 29-31, 46 but not decisively defeated, so they come back in chapter 17.
APPLICATION: GIANTS NEED TIME TO GROW. THE GIANTS WE FACE NOW ARE OFTEN THE CULMINATION OF SMALLER BATTLES LEFT UNFINISHED. “Never leave an enemy alive behind you.”
TRANSITION: Notice this: By focusing on our inadequacy, by forgetting God’s promises and power, and by coming on the heels of our own failure, the text suggests that Giants are ultimately not the result of something outside of us, but inside.
4. Giants are internal, not external 17: 12-26 cf. 20-26
Note the very different ways of seeing the same problem.
Israel and Saul saw an unbeatable giant
David saw an uncircumsized Philistine.
Both saw the same armor, the same spear and javelin, heard the same taunts. But because what was inside was so different, what they heard was also radically different.
THE MOST UNBEATABLE GIANT WE FACE ARE THE ONES INSIDE OUR HEART. CF MATT. 6:22-23
II. The anatomy of a giant killer
A. Defeating Goliaths comes after watching and remembering that God helped us with lions and bears v.34-37
David defeated “lions and bears” He had experience seeing God’s hand at work.
APPLICATION: TEST GOD BEFORE THE GOLIATH’S COME. GO OUT ON A LIMB. REMEMBER GOD’S DEEDS
B. Go in the strength that you have. v. 38-40
Saul made a great gesture, he fitted him with the scarcest pf commodaties, armor and swords. But David was not a trained warrior. But he happened to be proficient in the one weapon at Israel’s disposal that actually had a chance to defeat the Philistine, the sling.
The sling was a cord of leather with a pouch in the center, a baseball sized object was placed in the pouch and whirlled around over the head. Reaching speeds of close to a hundred miles an hour, it had an effective range outside Goliath’s fighting radius. Judges 20: 16 tells of the accuracy that could be attained with practice...700 Benjaminites who could sling a stone at a hair and not miss. Goliath was relatively stationary, with armor weighing several hundred pounds.