Summary: I want to begin this morning by asking you a personal question and I want you to respond by lifting your hand. How many of you would say that you have either faced a giant in the last year or that you are facing one now?
“Facing Your Giant”
1st Samuel 17
David Henderson, Pastor
I want to begin this morning by asking you a personal question and I want you to respond by lifting your hand. How many of you would say that you have either faced a giant in the last year or that you are facing one now? I want to borrow from a phrase from Max Lucado because if you get this you will get the message today. Focus on giants, you will stumble. Focus on God, your giants will tumble.
David is certainly not the first person to ever face a giant and he certainly will not be the last. Giants are common and every one of us deal with giants in some form. The nation of Israel had an intense fear of ... a phobia of giants. It’s call FEE FI PHO.. BE...A. Not really, I made that up. The temptation for you today I believe is to say to yourself “I already know that story but don’t do that because I think you will find some things in this passage that are fresh and also some things that you will need. All of us pretty much fall into one of three categories here. Either we have just finished dealing with a giant, we are dealing with one now or we are about to confront one. No one is free from giants. So what we need is a strategy to fight them and that is what we find in this passage today.
Strategy #1. Describe your giant. Vv. 4-7. The giant’s name was Goliath. Most scholars believe he was just under 10 feet tall. He was decked out in body armor that weighed about 125 pounds. Now look at vv. 8-10. We see the word defy being used 6 times. That word means to humiliate. What Goliath proposes here was very common at this time. This was a one on one contest...winner take all. Each side would send one representative and the two would fight until one was dead. If the Giant/Philistine won then the Israelites would surrender. If the Israelites won then the Philistines would surrender. Problem was no one wanted to face the giant. And that is typical of where we are today. All of us have giants and it’s not much easier to allow them to control us than it is for us to confront them. You see facing the giant is ½ of the battle. Why? Because the giant will not go away until you face him.
Verse 16. Goliath had come out and challenged them every morning and every evening for 40 days. 80 times. And he was very intimidating. V. 24 says as a result they all ran away in fear. Let me ask you today, what kind of giant are you facing today. What intimidates you ? What overwhelms you more than anything else? What is the first thing you think about in the morning and thye last thing that fills your mind at night? Max Lucado says, “your giant doesn’t carry sword or shield, he carries blades of unemployment, abandonment, sexual abuse and depression. Your giant doesn’t parade up down the streets of Elah, he prances through your office, your bedroom, your classroom. He brings bills you can’t pay, grades you can’t make, people you can’t please, whiskey you cannot resist, pornography you cannot refuse, a job you can’t escape, a past you cannot shake and a future you cannot face!”
1st strategy. Describe your problem/giant. But don’t stay there. 2nd strategy. Make sure you are prepared. It is at this point that we are introduced to David. He was the youngest of 8 boys and he was out taking care of the sheep. David’s father, Jesse, told him tells David to go and find out how his 3 older brothers were doing on the battlefield. He also wants to send them some supplies. Grain, 5 lbs., 10 loaves of bread and 18 chunks of cheese. And David runs the entire way.... from Bethlehem to the valley of Elah. 18 miles. David knew how to do things.
V. 20 tells us he left the sheep in the care of another shepherd. Now this is often the way God uses us. He calls us to be faithful right where we are and then He gives us something greater to do. God is preparing you today for battles you will face tomorrow. So make sure you are prepared.
3rd strategy. Deal with pressure. Overcome it. David arrives on day 40 and hears the giant cursing and bragging. In v. 25 David finds out that whoever kills this giant would receive 3 things. (1) great wealth. (2) the king’s daughter and (3) tax amnesty. Sounds good at this time of year huh?
So David has now become weary of listening to the giant and in v. 26 he shouts who is this Philistine that he defies the armies of the living God? David’s older brother responds now. Eliab. He says I’m the warrior. You’re just a spectator. And David says “I just don’t get no respect.” Let me warn you about something here if you don’t already know this. When you decide to face the giants in your life you will be criticized by those who are closest to you. I know that some of you are experiencing incredible pressure right now from your family. And instead of helping you feel like they’re hurting you. If you decide to face your giants, mark it down, you will have opposition. But I love this response from David. V. 29. “Now what have I done?” Sounds like a little brother. “Can’t I even talk?” So Saul, king of Israel heard about David and he sent for him. V. 32 David says “I will go and fight!” V. 33. Saul says you’re not able. You’re just a boy. David says in verses 34-37. So Saul tells David to go for it. Trying to help, Saul gives him his armor, but it doesn’t fit. So David sets it down. You can’t fight your battles with someone else’s solution.