Summary: What can we do when faced with insurmountable obstacles? Like David, we often have more resources than we realize, especially our Great Resource. Let’s look at some principles David displayed in this great conflict that can strengthen our resolve today.
David Beirne, Pastor Fox Ave Baptist Lewisville, TX
Intro. A young woman named Florence Chadwick attempted to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast in 1952 in an attempt to set a record for covering that distance. When she entered the
water, a heavy fog had settled itself on the path before her. Blinded by fog, she became disoriented and discouraged and gave up. When she finally decided she couldn’t go on, her escorts in a boat helped her out of the water. The escorts feared to tell her
the truth--Florence was less than 300 yards from the goal. Her only reply after learning how close she actually came was, "All I could see was hopeless." Her clouded vision kept her from victory.
How do you see your challenges? When you stand on a hillside and see a 9-foot tall giant warrior taunting you, how do you view him? Is he an insurmountable obstacle or an opportunity for the glory of God to be revealed?
We can’t avoid Goliath--he is necessary to our growth as Christians. Your Goliath may be an addiction, habit, attitude, a job layoff, financial problems, marital problems, illness; when I
was here at the Seminary, (Seminary Business Manager) Bro. _______ was one of my Goliaths. Meeting tuition and rent payments, keeping up with all the bills and books, it all taught me a lot about God’s power to win a victory despite the odds.
By looking at this incident in David’s life, we can learn some principles about facing the threatening, discouraging obstacles that come up in the life of every Christian.
We can look at Goliath in one of two ways: the eyes of the faithless, or the eyes of the faithful.
Haddon Robinson said, "In any situation, what you ARE determines what you see, what you SEE determines what you DO." Keep that in mind as we study the two views of Goliath.
I. The limited view of the faithless brings about fear, which results in dominance by the enemy.
Fear comes fear comes when we live by sight, not by faith. The view of the faithless is the view limited by sight. It is a limited view because the spiritual is not involved, only the natural, physical.
We see obstacles as undefeatable giants because of their imposing physical character--Goliath is estimated to have been 9 ft tall. Look at v.24-25--
"And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up"
This word "defy" means "to taunt, ridicule, humiliate"; isn’t that what the evil one wants to do in your Life? The devil wants to see us cower so that he can mock us?
Goliath for you may be he a habit, bitterness, unsettled matter, problem from the past, difficult moral decision, etc.; if I try to quit that habit or fight that problem, my life will change too much--I’m afraid I stand to lose too much if I try to defeat
Goliath, lose at least an arm if not more.
With a habit or addiction, the actions controls me, I don’t control it. "I’ve been doing it for too many years. It is therefore heavily armored, and it controls us, just as Goliath controlled the mental peace of the Israelites. If we face up to our
sin or obstacle, we fear that the giant will fight back, which he undoubtedly will.
Living by sight, we are defeated before the battle even starts. Notice in v. 24- "when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid."
BEFORE THE BATTLE EVEN STARTS THEY FLEE. They lay their eyes on Goliath, and all they can see is the physical--"We’re going to be slaughtered."
When we live by sight, it leads to defeat and being dominated by the enemy. The Israelites were probably planning on learning the Philistine dialect because they figured to lose this one big time.
When we see by sight only, we quit at the mere sight.
The real tragedy happens when we try and pass off our defeated attitude on others. David comes walking up, and asks, "Why doesn’t somebody put a stop to this?" The reply which is given by Saul in 17:33 is typical--"You can’t win this victory; you’re too young!" Don’t you get tired of hearing that? "Our churches can’t do that, we’re too small; you young people can’t do that, you’re too immature; you can’t do it because _________ ," just fill in the
blank with any convenient excuse.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Let’s look at Goliath from another viewpoint.
II. The unlimited view of the faithful brings about courage, which results in totally dominating the enemy.