Summary: Are our problems too large for God to handle? Is the tide of disbelief in the world and church too large for us to handle? Is there a need for heroes to stand up and slay the giant problems we face?
Part 1 Fear of a Giant Personality
Are our problems too large for God to handle? Is the tide of disbelief in the world and church too large for us to handle? Is there a need for heroes to stand up and slay the giant problems we face? Purpose: Let’s have faith in God using even the lowliest of us to do His will. Sermon Plan: Let’s look 1 Samuel 17:1-49 and what we can learn from the story of David and Goliath.
1 Samuel 17:1-19 Israel’s Fear
In 1 Samuel 17:1-19 we read of Israel’s troubles under presumptuous and arrogant national leadership. Saul ignored the advice of God’s prophets. Because of his disobedience, Saul found himself in a standoff with the enemy, on either side of the valley of terebinth trees, for 40 days. Rather than attack the problem with faith that God was on their side, they stood still paralyzed with fear. The enemy of the church also has great numbers and popular giants who taunt our faith, wanting us to become slaves to the world. The heroes God sends may not always be the oldest in a family, or the one with a big name.
1 Samuel 17:20-30 David’s Faith
In 1 Samuel 17:20-31 as David arrived on the scene, though just a young farm laborer working for his dad among the sheep, he seemed to be the only one without fear. Fearless people of faith can come from any walk of life, as did the prophets. David asked with youthful conviction, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” What can we learn from the faith of young people? Do people still mock God’s armies? David’s oldest brother insulted him in anger, treating him like a foolish boy. Have we ever been treated rudely and insulted in anger for our faith?
1 Samuel 17:31-49 David’s Message
In 1 Samuel 17:31-49 David chose artillery, a tactical advantage, if he was a good shot. Ancient Israelite sling-stones were about 2 inches (5 cm) across, and often ground by hand to a ball shape. With an underhand motion, and one windup, a slinger could hurl a stone twice as far as longbows could shoot arrows, about 400 yards or meters at 60 mph (100 kph). David told the Philistine, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted.” He declared to Goliath, “the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:50-54 The Enemy Fled
David teaches us what believing young people can show: humility, faith, zeal and courage. A lesson we learn is that “the battle is the Lord’s.” “When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.” When evil leaders are vanquished their followers will run. “The men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the slain Philistines lay along the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath and Ekron.” We often need just one brave soul who believes God and a whole nation can be given the courage to pursue the enemy out of the land.
Our problems are never too large for God to handle. The tide of disbelief in the world and church are not too large for God to handle. God is looking for a few heroes and does not care whether they are kings or shepherd boys. All they need is to ask for Jesus’ help and a willingness to take up our spiritual slingshots and ask God to make our aim true.
Part 2 Fear of a Giant Storm
When troubles come, how do we react? Are we fearful and anxious? Is there some way to calm the storm? Goal: Let’s understand that there is someone who calms storms. Sermon Plan: We will look at Mark 4:35-41 and what we can learn from a squall on Lake Galilee.
Crossing to the Other Side (Mark 4:35)
Mark 4:35 says, “On that day, when evening came, He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side.’” Jesus crossed Lake Galilee with no recorded explanation as to why. Sometimes our journey seems uncertain. In a church the congregation sits in the nave, from Latin “navis” meaning ship, coming from this very story. Jesus invites us to join Him in the nave of the church building on a Sunday as we learn to go where He will lead. We don’t always know what is ahead, but we do know who is our captain. So come on board. Let us go. The captain of our salvation is waiting.
Leaving the Crowd Behind (Mark 4:36)
Mark 4:36 says, “Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him.” Traveling with God, we leave the comfort of the past and journey into the unknown. Repentance is about change, moving from emptiness to a new life in Christ, and we take the joy of that life to others. At 75 Abraham moved to a new country. Would we? We are called, not to stay ashore in the comfort of the crowd but, to go on a journey with a small band of brave souls willing to follow Christ all the way to the other side.