Summary: David and Goliath.
Fear prevents victory in life
David and Goliath - One of the most exciting stories of my youth. The very words give hope to the small and weak.
With God anything can happen! Even the mighty Goliath can be defeated.
Goliath was a good size gentleman. Over nine feet four inches tall (6 cubits and a span - possibily 11’4’’ tall - 1921 a Dutchman by the name of Jan Van Albert from Port Arthur Ont. grew to be 11’4")
Challenged the Israelites to a duel! This caused some good old-fashioned fear! Fear is not wrong - fear is real. Fear was real because Goliath was real.
Fear is an emotion. It is God given for a purpose. Fear causes physiological changes in our bodies - fight or flight.
Fear can also cause us to be paralyzed or do dumb things. According to urban legend: an older woman decided to go to Las Vegas even though she was advised not to because of the possibility of being mugged or robbed. She got on an elevator in her hotel only to have four large black men get on with her the next floor. After the doors closed one man said "Hit the floor". She did. She got on her hands and knees immediately as the men were first shocked and then amused. The told her to get up as they had meant to tell the one near the controls to push the button for their floor. The woman was mortified and embarrassed and left to go to her room. Later that afternoon flowers along with a note were delivered to her. The note said "Thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in a long time!" signed Lionel Richie.
Sometimes fear keeps us from being all that God has called us to be! Certainly this happened then
just as it does today. The People were afraid.
Saul was afraid. Really shouldn’t have been!
40 days encamped against each other with valley in between. 40 days of Goliath’s challenge. 40 days that if the Israelites were weak they would have been overrun. Yet Saul - the leader - was afraid. No wonder the people were so frightened.
The People will never rise above their leader. They cowered like frightened creatures. This was the beginning of David’s leadership.
Many of us are afraid of all kinds of Goliaths. John Stott called it "Rabbit hole Christianity". You poke nose out of hole in the morning and run to the office
where you surround selves with Christians. The you run to lunch. After that you run to supper and then go to bed congratulating self on avoiding philistines.
We are afraid of our neighbors, friends, co-workers. We are afraid of ridicule and rejection. We are afraid that we will miss something fun. We are afraid that God will let us down.
Maybe not Goliath but they sure seems like it! I can tell you about myself in High School - I was afraid! I didn’t want anyone to know that I was a Christian. The last week of being a senior in HS I told that I wanted to go to Bible College to be a minister and a girl said "Really, I never knew anyone that wanted to be a minister!" "Boy, are you dumb!" was what I thought she was saying! Now, as I’m a little older and little wiser I’m not so sure - What once scared me could well have been an opportunity to share my faith and conquer a giant in my life!
David was not afraid. In fact, he was not only not afraid - he was angry! Who is this uncircumcised man defies the army of the living God! Who is this man of the world who didn’t understand or respect the things of God? Yet he had the people of God on the run!
Who is this world that defies the church of God? I’m tired of the church being a little helpless group on the fringe of society? We are the army of God - they are the philistines! Yet we act as if we have no strength!
David’s willingness to fight and his anger were not readily accepted - by his own brothers! David was confident - they were timid. David had victory - they had defeat. David was ready - they were unprepared. David had confidence in God - they were afraid and resentful!
David did not accept opposition to his speaking and anger and confidence. We are not only afraid of the philistines but also of the brothers in the church! So much of what churches do are maintenance oriented - because of fear. So much of what we do is not productive - because of fear. So much of what we do is mediocre - because of fear!