Summary: Your hands were not trained to tidy up a tent. Your hands were trained for war! In order to accomplish God’s purpose in your life you have to Get Out of Your Tent!
“Time To Tear Down The Tents or Get Out of Your Tent”
Text: 1 Samuel 17:1a; 2-11; 20-24; 28-29
This is certainly not a new story. You have read and reread this story since you were young. The overpowered, underdog, teenage boy defeats the highly trained, extremely armed, NBA height, Football girthed giant in the most unlikely manner. We are so familiar with this account that we often overlook this account or take it’s truths for granted.
However, I want us to revisit this story. However, I would like for us to peak into some of the more obscure or less scrutinized aspects of this account because I believe they speak truth to us today.
II. The Account
There was nothing new about what was taking place. The Israelites were fighting the Philistines once again. This was a constant. This was normal. The two sides had drawn lines. Each army was positioned on the side of a hill or mountain with a valley between them. They understood that as long as they controlled the high ground that they could not be defeated. Each morning the armies would get up, leave their tents, collect armor, spears, shields, flags, and they would make their way to the edge of the valley and they would begin their day by shouting across the valley to one another. They would threaten each other and demean each other. The Philistines would also do something that was common. They had a great warrior in their ranks. So as was common in that day they would send that warrior out to challenge their enemy. That warrior would call out for the opposing army to send out their best warrior and rather than everyone fighting the battle could be determined by the outcome of the fight that these two engaged in. However, this is where the story takes a sudden and of course well known change. The warrior that was selected by the Philistines was no ordinary man. He was in fact a giant. Somewhere between 7 foot 7 and 9 foot 9 depending on whom you read after. He was massive. He was vocal. He was fear inducing. For 40 days, every day he would come out cursing, belittling, discounting, and diminishing the Israelites. For 40 days he would march out and challenge the armies of Israel to send someone and every day for 40 days the Israelites would turn and walk back to their tents, take off their armor, lay down their swords, cast aside their shields, and crouch in fear and defeat.
Then a teenager arrives. Naïve? Cocky? David is immediately caught up in what is going on. He hears Goliath’s challenge and begins to ask some questions. It is at this point that David’s oldest brother Eliab, one of the one’s that Samuel passed over in the anointing line, sees and hears David and for the first time in 40 days he actually attacks someone. That someone is David. He accusing David of being proud and even goes as far as to call him naughty and questions his character by making accusations that David has shirked his duties at home. He in essence tries to shut David up and to shut David down. Saul hears what is being said and chimes in. David you are not trained for this. David you don’t have the skills or the abilities to accomplish this. Then he tries to dress him up in his own clothes.
You know the rest of the story. Oversized armor cast aside. 5 stones selected. One stone sufficient. Giant killed. Victory claimed. Enemy routed.
A. If you listen to the wrong voice long enough you will go back to your tent.
Every day for 40 days they listened to his threats. Every day for 40 days they ducked back into their tents. The voice they listened to sent them to their tents.
Who has your ear? The voice that you listen to will determine what you do or don’t do in life! So my question to you is who are you listening to? What voice taunts you? What voice causes you to duck your head, take off your armor, lay aside your sword, and go back into your tent? What keeps you camped out on the hillside? What besetting sin, fear, or issue keeps you huddled up in defeat?
Some of you have been listening to the wrong voice long enough! That voice of anxiety has shouted into your spirit long enough. That voice of low self esteem has caused you to lose heart and hope long enough. Your past has called you into despair long enough.
After 40 days they believed him. If there is the power of life and death in the tongue then what we listen to must give place to one of those things. Some of you have listened to the voice of defeat, depression, and disbelief so long that you have gone back to your tent and believed what you have heard! Guard your ear! The loudest voice may not always be THE VOICE. Remember He speaks in a still small voice! The other voices will try to drown out His voice in order to drive you back to your tent.