Summary: Goliath’s armor bearer took the brunt of the battle for him. Satan does the same to those who work for him. But God fights for us.
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Pastor James May
GOLIATH’S ARMOR BEARER
On the hills of Judah stood two powerful armies facing one another across a valley. For forty days Israel had shook in fear twice a day as Goliath of the Philistines stepped up to the front of his army and defied the soldiers of Israel to attack.
1 Samuel 17:4, "And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span."
No one dared accept that challenge, not even King Saul who stood head and shoulders above all the men of his army. He was hiding in his tent just like the rest of his army. Even across the valley they could see that Goliath was a giant of a man.
Just who was this Goliath and where did he come from. Goliath was a very large man, standing somewhere around 11’ 4” tall. He made Shaq look like a midget. If he had played B-Ball with today’s teams, there’s no question of who would be the MVP of every game he was in. He could stand flat-footed and look down into the net. How would you like to be assigned to guard him? It’s no wonder that the Philistines were the championship team until they met with Israel. Even Israel didn’t seem to be very much of a threat right now.
He had come from the city of Gath in the land of the Anakims where a lot of the people grew to very large size. The Anakims were left alone when Joshua had invaded the Promised Land and now Israel was paying for that mistake. Joshua was commanded to wipe out every enemy but didn’t.
I think that we should take note here that whatever sin, whatever disobedience we allow to continue on right now, may well become the giant that stalks and threatens our eternal soul down the road. We can’t afford to leave any giants laying around, we have to allow the Lord to clean them all out.
Goliath was like a walking Abrams tank, covered in hundreds of pounds of highly polished brass armor. He almost appeared as an “angel of light” when the sun shone upon him. He had power, size and mighty weapons at his disposal but he rarely had to use them because of the fear that he struck into the heart of his enemy.
I am reminded that Satan appears as an angel of light when, in reality, he is nothing but a self-centered, egotistical, fallen angel who cannot tell the truth and is never as big, bad and nasty as he appears to be.
The one thing that I want to key on, more than anything else, in this message, is that even though Goliath may have been the Biggest, Baddest and Ugliest man around, he was still fearful of defeat. He somehow knew that his loud blustery voice and his tremendous size and power would not always keep him from being defeated. He was still vulnerable and the right man, at the right time, in the right place, could easily kill him.
Therefore, when he was going into battle, he would force an armor bearer to walk in front of him carrying his gigantic shield. It was if he was saying, “God ahead boy, block those spears, arrows and rocks for me, I’m right behind you all the way.” It was Goliath’s armor bearer who bore the worst of the battles for him.
That armor bearer, even if he was the tallest man of the Philistines, still had to carry a mighty big shield of brass. It was so heavy that he likely could not carry any other armor for himself or weapons to defend his own life. He had to hold that shield up high for his “champion” so that the champion could stay hid. After all, what was the army without its champion? While he held up the shield he was totally exposed under it. He was willing to take the sword, arrow and spears while his “champion” stayed protected.