Summary: When you have giants, you use hat you have and what you know. Mainly you remember who is with you.
( When I gave this message, Holy Spirit took over this basic text and gave several powerful connections which really grabbed the congregation, I pray God will do he same for you. The actual scripture read was using lectionary Year B - June 22nd)
So to paraphrase this long scripture, The two armies come together, and in that time, they put up their camps and each day went out and yelled insults at each other.
If the Philistines were really that strong why did they not just attack after a few days. I believe it is because they figured out that the real art of war is physic out your opponent. Take the biggest and meanest looking guy on your side and let him boldly walk up and down the lines challenging the other side to a one on one battle. Goliath is said to be about 9 feet 9 inches tall. He has the best body armor, helmet and shield. It is estimated his spear alone weighs 30 pounds.
He is the ultimate in intimidation and he hits the Israelites where it hurts. Send a man out here to settle this…..
Ok it is a guy thing, but if you are challenged to be a man and your fears take over and you won’t or can’t respond. You have already lost. Goliath was at least 3 feet and probably nearly 4 feet taller than any of the tallest Israelite men. When the challenges came they were not blind. They could see that it was impossible to fight this man. Not even the king would take the challenge.
As a church today do you think that we are like the army in this lesson? Do we look at the challenges of the world and fear that we can’t match up. I believe we do. I am not just saying that you are affected by what is out there, because I am affected and fear failing also.
The world is so big, so anti-church, so well equipped to intimidate, with the newest toys and tools and even Laws. It is too easy to plainly see failure if we try.
When David arrives on an errand, he finds his brothers and then twice daily challenge starts. David is just a dumb kid, and he gets upset that that un -civilized, person that does not know God would challenge God’s people.
David can’t see that it is obvious that no one there can win. - He is not a trained warrior, he is a Shepard, a poet and musician. But he is willing to volunteer to take on this heathen. Word gets back to the king (Saul) and he calls him in and I would imaging him rolling his eyes, You are just an inexperienced boy, You just won’t be able to do it, you aren’t trained and don’t even have the weapons.
Too often we in the church look at ourselves and say the same thing. We let our view of ourselves and of our friends do the talking. And we really listen to people we know and trust. And we all too often agree with each other that we just can’t do it… we can’t deal with the problems because we are not trained and equipped. But David, was just not able to accept Good, well thought out advice.
He told the King of his experiences in dealing with wild beast and how he had overcome the powerful deadly creatures and that he saw no difference in dealing with a human beast.
For some reason the king decides to let him try. He offers him armor and weapons but David realizes that it is not for him. He knows that if he is to be successful he has to be him self. He has to be mobile and flexible. He can’t put on earthly armor he must put on the armor of God.
When you put your faith in God, accept his protection and guidance, it is not restrictive, it is natural and allows you the freedom to be yourself and to act on new ways to get things done.
David goes out to meet the enemy, using just what he knows. What he knows is that God is the one that will fight the fight, God is the one that will provide the answers and the strength. David has his staff, picks up 5 stones from the creek bed and carries his sling. No sward, no explosives or machine guns, just himself and his normal tools, and for David a normal tool included knowing God.
David has an individual faith in God and what He can and will do. For David to face danger possibly was more normal for him than us. But he was the only one there willing to do it.