Summary: As David stood in bewilderment of the lack of courage among the men of Israel, he asked the question: Is there not a cause? This question remains relevant today. Surely you will agree there is a cause, and we must be willing to stand.
Is There Not a Cause?
I Samuel 17: 17-29
Often this chapter is preached in light of David’s miraculous defeat of the mighty giant, Goliath. That is a wonderful testimony to the presence and power of the God we serve; but today I want to look at the events that led up to David’s confrontation with Goliath. In particular, I’m interested in the question David posed to his brother, Eliab. Is there not a cause?
Church, I would ask you today, Is there not a cause? When the very foundations of our faith are being attacked, when many Baptist churches have “plateaued” or in steady decline, when, according to the latest census data, over 37,000 people in Surry county are un-churched, when our children are daily bombarded to engage in sin, when our nation grows more wicked and further from God, Is there not a cause? David certainly believed there was and he chose to stand for that cause. Let’s consider the events in the life of David that day and ask ourselves: Is there not a cause?
I. The Reality of the Day – There are a couple of significant details about that day that we need to consider.
A. The Presence of the Enemy (1, 16) – Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.  And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. We are all aware that the Philistine army had gathered to battle the nation of Israel. But, you need to understand, this wasn’t just an ordinary place of little significance. They were gathered at Ephes- dammim, a place approximately 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The enemy had invaded the homeland; they were in the heart of the Promised Land. They had come with one thing in mind, to defeat the army of Israel. Goliath belittled them every day, V.16.
Hey, the enemy isn’t just operating in San Francisco or New York; he is at work right here. You may not realize it, but the homeland has been invaded. We are dealing with the adversary in our own communities. Mt. Airy and Surry County are saturated with the influence of sin.
He wants nothing more than to defeat and destroy every church and home in our county. He would like to shut down Fellowship Baptist church. I firmly believe this is holy ground and we must understand the enemy is present; there is a cause!
B. The Plague of the People (11, 24) – When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.  And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. Notice how the army of Israel reacted to the presence of Goliath. They were plagued with fear. This wasn’t a “ragtag” group of men; this was Israel’s finest, led by King Saul, and yet they were plagued with fear. God had given them the land, defeated their enemies, and yet no one had the courage to stand with the Lord. None of the mighty men of valor had the courage to stand.
I believe that most Baptist are plagued with fear as well. We have no desire to stand for the things of God. What we ignore today will be accepted tomorrow (Ephesus- deeds, Pergamos- doctrine). The church needs men and women of God to stand and boldly say, “That’s not going to happen on my watch.”
I had rather have people mad than to compromise the truth and cause my children to suffer the consequences. We have been silent far too long. It is time to firmly stand for the Lord! The enemy has brought the battle to the homeland. We must now be on the defensive, trying to regain the ground we’ve lost. Jesus has already won the war; we just need to stand for Him. Is there not a cause?
II. The Responsibility of David – Jesse had sent David to take some provisions and check on the welfare of his brethren, but he wasn’t satisfied with being a silent observer. He felt a responsibility to act because:
A. His Family was in the Battle (17-18) – And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;  And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their thousand, and look how thy brethren fare, and take their pledge. David’s brothers were in the camp with Israel. They were in the forefront of the battle. He was compelled to support his brethren.
We all have family and loved ones who are in the battle today. There are homes right now that are facing the possibility of being torn apart; there is a cause! There are saints of God who are battling the enemy and need the support of God’s people. Our children are being seduced by the lure of this world to forsake their faith and join the ranks of the wicked. Pastors and church leaders are being tempted to compromise their stand and conform to the liberal view. We are all in this fight together and we need to rally together and support each other!