Summary: A sermon to encourage believers to stand for the faith.
"Is There Not a Cause?"
1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
I. The Powerful Adversary
a. A traditional enemy
The Philistines seem to have had an off again on again relationship with Israel. They we located generally to the Southwest of Palestine and several of the patriarchs had dealings with them. There are several battles mentioned in the Bible between Israel and the Philistines including the one that we will study today. They are:
The following is a list of battles purported in the Bible between the Israelites and the Philistines:
The Battle of Shephelah (2 Chronicles 28:18).
Israelites defeated at the Battle of Aphek, Philistines capture the Ark (1 Samuel 4:1--10).
Philistines defeated at the Battle of Eben-Ezer (1 Samuel 7:3--14).
Skirmish at Michmash, Philistines routed by Jonathan and his men (1 Samuel 14).
Near the Valley of Elah, David defeats Goliath in single combat (1 Samuel 17).
The Philistines defeat Israelites on Mount Gilboa, killing King Saul and his three sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malkishua (1 Samuel 31).
Hezekiah defeats the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory (2 Kings 18:5--8).
They were idol worshippers and were responsible for capturing, blinding and tormenting Sampson. In his last act Sampson destroyed the temple of Dagon and killed over 1,000 Philistines when he pulled the temple supports down upon himself and his tormentors.
Judges 16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
b. A terrifying enemy
Goliath was from Gath, one of the five city-states that are mentioned in the Bible. To say that he was an imposing physical specimen is an understatement. What do we know about him?
He was imposing.
There are varying opinions as to how tall Goliath was ranging from 6-6 to 9-3. When you consider that the average height in that day was 5-5 for a man then he would have been anywhere from a head to 3 heads taller than David. His armor weighed in at 125-200 lbs. and his spear head alone weighed 15 lbs.
He was intimidating.
Did you know that one of the Devil's main devices is intimidation? In our day and time He is trying to intimidate believers, to keep us quiet, to keep us in our place!
1 Samuel 17:11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
He was insulting.
We are told that twice a day for 40 days Goliath would come out and hurl insults at the army of Israel, King Saul and at the God of Israel.
1 Samuel 17:43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
He was invincible.
No one was willing to step up or out to take Goliath on. Not Saul or Abner or even brave Jonathan or and of the kings mighty men.
1 Samuel 17:23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
II. The Powerless Army
The one word that could be used to describe the response of the Israelites is paralysis. What could have created this climate of immobility and insecurity?
a. Their fearfulness
To put it bluntly, they were afraid. That is what the Bible says verses 11 and 24 and we all know from our own experience that fear is a very powerful thing. Not only were they afraid, but verse 11 says that they were "...greatly afraid..." and verse 24 says that they were "...sore afraid..." At one time King Saul had stood "...head and shoulders above all Israel..." but now he was but a shell of what he had been. He had been praised by the women of Israel for slaying "thousands" of Israel's enemies but now he can scarcely be coaxed out of his tent. We know that because of his disobedience the Spirit of the Lord was no longer upon him and instead of leading the people of God to victory he sees no problem in sending David to his death.