Summary: adapted from Steve Higgs at MCC

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Learning to slay Giants

Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ

June 23, 2002

I have always enjoyed a classic story of good versus evil.

In every story of good versus evil there is a hero.

Perhaps some of the greatest heroism came from our childhood..

I may be a little different than some of you I don’t care for some of the traditional heroes some of you may be thinking of.

For instance, there is nothing heroic about Superman (he can leap tall buildings in a single bound, he’s faster than a locomotive, all that stuff).

The only thing that can really stop him is Kryptonite which apparently only the truly evil can possess.

While some were focused on those mainline and traditional heroes I focused my attention elsewhere.

Do you remember a cartoon called "Underdog!"

If Superman is everything a superhero should be than underdog would be on the other end of the spectrum, he was awesome.

Underdog was such an opposite to Superman that they even chose to parody Superman in the opening scenes. Each show would start with Underdog flying over a group of people and they’d see him and say, "Look up in the sky: it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a frog?"

To which everyone would turn to the embarrassed man and say, "A frog."

But then Underdog would quickly correct all the observers, "Not a bird, nor a plane, nor even a frog, just little ol me Underdog."

Underdog was an unlikely hero, during the day he was a shoeshine boy, and at the call of the sweet and loveable Polly (she’d always say Oh where Oh where has my underdog gone Oh where Oh where can he be), and when shoeshine boy would here that call he’d run to the nearest phone booth and become underdog, and a few strikes of lightening, and claps of thunder we’d see "Underdog", and he’d shout his clarion call, "There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here.

You see what made underdog so special was that he also spoke in rhyme so he’d say things like, "When Polly’s in trouble I am not slow. It’s hip hip hip, and away I go."

Underdog was this scrawny looking mutt of a dog whose super powers would routinely fail he’s the last dog in the world you’d expect to be a superhero.

I think there is something in each of us that desires to root for the underdog, we all want to see the guy that doesn’t have much of a chance win.

Did you watch the Olympics a couple of years ago? Every montage NBC did was what a horrible time someone had had, and how they worked through it to get to the Olympics, we eat that stuff up.

I think that’s why everyone loves the story found I Samuel 17.

The story is that of David and Goliath, and let me kind of walk you through the text and then we’ll actually read a portion of it.

The story starts in vs. 1-3 with kind of a standoff between the Philistine armies and the army of Israel (God’s army).

As you read the Bible you’ll see that the Philistines and the Israelites are two powerful nations that fight each other on a pretty regular basis.

But the story starts with the two armies one on one hill and one on the other.

In vs. 4 Goliath happens on the scene and he’s a mammoth man, about 9 foot tall and had weaponry to match. He was a force to be reckoned with, and he issues a challenge in vs. 8 saying that he will fight anyone from Israel hand to hand. It’s a winner take all to the death, the winner’s nation will become master over the losers. A fight that Don King and mike Tyson could have made millions on if they had only put it on pay per view.

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