Summary: Learn from King David how you can overcome the giants in your life.



Message #3

Lessons To Help You Fight Giants

1 Samuel 17


It was February of 1980. A group of 12 American amateur hockey players took the ice in Lake Placid NY to face the toughest and best hockey team in the world, the USSR national team. It was the Olympic games and two weeks prior to this game, the young American team were beat by the mighty Russians 12-2 in Madison Square Garden. But we all know what happened that night. The USA defeated the USSR 4-2 in one of the most stunning upsets in all of sports history. Most of us have seen the clip of the end of the game when as the clock winds down, the USA players begin their on ice celebration, and Al Michaels, the announcer who called the game for ABC yells- Do you believe in miracles. I remember watching that game in the lounge of my dorm at KCC. It was a proud day to be an American. David had defeated Goliath.

In 1 Samuel 17, we read the story of the ultimate bully. It’s the story of Goliath, who was described as the champion of the Philistine army. He was a very large man- somewhere between 7 and 9 feet tall. In Guinesse’s world book of records the tallest man on record was guy named Robert Wadlow....he died in 1940 and he was 8’ 11" tall.

I remember walking out of a bathroom in the St Louis airport and standing in front of me was Shequille O’Neil. He is one big fellow. Goliath was at least Shequille’s size, probably bigger. Do you remember the wrestler, Andre the Giant? He was a big dude.

The Israelites were at war with the Philistines, and each nation had established a battle line, similar to the opening scene in Gladiator. But in this scene, Goliath, the champion of the Philistine army, issued a challenge to the Israelite army.

1 Samuel 17:8-10

No one is Israel dared to accept the challenge. The scripture says that Saul and the rest of the Israelites were gripped by fear. For 40 days this challenged was posed.

Goliath was the ultimate bully. Staring down at people half his size, challenging them to a fight.

Sometime during this 40 day period David’s father, Jesse, asked David, to bring some food to his three brothers who were serving in Saul’s army and were on the battle line.

David was startled when he arrived on the scene. He saw Goliath shout out his challenge to Israel. David’s heart stirred immediately.

How could anyone have the gall to defy Israel and defame the name of God. David asks, "Who is this man that he should challenge the army of the living God?"

To the amazement and chagrin of his fellow Israelites, David volunteered to accept the giants bold invitation. He stood ready to defend the name of the Lord.

Saul tried to convince David he wouldn’t have a chance against Goliath. 1 Samuel 17:33

David was pretty insistent on accepting Goliath’s challenge so finally, Saul agrees, "Go, and may the Lord be with you."

In the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan as the soldiers race to the shores of Normandy, you know these guys are headed to sure death, they are walking into a suicide mission. That’s what Saul and everyone else figured David was doing. No chance. He is committing suicide by agreeing to this battle.

Maybe right now you are struggling with problems so huge that you think you can’t over come them. Or your giant may be people who frighten you- a demanding boss, a cynical professor, a domineering mother in law, a defiant child. Or maybe there are challenges and promotions that are giants for you.....challenge to do a ministry here at church, challenge to take a new job.....and they seem so big that you run from them..... That debt you can’t repay, or disease for which there is no cure, an addiction that you are struggling to overcome, a disability that you can’t erase. Much of life is spent in battle with personal giants.

At a nursing home in Florida, a resident group was discussing ailments: "My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee," said one. "Yes, I know, my cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee," replied another. "I can’t turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck," said a third, at

which several others nodded weakly. "My blood pressure pills make me very dizzy," another went on. "I guess that’s the price we pay for getting old," winced an old man. There was general agreement and a short moment of silence ensued. "Well, it’s not that bad," said one woman cheerfully. "Thank God we can all still drive!"

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