Summary: No doubt offenses will come. But we must do all that we can to overcome them.
1 Sam. 17
The Bible has a lot to say about offenses. (1)Prov. 18:19 "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle". (2)Matt. 5: "if your right eye offends you, pluck it out, if your right hand offends you, cut it off" (3)Matt. 17- Jesus said in order not to offend the people of Capernaum, they needed to pay tribute, and was so determined to do so, since they had no money of their own, Peter got it out of a fishes mouth (4)Matt. 18:6 "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better fro him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea" (5)Matt. 24:10 Jesus says one of the signs of the last days would be in the fact that many would be offended. (6)Rom. 14:21 "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby they brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak" (7)1 Cor. 8:13 "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend".
There is a sense of declaration direct from the Word of God, that we must guard ourselves, not to be the offender, nor the offended. I understand that in the proximity of the real world, there is often times not a whole lot we can do to prevent the offender from carrying out his hellish deeds, but I will say that you and I as born again, sanctified, spirit filled believers, have the ability and the authority under the signet of the blood covenant to overcome offenses, and to be victors in this battle against our souls!
In the text we read of the very familiar story of a young man named David, the son of Jesse. War was raging btwn. Israel and the Philistines. Yet, the unimaginable thing was, no one was physically on the battlegrounds. At this point, it was merely a war of words. And until David went before the giant, that’s all it would be.
Now you need to get a good understanding of the picture here. Opposite side of the enemy was the nation of Israel-the one’s God called blessed, His favored, apple of His eye, the children of God, the ones God promised he would not depart from, they were shuddering at the mere actions/words/deeds of this giant who stood there over 9 ft. tall, having 6 fingers on one hand, and 6 toes on one foot.
**You say, "I don’t know why they could be so weary/afraid..." I’d like to tell you what God spoke to me about this the other day: this man Goliath represented/moved in the spirit of offense. What was he doing? The same thing every wise leader of an army attempts to do: break the enemie’s spirit. With all of his cruel words/accusations (blaspheming God, Israel, calling them names, ridiculing their abilities, etc.), he was merely attempting to destroy their spirit, so he could overcome them in war. Prov.17:22 "A merry heart... but a broken spirit drieth the bones" **If you can break someone’s spirit, you can overcome them, no matter how big they are. (9/11, bombings in Iraq, etc.)
*I believe all too many in the body of Christ existing here in 2004 are standing paralyzed on the outskirts of the valley of victory, because the enemy is shouting out offenses from the other side. Suddenly, some of the great champions of the faith have fallen to the ground in despair, because offense has taken hold of their life. They have heard enough malice, criticism, and ridicule to last a life time. And if something doesn’t drastically change, they will be buried with the ideas of what the could’ve been in Jesus. Far too many Christians are falling away from the faith/relationship with God they once had because they were hurt. Way too many churches have lost their zeal, vision, and determination to win souls/grow/prosper in the kingdom because of a hidious work of Satan against them. All too many preachers are putting away their Bibles/coat & ties, never to fill another pulpit again, all because somehow, somewhere, they were offended and wounded in their souls.
**But I came by this way to tell you there is a healing balm in Gilead! There is a seal of protection against offense. And you can’t buy it, earn it, or gain it. He’s a gift called the Holy Ghost, and He’s able to raise you up in the spirit of power and might!
Goliath produced 3 types of offenses:
(1)A spirit of judgment
17:8 "Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul?" (Keep in mind that Jesus said in Matt. 7:1 "Judge not lest ye be judged. For withwhat judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again") There was a reason he called them the ’mere’ servants of Saul. CHAPTER 8. Samuel was old, made his 2 sons judges over Israel, they walked in sin, turned aside after lucre, took bribes, perverted judgment. Elders of Israel came before him, saying he was old, and his 2 sons were doing wrong. And since all that was going on, we want a king. **They were casting judgment upon the mighty man of God** It disturbed Samuel greatly. God said, they’ll get one, but tell them all that will happen. READ... Now, the same thing that Israel did was happening to them: they were being judged!