Prelude to Part 1 Giant Personalities
Are our problems too large for God to handle? Purpose: Let’s learn that God helps us conquer giant problems. Plan: Let’s learn from the story of David and Goliath (Gol-YATH) in 1 Samuel 17:1-49.
1 Samuel 17:1-19 Israel’s Fear
Saul ignored the advice of God’s prophets, and was trapped in a military standoff in the valley of Elah or wild pistachio trees, for 40 days, paralyzed with fear. Do giants taunt us? God can help us win the day.
1 Samuel 17:20-30 David’s Faith
David was a fearless, young farm hand who asked, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” People still mock what God can do in a young person. Even David’s oldest brother angrily insulted him.
1 Samuel 17:31-49 David’s Message
David chose artillery, a tactical advantage, IF he was a good shot. Many sling-stones were 2 thumb-widths across, and sometimes ground by hand to a ball shape. A slinger could hurl a stone twice as far as arrows. David told the Philistine, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” He declared, “the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:50-54 God’s Victory
Young believers often show this kind of courageous faith. A lesson we learn is that “the battle is the Lord’s.” When the devil is defeated, the demons run. “Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines …” It takes just one brave soul who believes God to conquer the enemy.
Postlude to Part 1
Our problems are never too large for God. God wants just a few heroes whether kings or shepherds, old or young. Jesus can make our aim true.
Prelude to Part 2 Giant Circumstances
An English ship was having troubles in a storm off the German coast. They radioed for help, “Mayday, we are sinking.” A German coast guard responded with, “Vot are you sinking about?”
When troubles come, are we fearful or trusting? Goal: Let’s understand who calms storms. Plan: Let’s look at a squall on Lake Galilee in Mark 4:35-41.
Crossing Over (Mark 4:35)
Mark 4:35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
Jesus crossed Lake Galilee in a tiny boat. A church congregation sits in the nave, from Latin “navis” meaning ship, coming from this very story. Jesus invites us to join Him in the nave of the church building on a Sunday as we begin our journey to the other side. We don’t always know what is ahead, but we do know who our captain is.
Leaving the Multitude (Mark 4:36)
Mark 4:36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him.
We are on a journey with Jesus into the unknown. Like Abraham at 75 God has called us to a new country. We left the comfort of our past life, to go with a small band of brave souls following Christ all the way to the other side.
A Great Windstorm (Mark 4:37)
Mark 4:37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling.
Traveling with Jesus we may run into storms. Trusting , we know the end of our journey (Revelation 21:4). As Goliath was about 3 meters high, so can the waves on Lake Galilee reach 3 meters in a storm.
Asleep on a Pillow (Mark 4:38)
Mark 4:38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
Post Adrenaline letdown is familiar to all preachers, and the desire of a quiet place for a nap after preaching is common. Is God really asleep during the storms of life or helping us build faith? Jesus rebuked the disciples for lack of faith. He often allows us to go close to sinking, and then what does He do?
Peace! Be Still! (Mark 4:39)
Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.
The disciples’ faith did not calm the sea. Jesus did. We think, if we just had enough faith. But, God intervenes when He sees fit. It depends on Jesus. Life can be rough waters. Jesus can calm the storm.
Why are You So Fearful? (Mark 4:40)
Mark 4:40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Are we ruled by fear or trust in God? The disciples didn’t ask Jesus for help, but sharply asked Him if he cared. Fear can make us belligerent. Falsely accused, Jesus mercifully calmed the sea. Then they feared Jesus and no longer the storm.
Who can This Be? (Mark 4:41)
Mark 4:41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
The crossing was perhaps 7 miles (12 kilometers). Sudden and violent lake storms with waves of ten feet (3 meters) can still cause lakefront damage today. The disciples asked Jesus who He was. Have we learned that lesson? We’re invited into the nave to take a journey to the other side with Jesus. It might get rough, but Jesus can calm any storm.
Postlude to Parts 1 & 2
Sometimes, when we face giant problems, God encourages us to use the talents He has given us and take the long shot in faith, like David. Sometimes, circumstances are beyond our God-given abilities and even if we fail, by being belligerent, fearful and can’t sleep, Jesus will calm the storm.
New King James Version (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.