Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Demonstrates that Psalm 29, written by David, was probably directed against people likle Goliath, who bullied others.




This morning I want to talk especially to men and boys about bullying and intimidation. It seems to me that many Christian men think that bullying and intimidation are appropriate in the Christian church. Often these men do

the bullying and intimidation as a form of humor, unaware of the hurt that they are causing people. Some time ago I picked up a book of humor designed especially for Christian readers. At least 25% of the book was composed of what are called cold cuts, humor which intimidates or bullies.

An example would be: I know you are not two-faced, because if you had another face, you would wear it. I am glad that since that book was written,

another more important book has been written by Larry Crabb entitled "Encouragement". And if you are the kind of person whose sense of humor leads easily to cold cuts, I suggest that you read Larry Crabb’s book.

You see, bullying and intimidating are a form of pride, and that kind of pride has no place in the believer’s life and conduct. Rather than address those who may at times consciously or unconsciously bully and/or intimidate, I should like to encourage those who sometimes feel bullied and/or intimidated.

The Bible tells us of a time when a whole nation of God’s people, all except one man, felt intimidated. The man who was not intimidated was David.

David became a great psalmist. This morning I want us to look at a psalm which he may have written against bullies and intimidators. I trust that our study of it will encourage those who sometimes feel bullied and intimidated to realize afresh that our strength is not in ourselves, but in the Lord; and I trust that you will increasingly find the strength in the Lord not to be intimidated by non-Christian bullies. I trust that you will also find the strength to develop the kind of relationships with Christian brothers who act macho to rebuke them when they wittingly or unwittingly intimidate or bully.

When my wife was a student at Moody Bible Institute she had a roommate named Barbara, who in my opinion looked a little bit like Elizabeth Taylor,

when Elizabeth Taylor was much younger and much more innocent. Barbara

married a macho type man named Jim, who after he came out of the U.S.

Air Force became a pilot for United Airlines. He retired as a captain who flew jets and flew 747’s all over the United States.

Barbara and Jim have three grown daughters, one of whom is named Pam who writes beautiful poetry, some of which is very humorous.

About thirty years ago, when Pam was a teenager living in the Chicago area,

I would visit her and her parents.

One of the highlights of those visits was to read some of Pam’s poems.

One poem which I really enjoyed was called “The Incredible Hulk.” It is addressed to a macho type of teenage boy whose legs really impressed the

girls. The last stanza of the poem says poetically: I guess you would like to know my identity, the identity of your secret admirer. You’ll never know.

Perhaps there is some father here today who if he were honest would say:

I wish I were more macho. I wish that when I was a teenager some girl would have thought of me as an incredible hulk. But I was a little runt, and everybody

bullied me. This morning I want to tell you that if you know God, you don’t need to be macho, because the Lord will be your strength.

We shall first consider the time when the whole nation of Israel, all except David, felt intimidated; and then we shall look at Psalm 29.

(1 Sam 17:1 NIV) Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah.

(1 Sam 17:2 NIV) Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines.

(1 Sam 17:3 NIV) The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

(1 Sam 17:4 NIV) A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall.

(1 Sam 17:5 NIV) He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels ;

(1 Sam 17:6 NIV) on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.

(1 Sam 17:7 NIV) His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

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