Summary: This Giant beats us down with legalisms, we defeat him with LOVE. Find your Jonathan.
The Judgmental Giant.
She is always checking her mirrors, studying the faces of the other drivers, she is keeping an eye out for him. She knows he’ll come after her again. The message on the machine “Nothing will keep you from me.” I am your husband, till death do us part remember. Her ex-husbands outbursts of anger and flying fists and black eyes had led to the divorce. His fits of jealousy, his paranoia, his judgmental attitude toward her have belittled her so that he can control her. Now she looks for freedom, but she really isn’t free.
An office worker named Adam does some checking of his own. He peeks in the door of the office of his boss, sees the empty chair and sighs with relief. With any luck he can have an hour or two of peace from the putdowns of this overbearing bully. He rants and raves and gives tongue lashings daily, his compliments are as frequent as Haley’s comet and as rewarding as leftovers.
She ducks her ex, he avoids his boss, and us? What Judgmental Giants roam our world? Controlling moms, Coaches from the school of Stalin, pit bull teachers, self appointed judges of the work space or community, a king who resolves to pin a shepherd boy to the wall with his spear?
That last one was David’s. Poor boy all he did was slay a Giant in the Valley of Elah. When Goliath lost his head, Israel made David their hero. They threw his a conqueror’s parade with ticker tape and dancing. They sang Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of Thousands.
Instead of being joyful, Saul is outraged, he explodes like Mt Saint Helen’s, from that day forward David was in Saul’s crosshairs. Saul is already a troubled soul and now David’s popularity enrages his further. He wants him in the family, not because he loves him, but he wants to control him.
Judgmental Giants love only themselves, they want people around them so they can control them. The want to micromanage every detail. They will use putdowns to belittle, and if we dare to stand up to them they will do whatever they can to discredit us to the masses.
Saul does this in promising David his daughter in marriage. The dowry is very rough, one hundred Philistine foreskins, Saul is thinking that surely one of the Philistine’s will kill him for me. David doubles the price and proves Saul wrong. Judgmental Giants hate to be proven wrong. They hate it when someone outdoes them. Instead of being joyful over the accomplishments they either belittle the accomplishment or make up stuff about the accomplishment to put it down.
We could have as big a congregation as that if we wanted to, except we won’t water down the gospel to bring people in. Or, they are that large because they don’t follow the full gospel, why I heard that they don’t even believe in baptism anymore.
They cater to drunks, druggies and adulterers. Hmm, sound familiar? The Judgmental Giants of Jesus day said the same thing. John the Baptist was a lunatic, and Jesus ate and drank with sinners. Instead of being glad of the following of Jesus and John, they belittle them. Some even might use the excuse “They can’t be of God, do you see any of us following them?”
The spears they use to pin us against the wall are not always physical. They are the Wyle E. Coyote’s of the world and their prey is the roadrunners. David is Saul’s roadrunner. Their anger puzzles us, why are they so against us? If they really were Christians, why aren’t they glad for the growth, why aren’t they glad when the sinners come to church, instead they throw their spears. Who can justify their rage?
Who knows why a father torments a child, a spouse belittles their spouse publicly and privately, a boss pits employee against employee? But they do. The religious leaders of the Jesus day pit the people against each other so that they would not follow after Jesus. Dictators torture, employers seduce, ministers abuse, priests molest, the strong and the mighty control and sweet-talk the vulnerable and the innocent. Sauls still stalk Davids.
How does God respond? Nuke the nemesis? We might want him to, he has been known to extract a few Herod’s and Pharaoh’s, he has been known to knock down a few Pharisees. How will He treat our Judgmental Giant, I can’t really say. But I do know how He will treat you. He will send you a Jonathan.
God counters Saul’s cruelty with Jonathan’s love and loyalty. Jonathan could have had Saul’s jealousy, after all he is the next in line for the throne. But he did not, instead he chose to love David. The soul of Jonathan and David were stitched together. Read 18:3-4