Summary: Our world needs a champion, someone they can set on a pedestal and admire, someone they can pattern themselves after. This sermon will deliver a champion in the purest sense of the word!
The World Needs A Champion
1 Sam. 17:1-4; v.20-24
A. This past weekend marked the crowning of a supposed “champion” in the National Football League.
1. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word “champion” as:
a. One that wins first place in a competition
b. One that is superior
B. The nation—and perhaps even those around the world—will recognize, for the space of about one year, one particular team as their champion of the sport of football.
C. You see, our world yearns to have a hero, a “champion”, someone or something they can rally around, someone they can set on a pedestal and admire. Truly, our world needs a champion!
II. Our Text
A. In our text, however, the Hebrew definition of the word “champion” has a somewhat different meaning;
1. There is one definition—found in vs. 51 of this chapter—where the word “champion” does, indeed, refer to the more commonly-recognized meaning.
a. This word is “ghibbor” and refers to giant, chief, or warrior.
2. However, the definition used in our reading tonight—and the one that I want to focus on—is the Hebrew word “benayim” (bay-nie-him) which means:
a. The one standing between (two armies)
B. There is no doubt that Goliath was truly a warrior
1. It is obvious that his reputation preceded him.
a. 1 Sam 17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.
2. Opinions vary, but according to several studies, Goliath was roughly 10’ in height.
a. This may sound preposterous in today’s society, but when you study Biblical history, giants were not an uncommon thing, until God allowed them to be destroyed.
(1) See Gen. 6:4; see also Deut. 2:20
(2) There are also numerous other references to “giants” in the Old Testament.
3. Goliath had to have been a being of enormous size; his armor alone had the following weights:
a. A helmet weighing 10 lbs
b. A breastplate that weighed 20 lbs
c. Greaves (coverings) for each leg that weighed 20 lbs
d. A coat-of-mail that weighed 196 lbs.
4. But it wasn’t Goliath’s size that made him a champion
a. His size made him a giant, a chief, a tyrant, a warrior
b. It was his position between the armies of Israel and the Philistines that made him what the Hebrew language calls “a champion”.
III. The World Needs A Champion
A. This world is crying for a champion
1. They don’t need another so-called Super Bowl champion
2. They don’t need a world champion of boxing
3. They don’t need a champion of chess
4. What this world needs is a “champion” in the Hebrew sense of the word!
a. They need someone to “stand in the space between” their own sin and the power of death.
b. They need someone who will stand between them and the Law that demands justice for their fallen nature.
c. They need a “champion” that will stand between them and what their own sin has brought upon them.
B. This preacher is here to tell someone that we’ve got a Champion
1. The Christian singer known as Carmen produced a song several years ago entitled “The Champion”
a. While I admire his attempt to portray Christ as a “champion”—a winner, a warrior, the supreme of all—he had his definitions mixed up.
2. You see, ladies and gentlemen, we have a true Champion in Jesus Christ, but it’s not just because He won over the power of death, hell, and the grave.
3. It’s not just because He rose from the dead that He is called a Champion.
a. These things are not what made Him my champion.
(1) His power proved that He was more than just another prophet.
(2) His miracles proved that He was more than just a good guy teaching a different doctrine.
(3) His resurrection proved that He was, indeed, God manifest in the flesh.
(a) But these things are not what made Him a Champion!
4. You see, Goliath’s size and strength made him a giant, a warrior, a tyrant...but it didn’t make him a champion.
a. However, read Isa 53:2
(1) For he (speaking prophetically of Jesus Christ) shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
(2) The translation known as The Message words this scripture this way:
(a) The servant grew up before God - a scrawny seedling, a scrubby plant in a parched field. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.