Summary: Can you see the situation more clearly from God's vantage point? Do you need to take courageous action in the face of insults and fearful circumstances? Do you trust that God will give you victory? Remember, God's opinion is the only one that matters.
Opening illustration: In July 1947, the British Navy was confronted by a defiant but unarmed ship of Jewish refugees - Holocaust survivors - who were intent on emigrating to colonial Palestine. As Robert Mackey explains on the New York Times' Lede Blog, the Brits responded to the incursion of the Exodus 1947 with the bravado of empire, seizing the ship, killing three people and wounding dozens of others.
The "violent way the British Navy seized that ship and deported the refugees backfired, creating global sympathy for the plight of stateless Jews," Mackey explained. Shortly afterward, the New York Times headlined a story on the incident: "Naval Boarding Party Shot at Jews Whose Weapons Were Potatoes, Canned Goods."
The Jews were given free walk-in immigration into the Palestinian colony without even having or using real weapons. They had got victory just by standing firm for what they knew was right. You might not even have the right things … just stand firm for God knowing what is right and He will give you victory.
Introduction: David's faith in God caused him to look at the giant from a different perspective. Goliath was merely a mortal man defying an all-powerful God. David looked at the battle from God's point of view. If we look at giant problems and impossible situations from God's perspective, we realize that God will fight for us and with us. When we put things in proper perspective, we see more clearly and we can fight more accurately and effectively.
When the giant criticized, insulted and threatened, David didn't stop or even waver. Everyone else cowered in fear, but David ran to the battle. He knew that action needed to be taken. David did the right thing in spite of discouraging insults and fearful threats. Only God's opinion mattered to David.
What will you encounter while using what is in your hand?
1. Hatred + Intimidation (vs. 40-43)
The enemy doesn’t want you to use what is in your hand. He knows how potent it can be, especially if it is something that God has anointed for a cause. There is fear in the enemy but he wants to bounce it back at you to make you fearful. Therefore the enemy will respond with hatred toward you and intimidate you so that you become weak and are unable to use that which is in your hand.
There was hatred for David from Goliath and the Philistines and as David put it, “… who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" There was utter hatred for God’s nation Israel. Satan hates those who carry the name of God and is fearful from those who have in their hands what God would use for the extension of His kingdom … this would practically harm the satanic kingdom. Obviously the enemy is not going to be happy and is going to show resentment, hatred and intimidation.
We have been witnessing an unprecedented growing hatred and intimidation for Christians in our own nation. We have to be aware that God has empowered us with His Spirit and given us in our hands the reigns of our nation. As we have not been good stewards of it, therefore gradually losing what God had placed in our hands. We were such a blessed nation and a blessing for many around the world. Where are we now? The sad truth is we did not rightfully use what God had placed in our hands and slowly lost everything. Every time we compromised here and there for small things and those small things have become giants now. Well to put that giant down, it will take a David, a sling and one smooth stone. Who is going to be challenged to stand up to the giant like David and put him down? Is hatred and intimidation going to make you weak and fearful or will motivate you to get the job done?
Illustration: In Pakistan, the government has declared those that who “insult” Mohammed will be put to death. In Communist Laos more than 250 pastors and Christian workers have been arrested; more than 60 churches and Christian institutions have been shut down; and the government has forced many thousands of believers to sign documents to "renounce" their faith and belief in Christianity.
In more than 40 nations around the world, people are being persecuted simply because of their faith. Hundreds of men and women are in prison serving sentences that range from a few months to life. They are not criminals who have robbed or murdered other citizens but Christians who were put on trial for their faith in Christ and found guilty. Christians are beaten, tortured, imprisoned, and murdered by those who are hostile to their faith in Jesus Christ.