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Inspiring Those Who Will Follow You

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Text:  2 Samuel 21:15-22; 23:8-39


            It’s not every generation that a Billy Graham is born.  They come along only ever once in a while.  The same is true for giant killers.  Until David showed up on the scene to bring some food to his brothers, no one dared to take on Goliath.  But years later, after David was a veteran soldier, Scripture records several giant killers following his footsteps.  Sometimes all it takes to move others to the next level is an inspiring example of someone who does something no one ever thought of trying to do.

            That brings me to the inspiration that prompted the writing of this lesson.  I want to challenge you tonight to inspire those that follow you to walk in your spiritual footsteps.  Be it your son or daughter, or someone who works besides you…this lesson is geared to share insights from the Word to inspire them to take up the cross after you lay it down.

            The passage we are about to read is near the end of David’s life.  It concludes with a final word about David’s hostility with the Philistines.  2 Sam.21:15-17

1.      David is no longer the robust young warrior of former days.  In fighting, he became weary.  Notice this time his men didn’t back off and cower…instead they kept a strong grip on their sword and Abishai killed the giant.  Another giant killer is now recorded in history.  Why do you think this story ends so dramatically different than the army that faced Goliath?
Insight: Saul rarely went to battle with his men.  He stayed in the tent in the rear and commanded men to lay down their lives.  This kind of leader doesn’t inspire valor in his men.  It takes being a giant killer to make one.  Valor begets valor.  Faith begets faith. Etc.  Ps. 71:7-9, 17-21

2.      When you become so weary that the enemy is about to snuff you out, do you have someone you can call upon to come fight at your side?  Are you close enough to them that you can be candid and say, “I need your help”?  Isa. 40:28-31

3.      David inspired others because he led them in battle.  But his men recognized that his age and failing strength necessitated him to direct them from the rear.  The position in the rear tent was an earned position…not one that was a cover for fear of fighting the enemy, like Saul.  What was the reason David’s men told him he now needed to stay behind during battle?
Insight: They knew that if David died, the lamp of Israel would be extinguished.  His death would mean the end of his leadership…a tragedy synonymous with snuffing out Israel’s illumination.  It was through David that God’s covenant blessings were showered upon Israel.  1 Kings 11:30-36; 15:4-5

4.      2 Kings 8:16-19  What kind of spiritual walk does it take to secure a promise from God that God will keep a lamp present in your sons & daughters all their lives?
Insight: It takes a heart that follows hard after God.  It’s doesn’t have to be a perfect walk, but one that gets back up and keeps keeping on.  David had a certain reputation in God’s eyes…Acts 13:22.

5.      2 Samuel 21:18-22  (1 Chron. 20:5 records that the giant killed by Elhanan was Goliath’s brother Lahmi.)  Where once no one had even heard of a giant killer…now there were many.  If a certain genetic strain produces gigantism, what spiritual genetics are needed to produce spiritual giant killers?
Insight: If you have no children, I want to encourage you to still be a spiritual giant killer, for there are others watching you as well.  Jonathan in this text was David’s nephew.  His uncle’s valor inspired him to be just like him. 

6.      Chapter 23 of 2nd Samuel chronicles all the mighty men that followed after David.  To have a legacy of 37 valiant men who follow your example is totally awesome!  Though they were not known for being giant killers, what mighty exploits did each do to gain their name of fame? 
2 Sam. 23:8  (Fortitude and endurance; he hung in there until the job was done.)
2 Sam. 23:9-10  (He would not tolerate taunting, for it was a reproach to Israel; he wouldn’t lay the sword down until the enemies were gone.)
2 Sam. 23:11-12  (Take pride in your role, even if it’s only guarding the beans.)
2 Sam. 23:13-17  (Loyalty stands out here.  Only a leader who inspires his men could prompt such a life-risking act of gratitude from his men.  When David poured out the gift he was not rejecting it; he was saying that such commitment is deserved by God alone, and thus he honored their act by pouring it out as a drink offering to the Lord.)
2 Sam. 23:18-19  (Humility.  He did not attain the level of honor of others before him, but that did not stop him from living valiantly and doing what he could do with the Lord’s help.)
2 Sam. 23:20-23  (Slippery circumstances did not detour him; nor did he retreat just because he didn’t have a weapon; he used his enemies own weapon against them.)

Psalm 108:13; Ps. 44:3; Acts 13:36


            This world will be won for Jesus Christ one neighborhood at a time when we follow the footsteps of those who have inspired us and we in turn inspire others to walk boldly for Christ.  One back hills country preacher in a small community in South Carolina preached faithfully every Sunday for years and wondered if he would have any affect on those who listened.  He died without knowing that one of the young boys listening each week in that little country church was one of the greatest evangelists of all time…Billy Graham.

            And you, soldier of Jesus Christ…who will take up the sword after you?  Who will fill your shoes?

            Phil. 2:17-18

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