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God is able

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God is able

1 Sam 17:31-37

31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

32 David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."

33 Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."

34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,

35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.

36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.

37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

(NIV)

Good morning Brothers, Sisters and visiting  Friends.  It is good to have you worshipping with us on this Christmas Sabbath.  Today as you might have heard is Children’s day.

We’re so glad here at Tabernacle of Joy that you could spend the day with us. 

By God’s grace I’ll be your speaker today my name is _________________.  Our topic for today is entitled “God is able.”  Under the theme “God’s gift to us” Let us pray.

I suggest to you today that My God whom I serve is able. 

This sermon centers around one of the greatest stories in the Bible.  It also has been an all time favorite with children for hundreds of years. It is known around the world.  It is the story of David and Goliath.

Our story centers around the seventeen verse of the first book of Samuel in the Bible.

This story centers around the faith of a young shepherd boy named David.  He was the youngest of the seven sons of  his father, Jesse.  

At this time Israel had been engaged in war with one of its most difficult and hated of enemies--the philistines.   The Bible says their was a particular soldier from the Philistine army named Goliath.

Goliath was at least 9 1/2 feet tall some Bible Scholars say he was tall as 11 feet.

The Giants armor and weapons shone out with brilliance-- his bronze coat of mail (metal coat), bronze greaves, bronze javelin, spear with an iron spearhead, and huge sword-- must have made him appear invincible.

     For 40 days this enormous man challenged King Saul's army to find one man willing to engage in hand-to hand combat. The winner of that one battle would determine the outcome of the war.

Listen to the Bible’s account.  Reading from the New International Version of the Bible.

1 Sam 17:4-11

4   A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall.

5   He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels;

6   on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.

7   His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

8   Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me.

9   If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us."

10 Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other."

11 On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. (NIV)

 But there was one who was neither dismayed nor terrified.  Before I go on I need to talk to you about the mentality of ancient eastern Palestine.  The view of the shepherd.  You see it was believed back then that the Shepherd was one of the lowest occupations one could hold.  The shepherd was the lowest on the rung of the status quo.

David was a shepherd and he was very young.  Society, back then, didn’t take much notice of someone like that.

I want to pause here to emphasize something this morning.  No matter who you are or what job you may have or how much money you have in the bank or how young or old you might be. .   . 

No matter how little this present society might think of you--You are somebody!

 

You are someone special in God’s sight, and with God all things are possible.  Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can not accomplish something of worth.  If it’s God’s will for you to do something you can and will do it by His strength!

This Giant had been bragging and running his mouth the Bible says for forty days.  Some folk just don’t know when to keep quiet.

The scriptures tell us that David had three older brothers who were engaged in active duty in the Israelite army.  David’s father asked him to bring some food to his brothers and to their commander of their camp.

While at the camp David heard the words of Goliath notice his response.

Turn with me in your Bibles to

1 Sam 17:20-26

20 Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.

21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.

22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers.

23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.

24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.

25 Now the Israelites had been saying, "Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel."

26 David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" (NIV)

I want to reiterate in your mind David’s response!  He was not in the least bit impressed by Goliath’s stature.  He said “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

He was not afraid but upset that this showoff could open up his mouth and defy God’s church. This kind of faith and victory would have been given to King Saul had He been true to God.  And although everyone else was afraid David’s faith stirred him up to say something will be done.  Not can be done, not maybe, but will be done!  

It may look impossible for man but with God, says Jesus, all things are possible!

Soon news was carried to the King about David’s complete assurance of victory over beating the giant.  But oh!  Wait a minute did I tell you about David’s brother?

Look at verse 28 in chapter 17 of 1 Samuel

1 Sam 17:28-29

28 When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle."

29 "Now what have I done?" said David. "Can't I even speak?" (NIV)

Your family and friends may hear of you trying to accomplish a task.  They may know you for years and try to put you down.  But once God is involved, once it’s His will for you to do something no matter what Daddy says or mommy says, no matter what sister or brother may say, no matter what husband or wife say or boyfriend or girlfriend may say you can do all things!  With God all things are possible.

The Bible goes on with the story.

1 Sam 17:31-33

31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.

32 David said to Saul, "Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him."

33 Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."(NIV)

Saul said you are only a boy, you don’t know what you are doing you don’t have enough experience!  This man has been around for a long time.  It’s impossible for you to defeat him.

David recounts his experiences

1 Sam 17:34-36

34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock,

35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it.

36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. (NIV)

Notice though the real reason why victory is possible.  David says it’s because this uncircumcised philistine has defied the armies of the living God. 

It’s not really me Saul,  I just have faith in God that’s why I know that the Giant will be history. 

David told Saul all of his experiences to somewhat relieve him.  But David knew that this thing was God’s battle not his.  The battle is the Lord’s.

Saul said man you’re just a boy, you haven’t been in this thing long enough.  You don’t have enough experience like Goliath.

Just in case by now you haven’t caught on.  We, in life, all have our Goliath’s to handle.  The Bible says we have been born in sin and shaped in lawlessness. 

That old devil has been telling us that we are outmatched, outweighed, outsmarted.  He says sin is too much for us to handle there is no way we can win in life!

Your not a preacher, not a teacher, you’re not a Christian or perhaps you haven’t been a Christian for very long.  The devil is saying to you that you are outmatched!  You can’t win.

Your friends might say come on I’ve known you for years you can’t become a Christian you like to party too much!

Or maybe you can’t stop smoking or drinking.  You can’t stop stealing or lying.  You can’t stop cheating or living frivolously.  You can’t beat Goliath!

Sometimes even church members will tell you that.  Look what Saul said to David.

Verse 33

Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth."(NIV)

What he meant to say ,because he himself was scared, was. 

“How do you expect to beat this man when I can’t?  What are you stupid or something?  Don’t you know I been in this thing longer than you?  I know this thing more than you?  If I can’t beat him how are you going to do it?

I don’t care how long you been in the church!  I don’t care who in the church has been in it a long time and is not doing the right!  I don’t care if the people may not seem to be doing right in the church overcoming sin.  If that is so it’s because they don’t want to overcome. 

But if you have faith you can do anything with God!

1 Sam 17:37-39

37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.

39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. "I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off.  (NIV)

To whoop Goliath, to overcome sin, to live the way God wants you to.  You don’t need fancy gadgets.  You don’t a special feeling, you don’t need signs and miracles, you don’t need to wait, you don’t need to walk on water, you don’t need a vision or a dream, you don’t need a voice from heaven, you don’t need something from the sky to drop on your head.   To live right all you need is faith in God.  Trust in Jesus!

You don’t need God to call you from heaven to tell you to do right,  You have His Word!  By faith trust in Him, call on His name, receive Him in your heart and He will give you the power to live the way the God’s Word says!

Look what has been done through faith.

Heb 11:4-6

4   By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.

5   By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.

6   And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

(NIV)

You can whip Goliath with God by faith!

1 Sam 17:40

40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (NIV)

One Christian writer says the reason why David had five stones is because he heard Goliath had four brothers.  (Faith is something else)

1 Sam 17:43-50

43 He said to David, "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?" And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

44 "Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!"

45 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.

49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.  (NIV)

You know I haven’t forgotten about the theme.  The theme is God’s gift to us!  And you might say what in the world does this story have to do with Christmas?

Sin is our biggest problem.  It is our Goliath in life.  With it we can never make heaven our home.  We can never be trusted to live for eternity in heaven.  For us to be citizens of God’s new home we have to be changed.

But the problem is sin is part of our nature.  And for some it’s too big a giant to conquer.  That’s why God sent His son.  He died so that we might have provision and a way to overcome the giant.  God’s gift to us is new life.  A chance to have a character like Jesus. 

A chance to live forever with people who love.  A chance to be made new.  That is what Christmas is about.  Not just merely giving gifts to one another but accepting the greatest gift of all--a changed life.

The only way we can make it when Jesus returns to put an end to this life as we know it.  The only way we can overcome sin our Goliath.  Is to accept God’s gift to us.  His son Jesus Christ.

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