Good Morning Church,
How is everyone doing this morning? This morning we are going to look at courage. What it means and what it means to be courageous for Christ. What does courage mean to you? How would you define it? Throw out some definitions! So I went to google see what the definition of courage I came up with this (Slide). Today we are going to learn how to be Courageous, We will build up the courage to face our own giants. We will do all this by looking into God’s word at David’s battle with Goliath. Would you turn with me to please? There is a gold mine of truth and power in the scripture passage for this morning but there is also quite a bit of text to walk though as well. So bear with me as we walk through it together. So the passage starts off by describing how the Israelites are in a war with the Philistines. This war has been going on for some time, in fact the Philistines are the reason the Israelites wanted a king in the first place someone to lead them into battle. Well here we see the two armies meet at a valley. One army on one hill and the other army on the opposite hill. (Slide). Then the text jumps right into describing the two main characters of this story, David and Goliath. The text begins with the philistine championb Goliath. Who wore a bronze helmet with 125 pound scaled bronze armor. He had bronze leg gear and to top it all off a spear with a bronze head weighing 15 pounds. We know two things about goliath right away. First, He has a lot of armor and second he really seems to like bronze. After hearing about Goliaths bone chilling appearance, the giant roars out a challenge to the opposing army. Goliath is taunting the people of Israel and basically says let take care of this mano y mano. Goliath wants to settle this one on one because 10 times out 10, he will be the bigger man, quite literally but we will see what God does with these odds later. The interesting part about Goliath’s taunt is he is saying to Israel that their soldiers even their king isnt man enough to face him, and in extension their God can not even match his power. In challenging Israel Goliath challenges Yahweh. Goliath does this for 45 days twice a day without being defied. Then in verse 17 the story jumps to the character of David. David is the youngest, who turns out to be an errand boy instead of a defier of armies. David is an obedient son who listens to his father and goes to the front lines with supplies. But when David hears the giant’s taunt he goes in search of his brothers. I think it is interesting how these two character’s introduced to the story. Goliath is mostly introduced in terms of what he looks like prior to what he does, where we find out more about what David does before we get a description of what he looks like. This means that actions are more important than appearance in God’s eyes. The next thing we see in the text are a series of battles. You may not have thought of David’s interactions with his brothers as a battle, but it is a word battle. Now on his way to find his brother, he overhears the giant’s threats and is filled with righteous anger. Look at verse 26. He hears this man attacking God and asks the people around him, “what will be done for the man that kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the Living God”. The interesting thing about david’s statement is he is not focused on proving himself. He doesn’t say who does this guy think he is, I could take him with one stone. David is focused on defending God’s honor. That is something that the church has lost sight of. Sometimes we focus so much on what’s going on in the world and our response to it, or How we look , that we forget about God’s honor or How we make God look? . So with this in mind, lets look at David’s interaction with Eliab. So Eliab finds David speaking with the other solider and grows angry. He says why are you here? Who did you leave the sheep with? I know you wanted to see the battle for yourself. Maybe Eliab thought david was so conceited david wanted to face the giant in order to bring glory to himself. Yet, david did not answer in anger he only asked what he had done wrong. This is david’s first victory. David’s brother attacks his integrity and instead of responding with anger and snappy comebacks, he responds calmly. If I were david, I would’ve said well, I don’t see you out their fighting, so why are YOU here? Yet, this is not the case. This is the first battle we need to learn from. We must learn to control our anger and be careful how we respond to others. How you respond to a stranger, might be different than your sibling, but the consequences could be a lot worse especially if you’re responding to a king or worse, a lion. Then David’s next battle occurs when he is brought before the king. David offers to fight Goliath. Again david could have looked at saul and said whatre you doing up there on your horse you should be out there fighting that Giant, who is dishonoring your Kingship, your people, and the Living God. But he doesn’t. David comes to serve not to dictate. Then Saul attacks david’s outward appearance by saying you cant fight him youre only a boy. At this point I would be quoting faster than a flying stone, But david doesn’t. Remember, In the previous chapter where God says, I don’t look on the outward appearance (Slide) I think this applies here too! Then David talks about his previous battles with Lions and Bears. He hasn’t done battle in war but he has been a shepard. I first read this in the NLT, and I think it gives a nice picture of what david has done. (Slides). Now this makes me think about what our battles with bears and lions might be today. As far as I know no one here has faced a lion, but we do face challenges that are strenuous and difficult. Our battle might be conflict or stress at work, hence the phrase, “today was a bear”. Or a our match with a lion might be the family conflict that we are fighting through or you might have a daily sin struggle that claws at you with all its might. Even though we don’t have physical battles, because we are good pacifists, God can still rescue you the same way he rescued david from the lion and the bear. So David Goes out not dressed as a solider but a shepard. Imagine this young boy with sandals a bag full of rocks going up against someone who towers above him wearing solid brass armor, and the armor alone weighs more than David does, facing a giant with a massive bronze spear. The undefeated Philistine against the young shepard boy. I imagine it would be something like this (Slide). So David goes out and Goliath mocks him, can you imagine this giant laughing at David, he say “ what am I a Dog, you come at me with sticks” Again if I were david, I would respond with stickes and stones may break my bones, but mine are going to kill you. But David doesn’t talk about how big he is rather how Big God is and it is God that is david’s biggest weapon. He says you come against me with sword and spear but I come against you in the name of the Lord almighty! Wow isnt that the best comeback. You have weapons but I have God. Then David charges out and slings a stone that hits Goliath square in the head and Kills him. David keeps his promise and kills Goliath. Now, ive always thought the whole sling thing was pretty cool, but it turns out slings can be pretty deadly. (Possible Video). I know this stuff is pretty violent but, we can apply this to our lives. Even holding a nonviolence stance, spiritual warfare can look like slaying giants. (Slide) So what do we do with this? The question is Who are our giants? Giants seem undefeatable, we always are unequipped and the odds are always against us when we face a gaint. We all have them. Lets talk about them. The biggest giant this congregation faces today is Cancer, we have seen some victories but the giant still stands. Our Giants might also look like the loss of loved ones. Or we may have some personal Giants, The giant of Pornography or other addictions. Some Giants are just more visible than others, but we all have them. Yet, there is good News, remember last week, Easter when Jesus defeated death and Satan. The biggest Giant has already defeated. So with God we can slay our Giants too. When David faced Goliath he had weapons, but what “weapons” do we have? First, we have prayer, when we are outmatched we can always talk to the God, defies the odds and will ultimately have the final word. Prayer is powerful. We also have what popular evangelicals like to call our sword or scripture. We can hold onto verses like this one when we face our Giants! (Slides). Finally, we have faith. David teaches us that with faith we don’t have to be the big to do great things. Church if we have faith, God can do amazing things through us. Jesus says if we have faith we can move mountains. The last thing I want us to take from this passage is the practice of building up courage. (Slide) We build up courage by practicing the 3 R’s Recollecting, We must remember what God has done for us in the past, the lions and bears he has saved us from. We have to reason, when we Go up against giants our motivation and reasoning should be to defend Gods Honor! Finally we must focus on results. Your eyes must be focused on the Kingdom of God instead of the giant you face. If we do this we can build the strength to face Giants everyday just like David! As we go about our weeks please consider the following reflection questions and challenge:
1. What does Courage mean to you?
2. What battles do you face?
3. What Giants do you face?
4. What “weapons will you use in your battles?
Challenge: Face the Day, Lions, Bears, and Giants with a Courageous Heart
I want to close with a take away. You may have been wondering why this bucket of stones has been sitting up here. These stones will help us remember what we learned this morning! Id encourage you come up and grab a stone and on one side name your giant and on the other Write your “weapon” prayer, faith, self-discipline or scripture