Pastor's Weekly Newsletter

Each Friday, Dr. Daniel Hagmaier posts his weekly newsletter. Catch up on what's happening and plan ahead.

David and the Giant! | 1 Samuel 17:1-11; 32-36;45-47

 

 

David and The Giant | 1 Samuel 17:1-11;32-36; 45-47

Last week we began a new series on the Life of David and we saw Samuel anointing little David, King of Israel. After preaching the sermon last week, my uncle who watched it via live streaming said, Great sermon, Little Dan!

David is not the king yet. He is still a shepherd boy relegated to errands for his father.

This brings us to the next chapter in David’s life. The story of David and Goliath is one of the greatest stories in the Bible.

If you know anything at all about David, you know the story of Goliath.

Just as a refresher, the army of the Philistines, Israel’s mortal enemy was camped on one mountain and a valley away, the army of Israel was camped on another mountain.

The heavy-weight champion of the Philistines was a giant named Goliath who had challenged any man in Israel to a “winner take all” match. All you had to do was knock this giant down.

But nobody wanted any piece of Goliath. Nobody wanted to fight him and for good reason. He was massive, 9 feet 6 inches tall with a coat of armor and he intimidated everyone in sight.

Every day he challenged anybody to take him on. Even the one that should have been fighting this giant, King Saul, was hiding out so he tried to bribe someone to fight this giant.

“The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who is coming up? Surely he is coming up to defy Israel.

And it will be that the king will enrich the man who kills him with great wealth and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.”

Wow, did you hear that? Look at all the benefits especially in today’s economy. Anyone who defeated Goliath would have his bank account swell by millions of dollars.

He would become a part of the king’s family and he would never have to pay taxes again, but still nobody would fight him.

It reminds me of a very rich man, who had a daughter who was not very attractive to the men in the area. No one had ever asked her out on a date.

Her father was trying to get her married, so he invited a hundred of the finest looking young men in the county to come to his mansion.

He made them this offer – he had filled his swimming pool with alligators and to any of the young men who would be willing to jump into that pool and swim from one side to the other successfully,

he would give to them their own mansion, an oil well that would produce millions of dollars of income, and his not so attractive daughter.

Every man was excited until they heard that they had to marry his daughter. And after hearing that, nobody moved. Five, ten, fifteen, 30 minutes went by and you could cut the tension in the air with a knife.

All of a sudden, there was a splash and with the speed of lightning, a young man went from one side to the other side of that pool and jumped out gasping for breath.

The millionaire came rushing over to him and said, “Son, that was unbelievable. You must be the most courageous man I’ve ever met.

I suppose now you want to marry my daughter?” The young man said, “No I don’t want to marry your daughter.”  He said, “Well, I suppose you want my mansion.”

He said, “No, I don’t want that either.” He said, “Then, I guess you want the oil well.” He said, “No sir. I don’t even want your oil well.”

The man said, “Then what in the world do you want?” He said, “I just want to know the name of the guy (pause) who pushed me in.”

Did you notice, nobody was pushing anybody into this fight with Goliath. Nobody could be bought, bribed, or bullied into fighting this huge giant until a 17 year old shepherd, a nobody named David had seen enough.

For 40 consecutive days, Goliath had issued his ultimatum only to be met with the whimpers of Israel. But on the 41st day, someone decided to answer.

For 40 days, the nation of Israel stood paralyzed with fear but on the first day that David hears the boastful threats, he can’t keep silent.

He went out with just a sling-shot and a stone, killed Goliath and accomplished, perhaps, the greatest upset of any contest in the history of mankind.

The truth of the matter is there are going to be times in your life and my life when we face a threat or a problem or giant that is far bigger than we are.

It may be a marriage that is falling apart, an illness or it may be a financial shortfall. It may be struggling with a son or daughter or trying to kick a habit like smoking.

Perhaps your giant is trying to lose weight or dealing with a friend who won’t talk to you anymore.

Life is full of battles and whether or not you experience the agony of defeat or the thrill of victory in those battles will be determined by how you face your giant.

We learn through this unbelievable story that victory in the battles of life is just “A Stone’s Throw Away”, because what David had, we have and what David did, we can do.

But David had a few characteristics we need to have in order to overcome the issues we face. First, like David we must have courage to face our giants.

 

What Goliath did was a common occurrence in warfare in the eastern world, because oftentimes the armies would choose one man to go one-on-one and whoever won the one on one fight would give victory to the entire army.

Goliath issues this challenge every morning and every evening for forty days. That is the way it is with giants in our lives.

They don’t come just once and leave; they meet you in the morning when you get up and they go to bed with you every night.

If you don’t confront them and conquer them they will make your life miserable. Every time Goliath would issue the challenge, Israel’s battle line would begin to move – backwards at warp speed.

Every day these soldiers were getting great aerobic exercise, but they weren’t fighting anybody. For forty days, not a man could be found.

The king wouldn’t fight. The generals wouldn’t fight. The commanders wouldn’t fight. The soldiers wouldn’t fight. They were all paralyzed by fear.

Then a 17 year old shepherd boy steps up to the fight. You can’t really appreciate this kid until you see where he came from.  He was an errand boy ordered to take food to his brothers.

The next thing you hear is David saying to King Saul – I will take this giant! David had gone from feeding sheep and running errands to confronting giants.

God had been preparing David for the big things by teaching him to be faithful in the little things.

In the passage, David tells Saul and everyone else his willingness to take on Goliath. He tells them of a time a bear came to steal one of his sheep and David confronted the bear and killed him.

God had given David the strength and the courage to deal with any giants he would face.

Many years ago there was a little girl born with major health problems which left her crippled.

She had a large, wonderful Christian family but was one of 22 children. While her brothers and sisters enjoyed running and playing outside, she was confined to braces.

One day she asked her parents, “will I ever be able to run and play like the other children?” Her parents said, “Honey, keep on believing and trying. God can work wonders.”

Not only did she believe; she worked at it, trying to walk short distances without her braces, assisted by her brothers and sisters.

On her 12th birthday, her braces were removed and she walked out of the doctor’s office unassisted.

By the age of 16 she was a star on the basketball team and one of the best young runners in America.

She went to the Olympics in Australia and won a bronze medal. Four years later in Rome she won three gold medals and set a world record.

Wilma Rudolph capped the year by receiving the prestigious Sullivan Award as the most outstanding amateur athlete in all of America.

With God’s help, she had conquered a personal giant. The first thing we have to do to solve any problem in our life, to meet any challenge in our life, is to have the courage just to step up.

The reason why most people can’t even begin to solve a problem is because they run away from the problem.

The motto of the king’s guard in Ancient Greece were these words, “All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward sometimes to death, but always to victory.”

The first step that we have to take, if we are going to win life’s battles, is the willingness to step up to the fight. Second, we must have the confidence To Step Out For The Fight

It took a shepherd boy to remind a king just how great the God of Israel was and what great things God could do if we trust him.

One of the biggest problems we have in facing our giants is we forget what we ought to remember and we remember what we ought to forget. We tend to remember our failures and forget our victories.

David remembered what God had done for him and he was ready to take on this giant.  Listen to his words again.      He said to Goliath, “you come at me with a sword, a spear and a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord.

The Lord does not save with sword and spear for the battle is the Lord’s. Write down these five words as they will serve as the five stones you will need to slay your giant. – The battle is the LORD’S.

David was not fighting for God; God was fighting for David. Did you get that? Giants are God’s reminder that if we will take care of our faith He will take care of our fight and give us victory.

The last characteristic we need to fight our giants is to have the commitment To Step Into The Fight

Have you heard the announcer in Las Vegas? He often says, “Let’s get ready to rumble!” As the battle is about to be joined, it is extremely anticlimactic for Goliath.

As a matter of fact, you have to feel a little sorry for him. He has waited forty days to face the best that Israel had to offer and what do they come up with?

A 17 year old shepherd boy who is coming to him with no spear, no sword and no shield.  David versus Goliath. The odds in Israel were 1 million to 1 on Goliath to win.

But in less time than it takes for me to tell you this, David takes a sling shot and a stone and sends a divinely guided missile that hits Goliath right between the eyes and drops him like a bad habit.

The battle can be described in two words, lights out. May I let you in on a little secret? This fight was fixed. Goliath never had a chance.

David did not kill Goliath for God. God killed Goliath through David.

Friends, if You name any problem you face, any challenge staring at you, any difficulty you need to overcome and no matter how big it appears to you, it pales in comparison to the power and strength of God.

The same God who fought for David wants to fight for you today. The same God that gave David victory then can give you victory now.

Friends, don’t fear the unknown or the giants in your life. After all, they may turn out to be much smaller compared to the God you serve.

Do you remember a professional thief named Black Bart? He terrorized and robbed 29 different stage coaches from 1875 to 1883 without firing a single shot. His weapon was his reputation. His ammunition was intimidation.

A hood hid his face. No victim ever saw him and no artist ever sketched his features. He never took a hostage because he didn’t have to. His presence was enough to paralyze anyone with fear.

As David found out, the way to overcome fear is by having the simple faith to trust in God. You see, earthly fears are really no fears at all.

Once we place our trust in Christ, our final destination is guaranteed. When we answer the big question of eternity, all the little questions of life will fall into place.

Oh and remember Black Bart? As it turned out, he wasn’t anything to be afraid of either. When the hood finally came off, there was nothing to fear.

When the authorities finally tracked him down, they didn’t find a bloodthirsty bandit from Death Valley.

Instead, they found a mild mannered Dentist from Decatur, Illinois. The man the papers pictured storming through the mountains on horseback was, in reality, so afraid of horses that he rode to and from his robberies in a buggy.

His name was Charles E. Boles, the bandit who never once fired a shot because he never once loaded his gun.

In many ways, Black Bart was a lot like Goliath or cancer or loneliness hiding behind the mask of fear and heavy armor and human strength striking fear into the hearts of those around us.

But on that day so long ago, the Philistines found out that you don’t mess around with God. David didn’t have a sword in his hand, just a sling and a stone and a mighty God on his side.

And he found out when he trusted God with all his heart, the giant turned out to be nothing but a pest.

Friends, I pray that God will give you the courage, the confidence and the commitment to help you face your giant this week.

Don’t wait for someone to push you in. Jump in knowing God is fighting for you, Amen

 

 

 

Want more information?

Pastor Daniel writes and posts a weekly newsletter that keeps members and friends of the congregation up-to-date. His earlier newsletters are also online, so if you missed something, check those past editions.

On being Presbyterian

Learn more

Peace Covenant Presbyterian is part of the PCUSA church. We are a mainstream, inclusive congregation.

Contact us

Peace Covenant

2610 Flagler Ave.
Key West, FL 33040
(305) 294-1223

  • About Key West
  • About Us
  • Our Mission
  • Our History

 

  • Committees
  • Membership
  • Baptisms & Weddings
  • Give
  • Choir & Bells
  • Calendar
  • Newsletter
  • Sermons
  • On Being Presbyterian 

Welcome to Peace Covenant

Contact us

Peace Covenant Presbyterian Church | 2610 Flagler Ave., Key West, FL 33040 | (305) 294-1223 | contact@peacecovenantkeywest.com