The second King of Israel was David, and he was the best leader Israel had as a King. God called David a man after his own heart. I’m going to take you through a look at the earliest and most famous story of David- the killing of Goliath. David’s faith displayed in this story was part of his character that made him a man after God’s own heart.
The Problem- 1 Samuel 17:1-11
The Philistine army was frustrated because Israel had won some battles against them. They sensed that Israel was gaining confidence, and they needed to put down this rebellion from the Israelites. They brought out their most powerful warrior.
It was common in those days to have one representative from each army fight to the death on behalf of each nation. The victor would take control of the defeated army- vs. 8-10.
Goliath was a big man and a fierce soldier. In the flesh, no Israelite soldier could challenge and defeat Goliath. The entire army was paralyzed with fear. What is the Goliath in your life? What is that obstacle that you simply cannot face and overcome in your flesh?
The Response in the flesh- 1 Samuel 17: 12-31
As we see throughout the Bible, the fleshly response to almost all adversity is fear. Saul and the Israelite army were full of fear. Their fear was a total disgrace to God and His call to the nation of Israel to live by faith.
There is no mention of God or faith by Saul and his army. They were completely depending on themselves.
Saul offered great rewards to anyone willing to fight Goliath and win- vs.25.
- Wealth- he would be exempt from paying taxes. He would become a part of the King’s family.
- Power- he would become a part of the King’s family.
- Sex- he would receive the King’s daughter as his wife.
Money, sex, and power are the three tools of the world used to solve its problems. When we do not rely on God, we will naturally fall back into one, or all of these three tools to solve our issues. In what ways do you use these three worldly tools to overcome issues in life?
The Response in the Spirit- 1 Samuel 17:32-51
Faith in God. David came to the front lines of the battle. He was not in the army. He was at home tending the sheep. His father sent him to the front lines to deliver food to his brothers and bring back a report to him. David heard Goliath’s challenge. Verse 26 is one of the key verses in this story. Contrast David’s attitude with everyone else in the Israelite camp. “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” David knew the source of the real power. Using this verse as our template, how do we walk out faith during adversity?
Perspective on the problem. David did not see Goliath as someone to be feared. Goliath was an opportunity to showcase the power of the living God. The best leaders see obstacles as opportunities and trust in the power of God to rise above the issue at hand and succeed. We can focus on our problems, or we can focus on our God. Think of the ways you keep your spiritual perspective during overwhelming issues in life?
Overcome fleshly discouragement. David had to overcome the naysayers. David’s brother, Eliab, belittled David and accused him of selfish motives for being at the battlefield (vs. 28). Saul discouraged David because of his age and stature (vs. 33). Who or what is the biggest source of discouragement in your life? How should you respond to them?
Use past experiences as motivators. In verses 34-37, David recited past battles as training that God had used to prepare him for this battle. He knew that God rescued him in the past and God would rescue him again against Goliath. How are you using your past victories to help you in today’s battles?
Reject the world’s methods for overcoming the obstacle. In verses 38-40, Saul gave David his armor to wear into battle. David tried using the conventional battle attire, but it simply didn’t fit him and his style of fighting. David rejected Saul’s armor for five smooth stones. How does the world tell us address our adversity? Why is it so easy to fall back into worldly patterns to deal with life?
Address the taunts of the enemy. In verses 41-47, Goliath taunted David and tried to intimidate him. David did not ignore the taunts, he responded with great faith and boldness. He responded this way because of his faith in the power of God. How do you usually respond to the enemy’s taunts?
Courage to act on what you know. In verses 48-51, David stood up to the giant and in the name of God killed Goliath and cut off his head. What are some factors that give you courage to act on your faith?
Father God, I am glad You don’t choose only the intellectually brilliant. You are looking for anyone who has a heart to be used by You. Well, Father, that’s me. I want You to use me. I offer You everything I have — my good points, my weak points, my gifts, my talents, and everything else that I am. I want You to use me for Your glory! I’ve told You before, but today I’m telling You again that I want You to take my life and do something wonderful with me for your glory!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
EMIC Groups Pastor