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Saturday, January 12, 2019

David and Goliath – Part 4

          We saw last week that David’s older brother discouraged and wanted to silence David. David said to his brother Eliab, “Now what have I done? Can’t I even speak?” 1 Samuel 17:29 We also saw that Saul discouraged David saying that he was just a youth and not skilled in battle like Goliath. (1 Samuel 17:33) Saul was looking with “natural” eyes, but David was looking with “spiritual” eyes.

Saul’s Armor
          Saul dressed David in his own armor. Saul was much taller and bigger than the youth David, so his armor was much too big and cumbersome for David. David wasn’t trained in this type of armor. God had hidden David away in the shepherd’s field training him to defeat any enemy with God's weapons. Eventually, David would rule and reign over God’s people.
It didn’t matter to David that Saul and his brother didn’t know who he was in the Lord.  David knew! So did God’s prophet Samuel. He had anointed David to be King over all Israel even though it had not yet come to pass. When we trust who we are in the Lord, we will be confident, fearless, bold and courageous over any enemy or weapon that comes against us.
If David had listened to his brother and king Saul, he would have never killed the giant Goliath. There was a famine of Divine leadership in Saul and his army, so God raised up David to defeat the enemies of God’s people. God never deserts His people. His love and protection is everlasting.

David’s Weapons
          David would use the same weapons he used in the shepherd’s field to kill the lions and the bears who came to attack his father’s sheep. He “took his shepherd’s staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream and put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag, and with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:40 

Why Five Smooth Stones?
           David’s stones had to be the right stones. David gathered five God-made smooth stones that had been in the water for a long time and had their rough edges washed off. A smooth stone will be more accurate in hitting its target. A jagged stone will wobble and may miss the intended target.
            David’s five smooth stones have a spiritual message since God and Jesus use the things of the earth to teach spiritual truths. Five is the number of grace. Jesus who is God’s grace chooses the fivefold ministry gifts – apostles, prophets, teachers, evangelists and pastors – equips and prepares them by the washing of the water of the Word and the Holy Spirit –and uses them to build His church and defeat the spiritual enemy of all humans. The fivefold ministry is Jesus’ gift to His Body.

          Goliath thought that David was no match for him either! There were two against one. Goliath had his shield bearer in front of him. Goliath was insulted that the Israelites sent the youth David to fight him. “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks? Come here, he said, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” 1 Samuel 17:43-44
            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.”  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. 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.” Vv 45-47 David wanted God’s people to know that the God of Israel would defeat this giant through him. The ways of man cannot defeat our spiritual enemy. The ways and weapons of God will! David would trust the Lord for all Israel.  David is God’s representative, but he gave glory to God not himself. God will do to Goliath what he threatened to do to David. His evil acts will be turned onto Goliath’s own head. God does the same to our spiritual enemy – Satan and his demonic army.

Under His Feet
            As Goliath moved closer to attack David, David fearlessly ran quickly toward him. David reached into his shepherd’s bag and took out a chosen, precious stone. He slung it and struck the Philistine in the forehead, and Goliath fell facedown on the ground. In other words, David rendered Goliath lame, just as Jesus, God’s chosen, precious Rock, rendered Satan lame at the cross. David then ran and stood over Goliath. In other words, David put the enemy of God’s people under his feet. Then David took Goliath’s own sword out of his sheath and cut off his head. To cut off one’s head means that you are cutting off his authority. Satan has not been completely defeated. He still works through the flesh of mankind. Jesus will complete the job and will destroy Satan completely in the end. In the meantime, God wants his chosen, precious followers of Jesus to cut off Satan’s authority by walking according to the Spirit not our flesh. Satan can only be defeated through the ways of God, not our flesh.
            In the scriptures, God said that He put all things under the feet of Jesus. (see Psalms 8:6; 18:9; 1 Corinthians 15:25-27; Ephesians 1:22 and Hebrews 2:8) David’s son Solomon said that David could not build the Lord’s temple because he was a man of war and had shed blood. (see 1 Kings 5:3) Solomon, the prince of peace who is a type and shadow of Jesus, will build God’s earthly temple in Israel. God’s temple is to be a place of peace. God has put all things under the feet of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, including the devil and his demonic army. Jesus wants His followers to also put the devil under our feet (authority) since we are one with Jesus. (see Romans 16:20)  We have the victory in Jesus. Jesus will finish the job in the end. Satan and His demonic host will be in the lake of fire in the belly of the earth forever.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

David and Goliath – Part 3– 1 Samuel 17

          Saul and the army of the Israelite's were full of fear. They could not attack Goliath, who roared like a strongman seeking whom he could devour." Goliath and his army were far too powerful for an army full of fear. Saul and the Israelite army were walking by sight, not by faith in God. Therefore, the giant Goliath looked huge and heavily armored causing them to fear him. David, on the other hand, full of faith in God will confront Goliath.  David not only wanted to kill Goliath, he also wanted to defend God’s honor and take away the disgrace from God’s people. David will stand alone against this strongman strengthened by the knowledge that the all-powerful God is with him and will give him the victory. The reward was secondary to David. Defending God’s honor and that of His people was David’s goal. David would let God work through him, not the opposite.

Reward to the Man Who Kills Goliath
       David asks, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?”  King Saul offered the following reward:
1.      Great wealth (riches)
2.      A Bride (king’s daughter)
3.      Father’s house free from taxes (debt)
This pointed to the reward of Jesus. His wealth is spiritual richness in the abundance of life He gives to His Bride. We will be married to the King because He defeated the strongman (devil) on the cross and paid the price of our freedom. We are His House -- the House of God.

Falsely Accused
          David’s oldest brother, Eliab, was angry and accused David of coming to see the battle, not fight in it. After all, David was tending his father’s sheep rather than joining Israel’s army like his three brothers. Arrogant Eliab saw David as insignificant and weak. He ridiculed David. “With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?” 1 Samuel 17:28 David had not abandoned his father’s sheep. He left them in the care of a chosen and trusted keeper. David loved the sheep. Jesus too left His spiritual sheep with a Keeper -- the Holy Spirit. David had the heart and care of a shepherd, but he also had the heart and courage of a warrior who protected his father’s sheep from their enemies who sought to steal, kill and destroy them. This too is a picture of the true Shepherd of Our Heavenly Father’s flock – Jesus. Jesus loves His Father’s sheep with an undying love and will protect them from the wiles of the devil.
Eliab goes even further because of his jealousy and envy of David. He accuses David of pride and insolence in his heart. “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 1 Samuel 17:28 No one knows a man’s heart but God. Eliab was judging David’s heart by his own! This is true with humans today. The person accusing another is usually guilty of the very thing they are accusing. Instead of responding or taking revenge, David ruled his spirit and moved on. David had a greater cause! He was more concerned about God's honor and Israel's reputation, so he didn't allow his brother's words to hinder him in his mission. David’s victory began right here! Bringing glory and honor to God and His people was far more important to David than his hurt feelings. He submitted to the Holy Spirit of God.
Some of the men of Israel went to King Saul to report David’s words. Saul sent for David.

 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart because of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” King Saul said to David, “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.” 1 Samuel 17:33 Again David is discouraged. Saul is looking by sight, not through faith in God. Goliath is a very experienced warrior who had been battling since his youth, and David is just a youth with no experience in battle. David explained to Saul that he had been fighting off the lions and bears who attacked his father’s sheep. When they came to steal, kill and destroy his father’s sheep, David attacked them, held them by the hair and killed them. “This uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he had defied the armies of the living God. 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.” 1 Samuel 17:36-37 God had been preparing David for this bigger battle alone with him in the shepherd’s field. God had trained David in battle using the lions and bears who attacked the sheep. David is now prepared for the greater battle against Goliath. David had faith and confidence in God. God would give him the victory over this Philistine – the enemy of God’s people – and God alone will get the glory.
David didn’t pridefully brag about being able to beat Goliath. Instead, David defended God’s honor and had courage not in himself but in God. David knew that the battle is the Lord’s. David is only the vessel through whom God will work. David had a willing heart and no fear! He was the right vessel.
David had convinced Saul. Saul said, “Go, and the Lord be with you.” V37          

Saturday, December 15, 2018

David and Goliath – Part 2 – 1 Samuel 17

          There are three predominant characters in the battle between David and Goliath:

·         Goliath and the Philistine army -- Goliath is the leader of the unredeemed, rebellious, arrogant and prideful army. These defy and mock God and His servants. They are full of self-power and self-glory. They think the arm of the flesh will be victorious. Goliath is a type and shadow of Satan and the Antichrist.
·         Saul and the Israelite army – Saul is the leader of those who are believers but are still walking in the flesh, not in the power of the Holy Spirit and Word. These are a defeated company full of fear. Instead of submitting to God’s rule and Word, they are still ruled and controlled by their fleshly ways. They represent compromised believers of Jesus. King Saul and his men were no match for Goliath who is stronger than them. The evil one represented by Goliath cannot be defeated by the ways of the flesh. Satan is a spiritual being and more powerful than our flesh.
·         David – represents a true believer whose faith and trust is in God and obeys God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit. David stood alone with God. To others, David was lowly and unattractive, but to God he was called, faithful, chosen and obedient. God would do great things through David who represents the faithful remnant. David had the anointing of God upon him. He could stand before Goliath fearlessly because God was with him. David would be victorious over the evil one. David’s motives were pure. He would defend God’s honor and the reproach of Israel. He knew the battle was the Lord’s, but God required the faith, love and obedience of His servant David.
Because Saul and the men of Israel were walking by sight, not faith in God, the giant looked huge and heavily armored causing fear. The more Christians fear Satan, the larger he gets. David, on the other hand, was full of faith and courage because the Holy Spirit was with him. David’s heart and motive were also pure. David believed that if God’s people trusted in God, there was no enemy they could not conquer. David was God’s kind of king and leader. David’s kingship will be eternal through Christ. (see 2 Samuel 7:29) Saul’s kingship was rejected by God. (1 Samuel 15:23) David was penitent when confronted with his sin, but Saul lied and tried to justify and cover up his sin. (2 Samuel 12:13; 1 Samuel 15:15) Saul made excuses, blamed others and didn’t trust God. David, however, humbled himself and admitted his wrongs eventually. Some believe that admitting to wrong is a sign of weakness. One only must listen to today’s news to see this sentiment displayed by the leader of our country. God sees admission of wrongs as just the opposite – a sign of strength.
Are you a “Saul” or a “David?”
Followers of Christ must own our spiritual poverty and sin. We are to fall on our face before God and genuinely repent and show our need for His grace. If there is no sincere sorrow over our sins, there is no repentance. God wants a humble, changed heart!