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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          

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