David Vs. Goliath (Devotional Given at the Feeding of the Team August 30th 2012)

Today’s Passage comes from 1 Samuel chapter 17. I chose this passage tonight not because I feel like Fairview is a Goliath or because I think you all are Goliaths. As far as I understand you all are pretty equally matched. However, I did choose this passage because it is a familiar one. Even if you have never been to church or never have picked up a Bible you have heard of this story. Especially being football players, you all hear this story mentioned every time there is a major upset. Every time a team that should not be on the same field as a traditional powerhouse rises up above themselves and comes out with a victory this story is referenced by the commentators.

Therefore, since you all are familiar with the story, it allows me to summarize it and then apply it to your lives. Because we all will be a David one day and need to rise above ourselves to overcome something that seems to be overwhelming. We all will be Goliath and because of our arrogance will need to be humbled. And I will reference later, we all will be like the nation of Israel and need a hero to rescue us.

So this story starts off by the Philistine army coming to do battle with the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel goes out to meet them. The two powerful armies are on opposite hills with a valley in-between them.

A great philistine warrior goes out to the battle line and starts mocking the nation of Israel. He says let us settle this right now, one on one, man on man. You all send out your best warrior and if he defeats me, then we will be your slaves, but if I am victorious then you all will be our slaves.

However, instead of going out and taking this challenge, the nation of Israel cower in fear. This is because of Goliath’s physical presence. He was 9 feet 9 inches tall, his armor alone weighed 125 pounds, and the head of his spear weighed 15 pounds. So the mere physical presences paralyzed the nation of Israel with fear.

This continued for 40 days, morning and evening Goliath would come out and mock the nation of Israel and their God.

However, while all this was taking place a shepherd boy was tending to his flock in the field. The reason why he was left there to the sheep was because he was not deemed worthy enough to go to war. He was too young, too small, and would have been considered a liability in war.

His father comes to him and tells him to take this food to his three oldest brothers so that they will be nourished for battle. David does so and finds his brothers at the battle line. At that moment Goliath comes out and mocks the nation of Israel once again. However, David’s response is different from that of the rest of Israel. Instead of being fearful, he is determined to defend the honor of his God.

David then goes to the King to ask for permission to fight this mighty warrior. This is how the king of Israel responds:

And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.”
(1 Samuel 17:33 ESV)

Basically what King Saul is saying is that David is too small, too young. That he is just a shepherd boy and Goliath has been training all his life for this moment. All he knows is battle, what chance does a young shepherd boy stand against a trained warrior.

However, this is how David responds:

But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”
(1 Samuel 17:34-37 ESV)

Here we see that David’s boldness was not an act of foolishness driven by an angry rage, but because of his past experience of God’s faithfulness. Because God was faithful with lions and with bears, David was confident that God would be faithful with this Philistine warrior. Basically, what David is saying is, if God be for me then who can be against me.

You all as football players can directly apply this to you all’s lives. It is the little battles that prepare you for the Goliath moments. What you are doing during conditioning, workouts, and practice directly prepares you for Goliath moments. You cannot prepare for a Goliath game in only one week of practice. If you are going to take down a Goliath team, it starts with the lions and bears of two-a-day practices.

Here we see that David rushes to the battle line and Goliath is offended. Goliath says:

And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.”
(1 Samuel 17:43-44 ESV)

However, David replies:

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
(1 Samuel 17:45-47 ESV)

David rushes in and takes out one smooth stone, puts it in his sling-shot and drops the mighty warrior with one blow. David then takes Goliath’s own sword and cuts off his head. The Philistines see this and are terrified and start to flee. The nation of Israel, overtakes them and the battle was won.

The main point of this passage is to display how powerful our God is. God is so powerful that he can take a unarmored, small, youth and take town a well-armored, well-trained, mighty warrior. God gets the most glory by using those that could never have accomplished things on their own.

Now knowing that this passage is trying to teach us about God’s power, why do we need to know about God’s power? In order to win to win more football games? In order to become healthy and wealthy? In order to use God to meet our already natural desires?

NO, the reason we need to know about God’s power is because we are like the nation of Israel and need a hero to deliver us from a Goliath that we can never overtake in our own power. And that Goliath is sin. We all have sinned, we all have lied, we all have taken something that did not belong to us.

However, there is one that came out of the line of David, he was actually born in the city of David which you probably know as Bethlehem. Jesus Christ lived the perfect life so that we did not have too. Jesus Christ died on the cross and defeated death by rising again. Now all those that accept Jesus Christ as their Lord, Savior, and Treasure can be brought back into a right relationship with God again.

And that is what I want you all to leave here to night with. If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior, and Treasure I would love to talk to and pray for you tonight about all that entails. And if you are a Christian, but you find yourself battling a lion or a bear tonight, I would like to pray for you as well because I am sure that when David was battling a lion and a bear there was some intense moments that he felt like it too much to bear.


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