Monday, June 18, 2018

Men of Faith #2: David Man of Battle

David: Man of Battle

Text: 1 Samuel 17

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Dwight Nelson told a story about  a Romanian SDA pastor (a true one). He had a kitten that  climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid  to come down. (And Dwight goes through all the  sound effects.) The pastor pled, got warm milk, etc.   (many embellishments all along). The kitty wouldn't  come down. So he decided that if he tied a rope to his  car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he  could then reach the kitten.  He did all this, kept  getting out to check,  then figured if he went just a  little bit farther, the tree would be bend sufficiently to  reach the kitten. But as he did so, the rope broke. Of course,  the tree went Boing! and the kitten sailed through the air  out of sight.  The pastor felt very bad. He walked all  over the neighborhood, asking people if they'd seen a  little kitten. No. So he prayed  "Lord, I just commit this  kitten to Your keeping," and went on about his  business.

A few days later he was at the  grocery store, and he met a church member and looked into  her cart. (Dwight's aside: "Pastors always look in  church member's carts to see what they're buying."),  and he was amazed to see cat food, knowing she  hated cats. He  asked her, "Why are you buying cat food when you hate  cats?" She replied, "You won't believe  this," and told him how her little girl had been begging  her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days  before,  the girl had begged again, and she finally  told her, "Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it."  You can guess the rest. She told the pastor, "I watched  my little girl go out in the yard, and get on her knees,  and ask God for a cat. And really, you won't believe  this, but I saw it with my own eyes.   A cat suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws spread out, and landed in front of her!"

I.    The Battle Before: Fear  1 Samuel 17: 3-11

  3  And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and [there was] a valley between them.  4  And there went out a champion from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height [was] six cubits and a span.  5  And [he had] an helmet of brass upon his head, and he [was] armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat [was] five thousand shekels of brass.  6  And [he had] greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.  7  And the staff of his spear [was] like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head [weighed] six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.  8  And he stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, Why have ye come out to set [your] battle in array? [am] not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.  9  If he shall be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I shall prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.

A.    The Israelites fear Goliath.

1.    Goliath is called a champion, the word literally means “a man between two camps.” You can see why he was a champion. As the Bible describes him, he stands 9'9" tall, his chain mail, would have been a leather jerkin or vest covered with brass overlapping scales, it   by itself weighs around 150 pounds, and his spear head weighs 15 pounds, that is heavier than a sledge hammer.
2.    Goliath was truly a giant, probably a good 4 feet talker than any one in the camp of the Israelites and his challenge causes fear in the camp. Goliath stood as the example of the power of the the Philistines. He was obviously superior to anyone among Saul’s army. It was also a reminder that not too long ago before Samuel and Saul become leaders in Israel, the the Philistines had been the former masters of the Israel. The Philistines had mastered the working of iron before the Isralites and their weopons would cut right through the bronze shields and swords of the host of Israel.
All this mean that the fear that Israel was feeling was dominating them. Befor they even lifted a javeling or a buckler they were already defeated in the minds and in their spirits.

B.    What Do You Fear?

1.    The tactics used by Goliath and the Philistines are still used today by Satan in his battles against us. Before the fight ever starts, he uses fear to dominate us, because just like the Israelites and the Philistines, Satan used to be the one who had mastered us.

2.    Most battles in the spiritual arena are not lost, they are simply never fought, because we are afraid to begin. We are afraid to witness, because someone will laugh. Afraid to defend the gospel, someone will know more. Afraid to try because we are afraid to fail.
That kind of fear is a sin, because it is robs us of victory.

3.    Fears as a Pastor.
Satan says, you can't pastor this church, it's not going to work, it's too hard in this community, you lack the gifts that are needed, you're going to lose your health, the finances will fail, people will get offened and leave, people you come to love will break your heart.

4.    Fears as a member.
Satan says, you can't tithe and pay your bills, you sure can't tithe, give to missions and pay your bills, people will not accept you if you act like a Christian, the pastor is too old, too set in his ways, he’s too bald.  ( Oh, wait, that's one of my fears.) To all of that, this is what God’s word says.

5.    Scripture.  Romans 8:14-15  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, Abba, Father. 

(Fear, God’s word says, is bondage. And as bondage, the chains and bars of fear, will prevent spiritual victory, because we will not evenstart the fight.


So lets move away from fear and see that battle begun by listening as Faith Speaks. 

II.    The Battle Begun: Faith Speaks 1 Samuel 17:26-32

  26  And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?  27  And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him.  28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down here? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart; for thou art come down that thou mayest see the battle.  29  And David said, What have I now done? [Is there] not a cause?  30  And he turned from him toward another, and spoke after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.  31 And when the words were heard which David spoke, they reported [them] before Saul: and he sent for him.  32  And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

A.    David Believes God’s Promises

1.    Why do you think David was brave? It was not his stature, in comparison to Goliath he was an infant. It was not his experience as a battle hardened warrior, he had never fought a battle before. Not the bravery of David rests in one thing..

2.    He believed in God's promises to his nation.  vs 26 “for who [is] this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
The people of Israel were God's people. The nation of Israel was God's nation. They shared a unique and special relationship based upon God's word, God’s promise to them as his people. Those promises were a covenant that went all the way back to Abraham's covenant that God promised he would fulfill through Abraham's descendants.
Now those same people stand at a moment of decision and David says, “We are God’s army, we are God’s people and this Philistine stands against us.”

B.    Who do you believe?

1.    Faith as we are talking about it is not subjective but objective. Subjective is by my feelings and is open to my personal interpretation. But Objective means it can be measured, is tangible and can even be seen by others.  Subjective faith depends on how much I feel "faith." Objective faith says, "I don't feel brave or courageous but because I trust God, I will do what He tells me to do.  I will act because God has promises that will be true when I act."

2.    If you really know who you believe, then you can and will overcome fear.

3.    Just like Israel, you are unique and have special relationship to God

4.    Scripture Romans 8
Romans 8:15 He is your father
Romans 8:16-17 You are his child
Romans 8:31 God is on your side
Romans 8:38-39 Your life is hid in Christ.
Romans 8:38 -39  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

5.    Do you believe these promises?  Do you take God at his word? 

6.    Then let the battle begin, because just like David, God is fighting for us!

C.    Illustration:  Elisha asks God to allow his servant to see those on their side.

  15  And when the servant of the man of God had risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host surrounding the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?  16  And he answered, Fear not: for they that [are] with us [are] more than they that are with them.  17  And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.

III.    The Battle Ready: Familiar Weapons. 1 Samuel 17:33-39

  33  And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.  34  And David said to Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  35  And I went after him, and smote him, and delivered [it] out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught [him] by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  36  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.  37  David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.  38  And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.  39  And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he tried to go; for he had not proved [it]. And David said to Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved [them]. And David put them off from him.

A.    David chooses weapons he knows.

1.    David's confidence was also based upon previous experience as a shepherd. He had not fought giants but he had fought as a shepherd. He had fought in God's power with lions, bears and other predators to protect his flock.

B.    What weapons do you know.

1.    To win your spiritual battles, you must also be familiar with your weapons. You must gain experience in the small battles before the big battles. You must know how to use you chief weapon the Word of God.

4.    Moses had his staff, Aaron had his rod, David had his sling, Gideon had his trumpet, you have your Bible.  Butr can you use it in the battles of life?

Can you open up a passage and show someone how to be saved? Can you turn to a verse that shows how to be baptized? Can you turn to a scripture that teaches the priesthood of the believer? Can you find the place where missions are sent out through the local church?

Can you turn to a Chapter and verse that will give you courage when you go into surgery? Can you share a verse of encouragement with a friend? Can you find the place where Jesus says, “Ill never leave you nor forsake you? How about were we are read, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not fear?”

C.    Illustration:  My Surgery Prep

When I went into surgery, I wrote Psalms 27 on my wrist so I could read it just before they put me under and as soon as I came to in the recovery room. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Imagine my surprise when I got ready to read it and glanced down at my wrist and they had covered my verse with surgical tape. But that was okay, because like David I had the promise right here in my heart.

D.    Transition: 

So the battle begins when David’s faith speaks but what will make the difference between two enemies equal in belief, courage and weapon training?   Lets look next at the Battle planned.

IV.    The Battle Planned: Forethought

  40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a bag; and his sling [was] in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

A.    David’s Preparation

1.    He chose the smoothest stones, the ones closest to marble perfection, that would cause them to fly the furthest and the straightest. (I know this because I got pretty good when I was a kid at shooting cats with a wrist rocket sling shot. Don’t make me a bad guy, the cats back then were all 9’6” tall and carried spears.)
3.    David, by choosing the stones carefully before the battle, assured that the victory wowas now assured.

B.    How Do You Prepare

1.    What stones should I prepare before the battle. Let me make an application of the stones we should choose before our battles.

2.    Stone of Study. 
Hone your sword before the battle. 
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

3.    Stone of Supplication. 
Prayer, talking with your commander.
1Thess 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

4.    Stone of Solidarity.  
 Standing, fellowshipping with other Christians.  Unity of the Church.
 Ephesians 4: 3-6 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
And let me say this, there is no unity without attendance.

5.    Stone of Service
This is the boot camp before the battle.
Matt 20:26  But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;  27  And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:  28  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Separate from the world preserves us ready to fight the enemy.
2 Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
You can't fight the enemy if you are part of the enemy.

Transition:  David makes his preparation and moves to fight Goliath.

V.    The Battle Won: Faith Acts 1 Samuel 17:41-53

41  And the Philistine advanced and drew near to David; and the man that
 bore the shield [went] before him.  42  And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.  43  And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staffs? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.  44  And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.  45  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.  46  This day will the LORD deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, and take thy head from thee; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.  47  And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.  48 ¶ And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew near to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.  49  And David put his hand in his bag, and took from there a stone, and slung it with his sling, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.  50  So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but [there was] no sword in the hand of David.  51  Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.  52  And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, to the entrance of the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even to Gath, and to Ekron.  53  And the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents.

A.    David Wins By Acting In Faith

1.    Goliath as the battle commences, speaks and in his speech we see that he is standing in his own power and strength, vs 43-44 “And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staffs? Come to me, and I will give thy flesh to the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.”

2.    But notice the difference with David. He stands, not in his power but in power of his God vs 45-47 “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.   This day will the LORD deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, …And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.”

B.    How Will You Find Victory?

1.    You can’t fight Satan and win the spiritual battles of your life and the life of others, in your own power? Satan will trick you like he did Eve, he will blind you like he did Samson, he will afflict you like he did Job, he will scare you like he did Peter when he saw the waves and wind. You can't beat Satan so you better trust in God.

2.    The power of God is on your side.
When you trust in God, you find that in God's power you'll run all day like Elijah, you'll overcome unbeatable enemies like Gideon, you'll cross great obstacles like Moses, you'll walk across the oceans of your fears like Peter because Jesus is with you.
Scripture. Let me give you some Victory Verses. (You should write these somewhere, preferably not on your wrists though.)

 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.

Ro 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [is] for us, who [can be] against us?
Joshua 1: 9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee wherever thou goest.

 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


What battles are you facing this morning?  What battles are you losing?  What battles are you losing beause you are afraind to even start the fight?  Listen…
·    Don't fear. Refuse to let Satan paralyze you. It’s time to trust in God.
·    Believe, show your faith.  The victory can be yours but you must begin the fight.
·    Know your weapons.  Read this book, know this book then listen, for God will speak to you through it's powerful pages.
·    Prepare for the battle now.  If you wait till the fight begins you'll be caught picking up stones when you should have been slinging them at the enemy.
·    Finally, find God's victory. It is His and he has offered it to us thourgh, his son Jesus Christ and it is recorded in His word. There is victory. Victory over sin, victory over Satan, victory over fear, victory over over the unbeatable giants in your life.
Say the with David, "The Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lords and he will give you into our hands."

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