Bringing Down Fear
Text: 1 Samuel 17
The Preacher and the Thug
A man who was a lumberjack up in the Northwest Territories heard the Gospel and got saved. Before too long he had also surrendered to the ministry. He was what you would call a big ol’ boy. The lumber company was sorry to lose him because he was one of their best and strongest men.
He took a small church up in the mountains and became a fiery preacher against the sins he had seen in the lumber camps. This didn’t make him popular with the local sinners. One day one of the local bullies decided he had had enough and he rode his horse up to the little mountain church. He found the preacher working in the church yard. He rode right up to him jumped off his horse and cussed him then challenged him to fight. The big ol boy preacher calmly grabbed the ruffian by the back of the neck and the seat of the pants, lifted him in the air and dropped him on the other side of a six foot, wooden fence that ran alongside the church yard.
In a moment an eye appeared looking through one of the knot holes in the fence and a meek voice called out, “Now Preacher, if you’ll don’t mind handing me my horse over this here fence I’ll be on my way.”
How do you handle big problems? Look at the problem David had in 1 Samuel 17. I have found that 1 Sam 17 is a case study of how to deal with problems, how to fight the battles of life that we will be in.
Battle Of the Heart 1 Samuel 17:3-11
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. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 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. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 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. And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are 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. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
Fearing Goliath, The Philistine’s Champion
Goliath, stands 9'6" tall, his chain mail weighs 125#, his spear head 15#. He was a survivor of the ancient race of giants the Anakim, which cause the entire nation of Israel to fear crossing into the promised land.
After he had given his challenge, the Bible says, “When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” (In other ancient writings it makes the claim that Goliath claimed to have killed Hophi and Phineas, Eli’s sons and to have taken the ark of the covenant from Israel.)
The Philistines were the former rulers of the people of Israel and though, under Saul’s leadership, they were now fighting for their freedom, the fear they now felt was bringing them back under domination.
Before they even fought a physical battle with the Philistines, they had already lost a spiritual battle of the heart and mind. Their fear had already defeated them, before the Philistines ever raised a sword and charged.
Fearing Fear, Satan’s Champion
As Christians we need to realized that even though we are not facing an army arrayed in armor and carrying spears, we are still facing an enemy and fighting battles. Our battles may be spiritual rather than physical but manner of the battle and the weapons the enemy uses are still recognizable.
Just like the army of the Israelites facing Goliath and the Philistines, the first part of any battle is the one for our hearts and minds. If Satan, can make us afraid to act, afraid to obey, afraid to fight then He has already won. Just as Goliath was the champion of the Philistines, Fear is the champion of Lucifer. In the Christian life, many battles are not lost because they are never fought, nor can they be won because we were too afraid to take up arms and begin the battle.
There was no battle for a soul because we were afraid to witness.
There was no battle for the Bible, because we were afraid to stand up for God’s Word.
No battle for your family, no battle for the unborn, no battle for the future of our nation, because too many Christians, hear the voice of Satan’s champion and they sit on the sidelines afraid to try because they are afraid to fail.
And let me tell you that kind of fear is a sin, because it make us disobedient to the command of Christ and the Word of God.
You can’t stop the voice of fear, trying to steal your victory, but neither can fear stope you from hearing the voice of God, speaking to us in passages like 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.
Yes, the enemy is there, yes fear and the possibility of defeat is there but never let fear make us forget that God and His power is always there, standing beside us in every battle.
Illustration: God On Our Side, Elisha asks God to allow his servant to see those on their side.
2 Kings 6:15-17 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 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 round about Elisha.
That is what we must see, as we face the battles of the Christian life, just like Elisha saw the mountains are full of horses and chariots of fire all around us!
Transition: Don’t let Satan and fear win the battle before the battle has even begun. Now look at when the actual battle does begin in verse 26 of 1 Samuel 17.
Battle of the Mind - 1 Samuel 17:26-32
And David spake 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? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner. And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him. And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
David Understood Why He Fought
David understood why they must be willing to fight. In the passage we seen two resons, and those were the fundamentals, the motivation for to enter into the battle.
First was his Relationship with God as an Israelite
1 Samuel 17:26 … for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
Israel was God's people, God's nation, they shared a unique and special relationship based upon God's covenant to them through Abraham their forefather. Abraham had been chosen by God to enter into a unbreakable covenant, in which God promised he make of Abraham a great and mighty nation, as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands of the sea. He also promised them the very land they now stood upon facing their enemies. David was ready to fight because he knew he shared that special relationship with God.
The Second Reason was the Cause of this battle.
1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?
David knew there was a cause a reason for this battle and for him to step forward and fight. Goliath and the Philistines were challenging God’s army, God’s people and God’s promises and therefore they were also challenging God Himself.
Do You Know Why We Fight?
If you don’t realize why you need to fight, then like the armies of Saul that day, you will just remain in your fear, standing on the sidelines of every battle.
Your motivation for the battles of faith are much the same as David’s when he fought Goliath. First,
Because of Who You Are. You have a relationship with God, not through Abraham but through Jesus Christ.
You are a child of God, a believer in grace, redeemed by the blood, a soldier of the cross, a follower of the lamb.
Scripture Look at Romans 8. Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And as a child of God, one day you will ride with the Host of Heaven along with Christ your captain as He returns and claims this world as His own. That’s who you are and how can someone like that refuse to fight the battles of life now?
And like David we have a cause for the fight. Too much is at stake not to rise up and begin the battle.
Your marriage is a cause worth fighting for, your children, family and friends are worth fighting for, your community, your country, your church are worth fighting for. And most of all, the souls of the lost are a cause worth fighting for, until the Lord calls us home.
Get off the sidelines, get past the fear and begin the battle God has called you to fight.
Battle Weapons - Samuel 17:33-39
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. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out 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. 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. 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 unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. 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. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him..
David chooses weapons he knows.
David's confidence was based upon previous battles he had fought and the weapons he had used. He had fought lions and bears with his staff and sling. He would not take Saul’s weapons or armor because he had no experience with them.
Choose Your Weapon
To win your battles you must be familiar with your weapons. You must know how to use God's word. You must know what God says, where He says it and how to apply what He says to any circumstance of your life, any battle you are engaged in. Moses had his staff, Aaron had his rod, David had his sling, Gideon had his trumpet, and you have your Bible, the most powerful weapon of all. But you must be able to use it?
Can you open up God’s Word and show someone how to be saved? Can you show what we believe as the Church of Jesus Christ? Can you share a verse of comfort and encouragement to someone who is hurting? Can you show what God intended for the family? There are so many battles we are losing because we don’t know how to use the only weapon God has given us.
Paul reprimanded the Hebrew Christians for not be experienced in the Word of God, Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Unfortunately, too many times for us what David said about Saul’s armor is true for us when it comes to our Bible, “I cannot go with this, for I have not tested it in the battles of my life.”
You don’t have any other weapon, you better be experienced in handling this one.
Transition: The next thing that David does was critical, he prepared before the actual fight would begin.
Battle Prep – 1 Samuel 17:40
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.
David Prepares Five Stones
The smoothest stones were taken from the brook, those closest to perfectly round. This meant they would fly the straightest, with the least deviation from straight and true.
David, by preparing and choosing the stones carefully before the battle, was doing what he knew would assure victory.
Our Prepared Stones
Stone of Study.
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.
Stone of Supplication.
1Thess 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Stone of Solidarity.
Ephesians 4:3-6 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all.
Stone of Service.
Matthew 20:26-28 But it shall not be so among you: but whoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Stone of Separation.
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 friends with the enemy.
Transition: David after making his preparation, choosing the stones then moves out to fight Goliath.
Battle Victory - 1 Samuel 17:41-50
And the Philistine came on and drew near unto David; and the man that bare the shield went before him. And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. 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. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto 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. 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. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 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.
David Wins In God’s Power
Goliath stands in his own power
1 Samuel 17:43-44 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
David stands in God's power
1 Samuel 17:45-47 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. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto 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. 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.
Who Wins Our Battles?
Are you trying to defeat Satan in your own power?
If you are then you better realize, that 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. They fought in their own power and lost. You can't beat Satan and his champion fear, in your strength or ability, so you better put your faith in you champion, Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us that the power of Christ is with us.
By God's power you'll run all day like Elijah, you'll beat unbeatable enemies like Gideon, you'll cross uncrossable seas like Moses, you'll walk upon the storms of your fears like Peter because Jesus is you champion and He walks beside you.
Listen to these powerful promises of scripture…
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.
Romans 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.
What Giant of fear or doubt are you facing this morning? Face the giant, otherwise you’ve already lost the battle. Begin the battle by knowing that you are a child of God and you have a worthy cause to fight for. Prepare for that battle now. Know your weapon, the sword of the Lord, God’s word and make sure you always have those five stones in your possession. If you do these things then you will see victory over sin, victory over fear, and victory over Satan in your own spiritual battles.
In the battles we face, may we be like David and always be able to say, “The Lord does not save with sword and spear, for the battle is the Lord's…”