David and Goliath [Part 1]
By Alan Wright — December 18, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith!
Today’s text: “Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron.” (1 Samuel 17:51–52, ESV)
Preachers love this story! The overlooked underdog runs to the battle line, faces his foe, removes the disgrace of Israel and decapitates the headship of the enemy camp.
Normally the application of David and Goliath sermons goes something like this: “Be more like David. Follow his model and you will also be able to defeat your Goliaths.” Preachers make good, solid points like: overlook the naysayers; don’t try to wear someone else’s armor; use the gifts (the smooth stones) that are at hand; don’t look at the size of the enemy; remember that the battle belongs to the Lord; run toward your problems, don’t retreat.
But there’s a problem with that kind of preaching. It would be wonderful to put into practice all those principles in our daily lives. It would be wonderful to be more like David. But telling me to be more like David doesn’t empower me to be more like David.
Honestly, it’s hard to identify with a shepherd who risks his life for sheep, who is anointed king of a nation and who faces a warrior twice his size. But we sure can relate to those cowardly Israeli soldiers who dressed up for battle every day but never fought. For forty days Goliath taunted them. They wanted to fight Goliath, but there was not one courageous man in the camp. There was no one righteous and faithful enough to represent them against the evil foe.
But once the cowards saw that David had defeated Goliath, they became the most courageous army on earth! The whole Hebrew army routed the Philistines – chasing them for 10 miles.
David and Goliath is a story about one courageous hero who represented the fearful Israelites and won the victory for them. We don’t become more like Christ by trying to do what Jesus did. We become like Jesus by seeing what He has done! And that’s the Gospel!