Heb. 11:32-33a; 1 Sam. 17
Series: “Heroes of the Faith”
Rusty Russell, New Day Christian Church, Port Charlotte, FL
March 23-24, 2019
Today we come to our seventh hero in the “Heroes of the Faith” series: David. He’s the greatest king in Israel’s history and “a man after God’s own heart.” But he is barely mentioned in the Hall of Faith because the Hebrew writer runs out of time:
[Heb 11:32-33a NIV] 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised…
NOTE: The first four men are from the era of the “Judges” between Joshua and the period of the kings. It is considered the “Dark Ages” of Israel, a period of several hundred years when “everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” We read about these men in the book of Judges.
The final judge was Samuel, who anointed Saul the first king of Israel, then later anointed David “king elect” when David was still a teenager. David later became Israel’s greatest king and was inducted into the Hall of Faith.
Let’s return to a familiar story that dramatically illustrates David’s great faith.
SCRIPTURE (1 Samuel 17, NIV)
1 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah.
They gathered in the Valley of Elah for a great battle.
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.
5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.
Why is the author fascinated with the bronze armor? …
7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.”
Nobody wanted to fight Goliath. David was too young to be a soldier, probably about eighteen years old. Soldiers had to be twenty or older. But God by his providence brought David to the battlefield.
David was appalled at what the giant was saying about his God and God’s people! He wanted to take on the giant!
(SIDE LESSON: David’s brother Eliab thinks David is arrogant. When you begin to act in faith, your own family may mistake your actions as arrogant or judgmental. Don’t let it deter you from courageously doing what God is calling you to do!)
David was brought to King Saul. His persuasive speech reveals his great faith:
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
David already has a reputation for being “a brave man and a warrior” (1 Sam 16:18), evidently because of his accomplishments against the bear and the lion. But he gave credit to God.
(SIDE LESSON: When you’re afraid, recall God’s past successes. Recount the times God has faithfully rescued you in the past and it will help you remember to have faith in the moment.)
Saul decides to send David to fight the champion Goliath. David tries on Saul’s armor but can’t get used to it. He heads to battle looking like a shepherd.
40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
The sling was a serious weapon, not a toy. Goliath makes fun of it but he shouldn’t have.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.
(SIDE LESSON: When you’re afraid, run toward the giant.
Force yourself to face your fear and trust in God. “Courage is not the absence of fear but action in spite of fear.”)
49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
The rest of chapter 17 says that the Israelites routed the Philistines and won a great victory. David marched into Saul’s tent with the head of the giant!
A. Remember where David found his strength.
THE SECRET TO DAVID’S COURAGE = HIS FAITH IN GOD
– He tells King Saul “The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
– He tells Goliath seven different times, the Lord or God or he will do this.
– He testifies, “… the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”
B. His faith was cultivated in the pasture through worship.
David was a great warrior because he was a great worshiper.
[Psa 56:3-4 NIV] 3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise– in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
[Psa 3:1-3 NIV] 1 …LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! 2 Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” 3 But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
[Psa 23:4 NIV] 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
C. To be a great warrior, be a great worshipper.
– Memorize Scriptures that help you worship God.
– Listen to worship music.
– Sing out loud worship songs to God.
– Hang around people who worship.
– Be in church every week surrounded by worshipers.
– Worship in your giving, serving, singing, watching of his creation…
One author said, “The antidote to fear is worship.”
Our songs are our battle cry!
CONCLUSION: ONE MORE EXAMPLE OF DAVID’S WORSHIP:
[Psa 27:1-6 NIV] 1 Of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident. 4 One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. 6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.