Monday, September 6, 2010

Slaying the Giants in our Lives

Facing the Giants in our Lives - by Kevin Probst

Jesse had three sons who were enlisted in the army of Saul. They found themselves looking across the valley of Elah at a giant of a man named Goliath. Goliath was over nine feet tall, a frightening monster of a man whose armor itself weighed 150 lbs. The tip of his sword weighed 15 lbs. Goliath shouted across the valley to the Israelites twice daily…"Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your servants; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our servants." 1 Sam. 17:8-9

Jesse sent his youngest, David, with some cheese and bread to deliver to his older siblings. When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, saw David he scolded him for not staying with his father’s sheep. David could have argued with Eliab but he was much more concerned with the boastful giant across the valley.

David informed King Saul that he was very skilful with a sling and he could kill the giant just as he had killed the bear and the lion. He was mocked and ridiculed but Saul decided to suit him up for battle, perhaps to teach him a lesson or perhaps to try to humiliate Goliath by sending a boy to fight.

David refused the armor of Saul, too awkward and cumbersome. He strode down into the valley of Elah toward the giant. Goliath was enraged that a boy had come to do battle. "Come here," he said, "and I'll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" David wasn’t intimidated at all by Goliath’s angry words. In fact, there was some pretty good smack going on in the valley that day. David retorted by saying, “This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.”

David stopped at the stream running through the valley and picked up 5 stones. It’s not that he didn’t think he would need more than one stone to fell the giant. It’s that he knew that Goliath had four giant brothers and so he was prepared should they show up uninvited to the contest.

David’s brothers were amazed to see the younger go into battle with no sword. “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." Said David. Goliath seemed stunned that this youth would have such courage. So, David slung the stone, God picked it up in mid-flight, added accuracy and velocity to it and it sunk between the eyes of Goliath. David ran to him, pulled the sword from his scabbard and decapitated him, proving to all who witnessed that he knew how to get ahead.

What are the giants in your life? Is your family struggling with debt? Do you have low self-esteem? Are you bitter about the sinful and painful things that happened in your past? Is the giant in your life cancer? Depression? Fear? Wayward children? Betrayal? Is it an unfaithful spouse, a guilty conscience, poor health or chronic pain? There are goliaths all about us but God gives us a strategy for fighting and defeating the giants in our lives.

Notice that David didn’t waste time or energy on insignificant battles. He could have argued with Eliab but chose instead to focus on the main event. Notice also that David didn’t go into the battle unprepared. He had spent many a night on the hillsides caring for his father’s sheep. He learned to know God intimately during those years of solitude.

David also kept his heart in the right place. He dare not approach Goliath without the knowledge that his heart belonged to the God who was about to defend him. David wasn’t about killing this giant to bring glory to himself. Oh no, he made it very clear that “the battle is the Lord’s”

Do your giants seem unconquerable? God is in the business of conquering giants in our lives. He helped Moses cross the Red Sea. He helped Esther save her people. He helped Joshua conquer the land of promise. He walked with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego through the fiery furnace. Know this, the giant in your life is not too big for God!!

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