Today’s Reading: 1 Sam 17:1–58, James 5:1–12, Ps 119:153–176
Today’s Theme: Facing Giants
Beginning with David’s slaying of Goliath we will use the lens of “giants to be defeated” to bring together all three texts we have read today.
1 Samuel 17:1–58
The Giant of Intimidation and Fear
When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. 1 Samuel 17:11 (ESV)
The Philistine army was well trained and equipped with modern tools of war and their champion Goliath was literally a giant compared to the size of an average man.
Goliath stood and shouted both a challenge and insults at the children of Israel with the intention of crippling them through fear and intimidation, it worked.
Jesus was constantly telling us to not fear in places like Matthew 28:10 and Acts 18:9. A brother at church a few years ago made a calendar with the 365 times do not fear is mentioned in the Bible.
We do not need to suffer intimidation and fear because Jesus said in Luke 12:32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
Also John reminds us in 1 John 4:4 “… he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Stand in faith today, don’t let the strong words and opposing forces of the enemy intimidate you or make you afraid, remember who you are in Christ.
God is bigger than all the giants
And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:37 (ESV)
David (in his late teens at this point) has the right perspective on the situation. He has been anointed with the Holy Spirit already and has a relationship and past experiences with God. David knows God.
Because David knows God and has experienced what God has done in his life before, he is filled with faith to face this giant.
David’s perspective is right. God is bigger and greater than any opposing force including a giant, a well trained and well equipped warrior.
We should learn from David’s example, let’s take our eyes off our seemingly impossible “giant” problems and situations and instead look beyond them to God. God who is great and able, God who has proved faithful in scripture and in our lives. Let’s look to our sovereign God and put all our faith and trust in Him.
See Jude 24-25 and Ephesians 3:20 for encouragement regarding God’s ability to come through for you.
Fight for God’s fame and glory
This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 1 Samuel 17:46 (ESV)
There are two great things we can learn from David here. One is that back in 1 Samuel 17:39 he explains that he cannot use what he has not yet tried and tested. Now in this verse, we see his purpose in going up to fight the giant is to bring God glory and spread God’s fame.
We must also use what we have tested ourselves in the battle. This is why it is so important that we become well acquainted with God and his word in the Bible. In this way the weapons of our warfare in prayer will not feel strange in our hands.
We should also have the same overarching purpose in all we do and in all our spiritual warfare. It must be for the glory of God and the spreading of God’s fame to all nations.
Face the Giants
When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:48 (ESV)
David did not run away from the battle, he ran towards the battle line to slay the giant.
We must have stout, bold, courageous hearts in the Lord just like David. Run to the battle line today knowing that the battle is the Lords’, He will give you the victory.
We do not bury our heads in the sand as though the giants are not there, we face them, in faith.
The Giant of Injustice
Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. James 5:4 (ESV)
As Christians we should not shut our eyes to the gross injustice which abounds in the world. We need to be very conscious of the things we buy and invest in. Many consumer products are produced by companies exploiting poorer countries and people. Where possible we need to live and shop with an awareness of this.
Together and in the name of Jesus we must rise against economic injustice. The Church of Jesus Christ must stand up against injustice wherever it is found and we must be careful that we do not become indifferent consumers with a little religion.
Worship and justice go hand in hand, just read the book of Psalms. One way we fight injustice as a church is through Child Sponsorship with Compassion. Ask God today if there is any other way you can be used to fight the giants of economic and social injustice.
The word in a nutshell
The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. Psalm 119:160 (ESV)
To put God’s word in a nutshell, it is truth, that is what it all sums up to. Just like Jesus used the truth of the word to combat the enemy, we too use the word of God to slay the giants around us and in us.
The Greatest treasure
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. Psalm 119:162 (ESV)
God’s word is the greatest treasure that anyone could ever have. The word of God should fill us with rejoicing. Every morning as I read, think about and write these notes I am filled with joy.
See God’s word for what it is, the greatest treasure you could ever hope to have and rejoice!!
The Giant of offence
Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165 (ESV)
If we love God’s word, it will stand as a defence for us from the giant of offence. Jesus warns us that offences will come but if our perspective is taken from God’s word we will not let offence take root. We will keep our eyes on God and the promises of His word.
Sing the word
My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right. Psalm 119:172 (ESV)
One of our greatest spiritual weapons to slay the giants is praise, praise from the word of God is the best type of praise so praise God today for and in accordance with His word.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on James 5