1 Samuel 17:1-47
Sometimes just one thing being wrong can mess up everything else. In 1 Samuel 17, Israel had a problem, and his name was Goliath. Today, we have a problem: it is the culture’s spiritual disconnection from a holy God. We are experiencing the aches and pains of this disconnect as we witness unrest related to race, police and community, COVID-19 and other forms of present-day calamity and strife. Reviewing the battle of David and Goliath, we can learn a spiritual principle that can apply to us now. Perhaps instead of us getting one thing wrong, we can get one thing right, and in doing so, identify the cause and the cure of what is really ailing us.
Standing nine feet and nine inches tall, Goliath led the powerful Philistine army. When Goliath showed up, he controlled the atmosphere because he was so big and looked undefeatable. Victory seemed impossible. Often, the big problems in our lives look undefeatable. Goliath created fear, and Israel was much afraid because he challenged and taunted them with the threat of defeat. It seemed as if this giant, Goliath, would not go away. In our lives, it is often the same. The giants that taunt us simply won’t leave us, making victory seem impossible. This results in fear and doubt instead of confidence and calm.
When a shepherd boy named David enters the scene, he sees that Goliath is intimidating God’s people and sees God’s people running away (v. 24). “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine,” he asked in verse 26. David shows he has the right perspective because he recognized that Goliath had not been circumcised and, therefore, was not under the covenant of God. A covenant is a divinely created relational bond. You must be in a relationship under God’s rule. Right now, we have uncovered people in uncovered families, in uncovered churches, in an uncovered nation. To be “covenantally” covered, you must be in alignment with God. David was dealing with a physical problem but recognized the spiritual issue. Even as a Christian, you may be on your way to heaven, but living uncovered without heaven’s help on Earth because you are not relationally pursuing Him while simultaneously operating underneath His covenant rule. You are spiritually disconnected if you are putting the physical ahead of the spiritual.
To be spiritually connected, you have to operate according to God’s prescribed methodology. When Saul, king of Israel, tried to give David his uniform for battle, David said he only knew how to use what God gave him. He was committed to using the right methodology. The Bible gives precepts and principles that allow for different methods to be used. David illustrated the appropriate use of this principle in his approach to Goliath.
David approached the Philistine, which is an offensive position. Christians should not be living in defense. Jesus says you have overcome the world. In verse 43, we see Goliath is insulted that David would approach Him, and the Philistine cursed David by his gods, making it a spiritual battle. David let Goliath know that he was coming to him in the name of the Lord, the God of the armies of Israel, whom Goliath taunted. David handed the challenging situation off to God to handle because he was first operating covenantally, bibliocentrically, and spiritually. David proclaimed that he was coming to Goliath in the name of God and under His authority. Unfortunately, there are many people who are illegitimately using God’s name. God has a name for every situation, and there are over 85 in the Old Testament alone. David also came to Goliath in the name of God’s army. God has a spiritual army with a host of angels whom He can summon in a minute and turn things around at the drop of a dime. When you operate spiritually connected, you have the blessing of being covered by God and His army of angels. God’s blessings flow to those who are connected to Him. While Goliaths in our lives will come, we need to address the Goliaths in our lives spiritually, knowing that the Goliaths in our lives can and will fall.
- Discuss with your group the cause of the problems we see today.
- After hearing this week’s sermon, what stands out to you most?
Let’s Get Personal
- What is your Goliath? What is that person, thing, or situation you thought was undefeatable? Discuss with your group.
- Do you have the right perspective when encountering difficult people or difficult circumstances? Can you see the spiritual side, instead of just seeing the physical? Discuss this with your group.
- Is your natural tendency to run from difficult people or circumstances? Or do you readily approach them?
Take the Next Step
- Think about a time in your life when you were not in relationship under God’s rule. Discuss with your group what you did to get into alignment so that you were covenantally covered under God’s authority.
- To encourage each other in your group, discuss how you have been able to put the spiritual ahead of the physical when facing your Goliaths. What are some of the methods God gave you to use?
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Romans 3:4; John 16:33; and Ephesians 6:10-18.
Renew Your Mind
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”