David Bickley 7/12/14
David Vs. Goliath. Whose Champion is bigger?
Jesus is the greatest champion and He is with us. What can’t we do when God is with us?

Intro:

Hi, I am David Bickley. I am the Junior High or Middle School Youth Pastor here at Life Center for the last 5 years.  6th, 7th, and 8th grade kids get the bad rap for being the most obnoxious, awkward, and annoying, kids. Just wait till you get to know their parents! And I love them! God has given me patience, wisdom, and love that I didn’t have naturally. It was given to me by the Holy Spirit. Middle Schoolers are in that stage of life where their understanding of things is starting to really grow. These Kids will change the world. Just you watch. While you are worried about the hot button political and religious issues of our day, they will be setting the world on fire with the Love of Jesus because they won’t care about the rules and getting burned. They will love and serve like Jesus. I believe in them and so should you. Ok, that was my message, lets pray!

Just Kidding.

I am 30 years old. From a small farm in Puyallup and also a larger farm in Deer Park. I get to be married to a beautiful woman, Danielle for almost 9 years this fall. I married her opening weekend of Hunting Season. I drew a doe tag that year. Ok that is the end of my attempt at hunting and marriage jokes. I love to hunt but I love my wife more.

We have two beautiful little girls, Allison Grace who turns five next month and Clara Joy who turns 3 in a couple of weeks.

Here is a picture of my Beautiful family taken in our back yard this Easter.

(Show Easter Picture)

That’s us looking at a Chicken. This was a picture posted to Instagram and that was my comment.

Allison was saying “look, that chicken is Dead!” And I said “Nope! He’s Alive!” It was Easter.

I think I’m winning at instagram. My favorite thing to take pictures of is my beautiful family. 

I love my family dearly. And of course like any one that you love, you fear losing them. I almost lost my wife during the birth of our youngest, Clara, and that would have been devastating. During the last trimester there was some extremely rare and severe complications that put Danielle in the Hospital. The doctors were very concerned for my wife and the baby and that there were a lot of things that were beyond their control. I thought we might lose my wife and baby girl and we hadn’t even come up with a name for her yet. After the diagnosis we were gripped with fear and we thought “How are we going to survive this?!”

This fear was a Giant. A massive controlling and overwhelming thing that threatened to consume me.

I am controlled by fear; a slave to fear. It comes from facing a Giant, a Champion that knows how to win.

This Giant, this Champion that I faced was the fear of losing my wife and child.

Even if we you have not had a similar experience of almost losing a loved one, you still probably understand what it means to face something in your life that threatens to take you down.

We face all kinds of Giants in our lives.

Maybe it’s the sickness or loss of a loved one.

Maybe it’s your own sickness or ailment.

Or it could be you have lost a Job, or your work situation is terrible.

Maybe finances are so tight that you can’t breathe.

Or maybe your marriage is going through some major problems and the future doesn’t look good.

It could be that things at home are stressful and desperate.

Maybe there are relationships that are so strained that you get headaches thinking of them.

Maybe there is an addiction that you just can’t get free from.

Maybe even, there is a fear of others not liking you.

Or a fear of failure that keeps you driven to the max.

Or perhaps your apathy is swallowing you whole and you won’t do anything about it.

Maybe its depression, pride, selfishness, unrepentant sin, denial.

I have faced most of these Giants, some at the same time. And they have made me impotent. My life is terrible under the shadow of these giants.

We all can be enslaved and paralyzed when we face our Giants.

There are some things that face us and threaten to enslave and crush us.

Insecurity, Apathy, addiction, lust, pornography, adultery, selfishness, and pride will take us out. Fear of failure; fear of rejection; fear of financial, physical, mental, emotional, and social instability will enslave us.

There is a war waging for your soul.

Whether you know it or not, the enemy, the devil, is trying to drag us down to hell with him and he is using our own sinful nature to help him. We are self-centered idiots and we need Jesus to save us from our sin and satan.

We need to know that God is with us and is for us or we am DOOMED. We all are. Because if he isn’t with us than we will be beaten down and there is no going back.

No Love. No peace. No hope . and our life is a big waste of time because this pursuit of gratification, and purpose, happiness is not getting us anywhere but down. 

The Good news is that we are certain that we have won the war and all we need to do is surrender the fight to the Lord and trust that he is with us fighting for us.

Does that mean we sit back and do nothing but watch the fight? No you lazy person! This is something he wants to do with us and through us.

There was a young guy named David who faced a Giant too. This story of the young David comes from B. C. (Before Christ), a story from the thick part of the Bible. Which happens to be our series for this summer. We will run through his story together and see what happens. It comes to us out of 1 Samuel chapter 17. Before we read let us pray together.

Prayer: Dear LORD open our hearts and lives to understand and receive your word today. Challenge us, draw us, and transform us to be more like you. In your name Jesus we pray, Amen.

1 Samuel 17:1-52 NLT

17 The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. Saul countered by gathering his Israelite troops near the valley of Elah. So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them. Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.

Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 10 I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken...

Let me show you Goliath.

(I walk back to the center screen and Goliath is displayed on center screen)

As we see here, Goliath is impressive. His stats are incredible too.

Goliath The Philistine Champion.

Height- over 9 feet tall

Weight- 500 lbs (estimated)

Armor

Bronze Helmet

Bronze coat of Mail weighing 125 lbs. That’s like carrying two fourth graders around with you. One in a Baby Bjorn on your chest and another on piggy back.

Bronze leg Armor- Because his legs will be the easiest part to get to.

Shield- With another guy out in front.

Weapons

Spear- Giant sized with a 15 pound spear head which could probably take down a T-Rex.

Bronze Javelin- He probably could throw this 150yds and through 3 guys.

Sword- He could probably cut 2 guys in half with. NBD

Training and Experience- Been training and fighting since his youth. Who trains with that guy? Do they have to cast lots and some poor guy has to get his rear whooped by Big G?

HATE to be THAT guy!

Goliath is the Philistine Champion. He is huge! He is impressive and someone I would not want to mess with or even have looking at me… (Goliath says BOO! I Flinch and walk to front and center)

Now let’s come back to the story.

Remember that David was chosen by God as the next King of Israel. He was called and anointed by God to do his will and lead the people.

But… He just a shepherd boy.

12 Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. Jesse was an old man at that time, and he had eight sons. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons—Eliab, Abinadab, and Shimea—had already joined Saul’s army to fight the Philistines. 14 David was the youngest son. David’s three oldest brothers stayed with Saul’s army, 15 but David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem.

16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.

17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. 18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.

20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries. 21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel.

24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes!”

26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”

27 And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that is the reward for killing him.”

28 But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!”

29 “What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question!” 30 He walked over to some others and asked them the same thing and received the same answer. 31 Then David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him.

32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”

38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.

“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.

41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.

45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”

48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah gave a great shout of triumph and rushed after the Philistines, chasing them as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron. The bodies of the dead and wounded Philistines were strewn all along the road from Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron.

Wow! Don’t you just love this Story!

The story of David vs. Goliath is one of the most well known stories from the Bible. It’s the guy’s version of Cinderella. A shepherd boy against the Philistine Champion. The little guy defeating the big guy.

The Philistine Champion, Goliath was the giant that Israel was facing. He defied the armies of the living God. Saul, the then current King of Israel, was a Giant in his own land. He stood head and shoulders above everyone else in Israel. King Saul was their Champion who led and fought their battles but now was terrified in the midst of this bigger guy. Saul had forty days to step up and fight but instead was terrified by Goliath.

And then along came David. It seemed like this wasn’t David’s fight. He was a shepherd and not a soldier. He was just there to check on his brothers but God had something different planned for his newly anointed King. As a leader appointed by God, David was leading the people by facing the giant. David was God’s next leader for his people and wanted David to step up and lead by fighting Goliath.

David didn’t look at the lack of weapons, ability, or stature as something that would prohibit him from winning. Even though he was outmatched in every way, with the Giant towering over him, the circumstances didn’t matter.

David understood that God was with him and fighting for him. He knew that he had a bigger Champion on his side.

There are some Giants that are too big to fight on our own. It’s a good thing we aren’t alone and our Champion is bigger. If you are going to face a giant, make sure you bring the biggest guy with you, the Lord of Heaven’s armies. Jesus is that Champion.

We have Immanuel. God with us. That is Jesus. The one who saves his people from their sin. 

David Defeated the Champion Giant because God was with him.

We can defeat the Champions that oppose us because he that is with us is greater than he that is in the world.

Jesus was the greatest Champion, and he is with us. What can’t we do when God is with us?

With Jesus we have Power.

Paul in is prayer for the church in Ephesus says…

Ephesians 1:19-22 NLT

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.

Jesus

This is the same dude who healed the sick, raised the dead, told demons to go to hell,

Jesus is the Lord of Heavens Armies.

Jesus Conquered Sin. He took the shame, weight and punishment upon himself when he died for us on that Cross.

Jesus Conquered Death. Jesus didn’t stay dead. He wasn’t a martyr or just a prophet who pointed the way to God. Jesus proved that he is the greatest Champion ever because he came back to life again. He lives today. After resurrecting, he ascended back to heaven and rules there until the appointed time when he will come down and continue what he started, the reconciliation, judgment, and rule of all creation.
Jesus has come and his spirit, God’s spirit, The Holy Spirit, the same one that empowered David, lives in you and I when we put our faith in Jesus. When we believe that Jesus is who he says he is (the son of God sent to save us) God gives us his spirit. He comes and makes his home in our hearts to transform our lives and make us more like him as we surrender to him. 

God’s Spirit gives us Peace.

Jesus tells us about his peace in…

John 16:33 NLT

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

The Spirit of Christ gives us Love

And we read about God’s love in his word.

And that love is not going away.

That undeserved mercy, favor, grace, and acceptance!

We find in…

Romans 8:31, 35-39 NLT

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?

35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?

Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)

37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.

Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When we understand that his love is unconditional and everlasting, nothing else matters. Those problems that are so big aren’t bigger then that!

When I faced the Giant of losing my wife and baby, I was reminded of God’s great love for me and them. And somehow I found peace in that. I can’t explain it other than the future didn’t look so dark. Because I knew that God’s Holy Spirit was with me. And he is in control. And he is Bigger than loss and death and sorrow, and sickness and pain. He was with us.

Just as Jesus said to us in…

Matthew 28:20b

be sure of this: I am with you always

My wife had severe complications with her pregnancy and it was a very hard few weeks in the Hospital but I had peace knowing that God was with us.

If God is with us Christians who are surrendered to Jesus rule and reign in our lives, what battles and giants can’t we face?!
We can even face depression.

2 months after we got out of the Hospital, the enemy tried to take us out again. My cousin and best friend Andy and his wife Emily committed suicide. Emily, who was a close friend to us all the way from childhood was battling postpartum depression after the loss of their unborn child. She lost the Battle with that Giant and in a moment of desperation took her own life. Her husband, Andy who was my closest friend besides my own wife, was overwhelmed with grief. He didn’t see the way out. After 7 days of suicide watch under my care, he ran from me and took his own life too.

I dealt with the crushing sadness and grief. And was faced with my own Giant of Depression.

But thank the Lord Almighty, the LORD of Heavens armies that when I called out to him he sent his spirit to fight that giant with me. It was his Love and peace and power that helped me to overcome!

(Have someone playing keys)

We all have some battles to step into and giants to fight, don’t we?

Surrender the Fear and the Fight to God. Step up and Fight knowing that Jesus is with you and fighting for you.

And we can have that same courage that David had and stand up to that Giant and shout with all we have in our lungs…

“Hey Giant, you ain’t got nothing on me! My champion is bigger and you are going down!”

The courage to fight and the confidence in God changes the way you see everything that comes against you.

It is a perspective change. You start to see things from a different point of view, knowing that Jesus is with you and you can have

Love, Peace, and Hope

Know it. Remember it. Live it.

Because when you live it, others start to realize that God is with you.

Imagine what the world would see if we all weren’t afraid of the Giants of Life because we lived like God was with us. We would shine so bright in our workplaces, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our families, and in our relationships.

It would be impossible not to change the culture around us!

Imagine if we don’t care about the circumstances any more because we have a confident hope that God is with us!

Lets take a few minutes to pray. We are a part of God’s church, and as his church we get to build each other up. So Please find one or two people to pray together with you during this time, I would invite you to surrender your life and your battles to the Lord Jesus. Ask him to fill you with his spirit. Ask him to give you confidence in his ability to use you for his will. Ask him for victory in your battles. Thank him for Fighting with you and for you.

Let us pray.

Closing Prayer Time:

Let us stand and pray and lift up our voices in praise and thanksgiving to God. Ask him to fill you up with his spirit. Surrender those areas of your life that you are holding back and are afraid to let God help you gain victory. Whether it’s a part of your character, or a relationship, addiction, a fear, or anything else that you know is blocking you from moving forward into the life of freedom following God. Surrender it to him right now and invite him to be in you and with you. This is freedom, folks. This is no longer seeing and caring about what world cares about but seeing and living in a new perspective of seeing, thinking, feeling and doing the will of God through Jesus Christ our LORD. Lift up your hands as a sign of surrender.

Closing Prayer:

God, we need you and ask that you give us your spirit like you gave it to David. We surrender to your will and your life. Thank you for giving us freedom and victory starting in this life and continuing forever with you. Amen.