Take the Giant Down

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I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Ps. 34:4)


David was the youngest of 8 sons of Jesse. When God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to pay them a visit, this prophet was so close to God, the people of the town trembled in fear wondering if he’d come in peace. David was the least of his brethren, and was not called by his father when Samuel requested to see his sons. God had told Samuel HE had provided HIMSELF a king out of Jesse’s sons. Even as close to God as Samuel was, when Eliab, the oldest, came first, Samuel, judging after the sight of his eyes, thought surely this is the one. But God said no.

1Sa 16:6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.

1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Maybe the physical appearance of Eliab reminded Samuel of Saul, whom he’d mourned bitterly for when God had rejected him. The appearance of Eliab had surely impressed Samuel, enough he thought surely it was the Lord’s pick to be anointed. But David, being the least esteemed of his brethren, was the chosen one. And God had seen something in Eliab’s heart that caused him to refuse the man. We can have a hint of what it might have been by reading on into chapter 17, the challenge of Goliath.

According to various accounts, Goliath stood between 9 and 11 feet tall. He was an impressive man, huge. Intimidating. With a proud and arrogant mouth. When Jesse sent David with provisions to check on his three oldest brothers, to see how the battle was going, he must have been concerned to send his son to find out the news. When David arrives, he was astonished at what he saw. He sees the armies of Israel cowering in fear at the thunderous challenge of Goliath. He runs in among the armies of Israel asking questions, and when Eliab, his oldest brother hears the exchange, he reacts with anger.

1Sa 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.

1Sa 17:26 And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

1Sa 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

I don’t think David understood the full meaning of the anointing the day Samuel came. Saul was the first king, so there wasn’t really a precedent set, nothing but the laws God laid down in Deuteronomy 17. And his requirements were few, and did not pertain to ceremony, but substance.

Deu 17:15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

Deu 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. (Egypt is symbolic of trusting in the flesh, or the world.)

Deu 17:17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. (God wants us to trust him only)

Deu 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:

I believe when David became king and began to be obedient to the command to write the law, to copy it and study it, that it became a labor of love, and his delight and love for the word of God resulted in a lot of his songs, and Psalms.

Anyway, when David met up with his brothers, and hears Goliath’s challenge, he listens as the army of Israel talks about what needs to be done, and the decree Saul made to reward the man who defeated Goliath, but no one has the faith or courage to stand up and fight. Saul was not being a good example of leadership, having decreed a huge financial reward, and the hand of his daughter Michal to the one who defeated Goliath. He was more than a little desperate, I think, to find a volunteer. He deemed himself unable to defeat the giant, having forgotten the past victories the Lord had given him. But David saw the situation differently. He was zealous and had a love for the Lord, for his glory and honor. He gave no thought to making a reputation for himself, but was indignant at the reproach against God.

Eliab’s harsh criticism revealed part of his heart when he heard David discussing the situation with those around him. This highly feared prophet had come in among his family and anointed the youngest child, and now here he comes and the people are talking about the king’s word but unwilling to act on it, without enough faith to fight the battle. David is angry by the affront to God at Goliath’s challenge, and overlooked the cowardice all around him, and reminded them who they were when he said how dare this giant defy the armies of the living God? Surely his statement lit a spark of encouragement and shame in those around, that a young boy with no combat experience but great courage and faith was unafraid. It is a reproach to the Almighty when his children cower before their enemy, their strongholds, and their battles. It’s a sign we have not entered into the rest of faith and confidence in God. Faith isn’t believing God can, it’s knowing he will. We can leave such a loophole for our carnal minds if we tell ourselves, “Oh, God can, but if it doesn’t happen, there must be a reason I don’t know about.”

Israel was being challenged by an enemy who wanted to make slaves of them. Instead of calling on God, they saw Saul had no backbone here, and their courage faltered. And not to forget Eliab, when he got angry at his brother David, we see a little into his heart by what he said. He says basically, “What are you doing here? All you have to do is care for a few sheep.” Eliab had a proud and haughty spirit, which is why he accused David of having one himself. He accuses David of coming to see the battle, when there was no battle to see. The armies of Israel weren’t fighting, they were just a bunch of scared soldiers without enough faith to believe in their God and act on his promises.

I don’t want anything in my heart to cause God to refuse me as he did Eliab in 1 Sam 16:7. The army of Israel was so discouraged by the sight of their eyes and hearing of their ears, they forgot how God had so wonderfully delivered them before, and how far he’d brought them. They forgot God said he’d set the land before them and to go up and possess it and fear not nor be discouraged. (Deut. 1:21)

They forgot God said HE would go before them and fight for them, like he did in Egypt. (Deut 1:30). They forgot how God put a fear and dread of them on all the nations around who heard of them at their approach to the promised land. (Deut 2:25). And they forgot Deut 20:1-when God said when they went to battle not to be afraid of their enemy for God was with them. Over and over he told them he was with them. What other help did they need? The same thing he says to us today.
Heb. 13:5 says he will never leave us or forsake us. And they forgot this great promise in Deuteronomy:

Deu 20:3 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;

Deu 20:4 For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

And when the others heard David’s courage, and willingness to fight, they reported it to Saul. And he immediately tried to discourage David. But instead of taking heed to Saul and his unbelief, David responded with faith in his God, reciting past deliverances God had given him. Trusting God would give him the victory this time, as well. For it was God’s honor that David was concerned with, not man’s reputation. He realized it was a reproach to God for this Philistine to threaten God’s people, to attack God’s people was to attack God himself. And David did not trust in men’s armor to protect him. He went only in the name of the Lord with a few stones and a shepherd’s sling. And when his enemy saw him coming to battle and began to taunt and mock him, David was undisturbed. His trust in God was unshakeable, as was his zeal for the Almighty. I love what David said to him:

1Sa 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

1Sa 17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

Did you catch that? David said to his enemy, not only am I going to take you down, but I'm going to take your buddies down, too. All the host of the devil's army can't stand against a child of God who knows and believes their God. Remember Daniel 's writing says "they that know their God shall be strong and do exploits." (Dan. 11:32)

1Sa 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hands.

If there is a giant or a stronghold in your life that hinders you from coming into the fullness of Christ, the fullness that God has for you, you can, in the name of your God, through his Holy Spirit declare war on it. He will tear down those strongholds, he will fight for you. He loves us, and he has made us more than conquerors. We don’t have to surrender our loved ones to sin, we can pray conviction down on their heads. We can ask God to defeat the power of sin in their lives. Take the pleasure out of it for them. Give them Holy Ghost miseries. And if there is fear or unbelief in us, he can cast it down, too. Pray his word back to him. Ask him to fulfill what he has already promised to do. Lord, hasten the day. But take care not to beg him or plead with him to do something he already promised in his word he would do. That is the prayer of unbelief. If he promised to do it, stand on it. Count on it. Ask him to hasten its fulfillment. But don’t ask him to do it if he said he would. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we could ever ask or think. He is God. IT’S TIME WE LET HIM BE GOD TO US. TO REGARD HIM WITH THE REVERENCE AND FEAR AND DEVOTION HE IS WORTHY OF. TO TRUST HIM TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND TO KNOW HE WANTS TO SAVE MORE THAN WE WANT HIM TO. IT’S BEEN SAID THE WORLD HAS YET TO SEE WHAT GOD COULD DO THROUGH A COMPLETELY SURRENDERED VESSEL. I BEG TO DIFFER. THE WORLD HAS SEEN. HIS NAME WAS JESUS CHRIST. AND WHAT HE DID FOR HIM, THROUGH HIM, THE DELIVERANCES HE WROUGHT THROUGH HIM, THE POWERS OF HELL HE SHOOK THROUGH JESUS, HE CAN DO THROUGH US IF WE SUBMIT UNDER THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD THE DEVIL WILL HAVE TO FLEE. Don't believe that? Then let me remind you of this:

Joh 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

We must let God lead, and willingly, happily, trustingly follow him, his way is so much better than ours. “There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the ways thereof are death.” (Prov. 14:12)

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