Art Moffat Sermons – August

 

God Focused vs.  Giant Focused

He was youngest of 8 boys.  He was in his late

Art Moffat Pastor
Art Moffat Pastor

teens or early 20’s.  He was standing in a stream of cool water.  Looking down at it.

He had a pouch around his waist.  Leather.  Probably tanned sheep skin.

There is a giant up the hill from him.  Watching him.

The young man in the creek pays no attention to the giant.  None.

Even though the giant it 9’6” tall.  Wearing 125 pounds of armor that covers every part of his body except his mouth and forehead.

And, he is acting like one of those Neanderthals you see on WWWF —- World Wide Wrestling  Federation — towards the young man in the stream of cool water.

And the young man would occasionally  reach down in the stream of cool water, pull out a round stone, hold it up to the sky, roll it around, and either put it in his tanned, leather pouch or drop it  back in the stream of cool water. 

When the young man had 5 stones in his pouch, he started up the hill.  Not close enough to where the giant could put his very large spear though him.  The head of the spear itself weighed 15 pounds.  That is the weight of a good sized sledge hammer.  

For 39 days before this, the giant, in his armor and with a large sword on his belt, was defying the Israeli army. 

The Israeli army was on one hill, the Philistine army was on the next.  Between them was a steep, deep valley.

Neither army wanted to advance because of the steep, deep valley between.  That was a recipe for defeat.

So, every morning for 40 days the giant went to the edge of his army’s hill and with his thunderous voice would challenge Israel to send someone to fight him.  Winner takes all.

This was the 40th day.  The giant had already thundered out his challenge across the valley to the Israelites.

But no one came forward to fight this giant. And it happened that this young man, who was not even a soldier, but a shepherd, was bringing some food to his brothers, who were soldiers.  And he heard the giant making his challenge.

The young man asked a soldier near him, “Who is this unbeliever who is defying the army of the living God?”  To this young shepherd, the giant was challenging the power of Almighty God.

There is no man, no armor, no spear, and no  sword, more powerful than The Lord Almighty. And He will not be mocked or belittled.

The  young man was a shepherd.  He was also anointed by God.  And, by golly, by the power of the Lord he would not stand still and hear the Lord or His earthy army be mocked and belittled. 

That is when he walked down the hill into the valley and into the stream.

So he now he has his 5 round stones.  He runs up on the giant’s hill — and at some distance he is facing the giant.  The large Philistine army is  behind the giant. 

v. 41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 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, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:41-47

David, the shepherd, had his stick — shepherd’s staff.  That would not even dent the giant’s armor —and besides — the spear would be longer than the staff —plus, the giant’s sword could cut that staff in to pieces.

Where is the advantage?

David, the shepherd, had two things that the giant didn’t know about.

1.  A sling to propel the stones

2. God.  The Lord God Almighty, Yahweh

Of the two, I’ll take the 2nd.  Whether the first is a fighter jet, a bomber, an army or anything else.

Give me God against  anybody else’s  anything.

The giant begins to walk toward David

 Then, suddenly, David starts running toward the giant.

I believe that was to distract the shield bearer who probably looked like a nightclub bouncer.

The shield bearer didn’t see a weapon. All he saw was the shepherd’s  staff.  I think the shield bearer dropped the protecting shield here— with David running toward him and giant.

At this time, David pulls out the sling — he’s running— reaches for a round stone, puts it in the pocket of that sling, reaches back— and he would be close to the giant here — dangerously close — and he lets that stone fly — unexpectedly to the shield bearer and to the 9’6” giant.

Remember, there were only 2 exposed places in that armor — the forehead and the mouth where the giant challenged the army of the living God.

That round stone is propelled not only by David, but guided by Almighty God.

49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. 1Samuel 17:49

And the giant, all 9’6” of him, and his 125 pounds of armor crashed to the ground. 

No one moves.  No one can believe it. Except this believing, faith driven shepherd kid.

He runs up to the fallen giant — who is probably stunned by the stone sunk into the bone of his forehead.  David takes out the giant’s sword — raises it over his head in triumph for the living God — then cuts off the giant’s head.

No one in the Philistine army makes a move toward David.  A deal is a deal.  The giant is dead.  Finished!  Instead, the Philistine army runs.  They just saw the power of Almighty God.  And the entire Philistine Army just witnessed a person who was God focused vs. an army that was giant focused 

David shows up that day discussing God.  The Israelites soldering around him say nothing about God. They talk of the giant.  And they are the very army of the living God.

Did you notice that first words of David, the young man without armor or spear or sword, what he said?

“Who is this unbeliever?”

Meaning, “We have the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, Who made heaven and earth, who makes lightening strike, who makes the sun to shine by day and the moon by night. And you soldiers are focusing on the strength of a 9’6” mortal man.”

David didn’t look at the odds sheet.

Let’s repeat this:

No one else is discussing God, not even the army of the living God.  David, a young man from the pasture shows up, carrying a shepherd’s staff, a thick stick, a sling in his belt and he discusses no one but God. 

I’ve been in that room.

I’ve been in that discussion

When are they going to speak of the power of God? And they keep looking at the giant.  Completely focusing on the problem at hand

The sickness someone faces

The job that just disappeared

Someone who has been abandoned…

The giant is in the room or in our head.

David sees what the others don’t.  And David refuses to see the giant.  Why?  Because he is looking at God.  The Living God.  He is expecting Him.

The David’s of the kingdom of God remember,

“He will never leave me or forsake me.”

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

“God can do exceedingly and abundantly more than I can even think about or imagine.”

Everyone’s focus is on the giant.  The giant is controlling the conversation just by his or its presence.

The giant is bigger than life and they are making him even bigger — even larger.  They are preoccupied with the giant’s presence.

They are making the giant omnipotent, all powerful.  Their compass in set on the giant.  They say The Apostle’s Creed and sing the Gloria Patri on Sunday when they  are God focused.  Now the giant shows up.  And it seems to obliterate the SON and they are giant focused.  

David knows that giant is there.  He is not going to magnify him.  Almighty God is so much greater.  He is the beginning and the end.

Now at this point, some would say in this teaching, what I am driving at is unrealistic.

But my Bible says that God is more real than anything I know or can imagine.  Everything else is but a shadow. (Book of Hebrews)

8 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:8

If God can raise Jesus from 3 days of death in the tomb and raise Him in His faithfulness to power and glory, nothing is impossible with God. 

David saw the God of the Army of God.  The Bible calls David, “A man of God’s own heart.”

As a young man he really only carried one weapon to face the giant.  

The weapon was God.

The same weapon that every believer, like David, has to fight the giants that we will face.

Jesus is Lord.

Amen!

 

 

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