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Remember the Bedtime Story that you parents told you as a child about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace?

We see in the story that:

Three men go in the fire.    Four men are seen in the fire.       Three men come out of the fire.

Where is the fourth man?  Is it possible that Jesus is still in the fire?  If you ever feel like you can’t find Jesus, look for Him among the afflicted and those experiencing the fiery furnace.

Maybe the next time we are thrown into a fiery circumstance, instead of praying, “Jesus get me out of here!”  Maybe we should pray, “Jesus if you are in here, let me see you!”

Join us this Sunday, 10-23-16 at Believers Church, at 9 or 11 a.m. as we discover another Bedtime Truth in the stories that we tell our children at Bedtime.  The truth that faith is always our pathway to victory.

 

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Has God promised you something, but there seems to be a big wall that’s blocking your receiving what God has for you?

Wouldn’t it be nice if that wall just fell down?

Well if God has promised you something every wall that is standing in the way must fall!

But the wall’s not coming down with your plan or power, that wall’s only going to fall when you tap into God’s plan and power!

Join us this Sunday, 10-09-16, at Believers Church, at 9 or 11 a.m. as we look at the Bedtime Truth found in the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.  When confronted with a wall standing in the way of what God wants us to do, He will remove it.  Not our way, but His way!

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Bedtime Stories Truths       David and Goliath             Believers Statesboro 10-02-16

Remember when your parents tucked you in and told you those bedtime Bible stories?  Maybe they read them or just told you those stories.  But let me ask you this, “Were they just bedtime stories or were they actually bedtime truths; bedtime stories that were truths from God’s word that forever and profoundly changed our lives?

One of the most popular stories read at bedtime to our children is the story of a Sheppard boy named David, who defeats a giant, Goliath, and win’s a decisive battle for the nation of Israel.  It has inspired us and our children for many, many years, as we understand the truth that through God’s power and plan we too can defeat the giants in our lives.

Giant’s Cause Great Fear and Uncertainty

This story is recorded in 1 Samuel 17 and begins with a standoff between two nation’s armies who are sworn enemies.

1 Samuel 17:2-3 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

Saul and his army assembled to hold back the advance of the Philistines. The two armies find themselves camped on two ridges with a valley separating them.  This is a military nightmare seeing that the advancing army would have to go down into the valley and then try to make a hard climb up to the other side.  Its not the way either army wants to attack the other, so there was a stale mate and standoff until Goliath issued a solution.

1 Samuel 17:4-11 4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span (about 3 meters of 9 Ft. – 9” tall). 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels (125 lbs.); 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.  7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels (15 lbs.).  His shield bearer went ahead of him. 8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul?  Choose a man and have him come down to me.  9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.”  10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel!  Give me a man and let us fight each other.”  11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. 

David’s leadership was established in an environment of fear and uncertainty.

Where there is fear and uncertainty there is opportunity.  Where there is great fear and great uncertainty there is great opportunity.

There are many different types of Giants in our lives, things that seem overwhelming and cause great stress, fear, and uncertainty. God has positioned you and equipped you to be a giant slayer.

Next Step:  This week I will identify the Giants in my life.

Giant Slayers Are Ordinary People

David, the youngest of eight boys, who isn’t even in the army, is sent to the battle lines to bring supplies to his three oldest brothers.  David didn’t set out that morning to kill a giant. He was just delivering lunch.

  • David was not considered to be world changer material.  In 1 Samuel 16, we see that David was not even considered to be King material, yet God saw what others could not see.

1 Samuel 17:20-24  20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed.  He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.  21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other.  22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were.  23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it.  24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.

Though ordinary circumstance and situations God put David in a place to hear and see a problem.  David heard Goliath’s defiance and saw the Israelites fleeing in great fear.

Giant Slayers Will Not Be Understood By All

1 Samuel 17:25-29 25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel.  The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.” 26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?  Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”  27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”

Maybe it was motived by Eliab’s own fear, or maybe he was still jealous that the prophet Samuel had anointed his youngest brother, David, to be the future king instead of him.  Whatever the motivation he launched an all out public attack! 
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here?  And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness?  I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” 29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?”

As a giant slayer and an agent of change you will sometimes be misunderstood.  “Why are you doing what you are doing?”  “You are so conceited if you think you can take down that giant!”  Your heart must be wicked!”  “You are just a thrill seeker wanting to see a good fight.”

Giant Slayers Step Through Doors of Opportunity

King Saul caught wind of all of this and sent for David.

1 Samuel 17:32-36 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”  33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

Saul had no faith in David’s ability or chances for success.

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep.  When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”  Knowing the source of your strength gives your faith and confidence! Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

Giant Slayers, like David, don’t just see that there needs to be a change. They initiate change.

  • Giant Slayers don’t just see an opportunity, but they seize the opportunity
  • The courage to initiate change, to lead others to change, is what will set us apart.

The Lord Will Deliver Your Giants Into Your Hands

1 Samuel 17:41-50  41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David.  42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him.  43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49
Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

Giants Aren’t Always What We Think They Are

When the Israelites looked down from the ridge to see Goliath standing in the valley, they saw an undefeatable champion warrior giant.

  • He wore a heavy metal helmet.
  • He wore body armor like fish scales covering his arms all the way down to his knees. (125 lbs.)
  • He had bronze shin guards protecting his legs and feet.
  • Goliath had three weapons
    • He had a bronze thrusting javelin capable of penetrating armor and shields.
    • He had a sword on his side.
    • He had a special short range spear with a cord tied to it, with a shaft as thick as a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed 15 lbs.  This would allow him to release his spear with extreme force and precession.

What they saw was the mightiest hand to hand combat warrior they had ever seen.  Goliath was expecting the Israelites to send out another foot soldier to fight him in single combat!  And the Israelites were right in thinking that if anyone fought Goliath on those terms he was a dead man!

Giant Slayers Can’t Successfully Be Who They Are Not

Saul, knowing that Goliath was a foot solider, knew David, a boy, would not survive very long against him. Because David insisted, and Saul had no other options, he tried to dress David to fit the part.  He was actually trying to make David be something that he wasn’t.

1 Samuel 17:38-39  38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic.  He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head.  39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.

David was saying, “I can’t walk like this.”  “This is not who I am.”  This is not who God has created me to be.”

  • You and I will never be Giant Slayers if we try to be someone who we are not.  If we try to walk in gifts or callings that are not ours we will surely be defeated.
  • Someone else’s armor was too heavy to bear, and not suited for David’s style of fighting.

Ancient armies had three types of warriors who would attack in the following order:

  1. The cavalry who would ride in armed on chariots or horses.
  2. The infantry who were foot soldiers in heavy armor who would do hand to hand combat with swords and shields. (Goliath)
  3. The projectile warriors or artillery who were archers and slingers who could hurl a rock like a bullet with great speed and velocity.

Historians compared this concept to a rock, paper, scissors approach for a balanced army.

“With long pikes and armor, infantry could stand up to cavalry.  Cavalry could, in turn, defeat projectile warriors, because the horse moved too quickly for artillery to take proper aim.  And projectiles warriors were deadly against infantry, because a big lumbering soldier, weighed down by his armor, was a sitting duck for a slinger.”[1]

Here is the wisdom of God!  David was a slinger and a good one at that!  God had prepared David in a field protecting sheep where he was able to perfect his skill and giftedness.  He had already killed a lion and a bear and he knew with Gods help that he could defeat this giant too!

1 Samuel 17:40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

You Be You!

  • Hone your gifts, your talents, and your skill sets.
  • One day, a Giant will need to be slain and God will choose you to do it, because you have exactly what is needed at the time to take that giant down!                                                        

Every Giant In Your Life Has A Weakness

Don’t be like the Israelite army and be terrified when some giant challenges you.  Allow God to show you the weaknesses or flaws in the giants you are facing.

  • Goliath was weighted down with armor and slow.  David was light and fast.
  • Goliath was only trained in hand to hand combat and needed David to come close to fight him.
  • Possibly Goliath suffered from acromegaly – a condition cause by a benign tumor of the pituitary gland, which causes an overproduction of human growth hormone causing giant size. The tallest man in modern times, Robert Wadlow, suffered from this as well, resulting in severely restricted sight and diplopia, or double vision.
  • It was very unusual that Goliath came on the battle field with a shield bearer. Was he a guide?
  • He saw sticks in David’s hand when David was actually holding one staff.
  • He wasn’t able to tell that David was a slinger until it was too late!

Giants are not always what we think they are.  Some of their qualities that others fear may actually be the source of their weakness.

Next Step:  This week I will not only identify the Giants in my life.  But I will ask the Lord to show me the weakness in those giants that will take them down.

Giant Slayers Inspire Others

1 Samuel 17:50-52  50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. 51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath…

David’s courage empowered others to act courageously too!  Courage is contagious!

When we begin to slay our giant, there will be a renewal of MOMENTUM on the battlefield, and others will begin to slay their giants too!

David’s courage incited the army to engage their enemy and win!

Will your courage incite your family, friends, and church to engage their giants and win!

I believe it will!

Life App Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Who did you invite to church for this Bedtime Truths series? How did it go?
  2. Do you think we are living in a time of great fear and uncertainty? How does that produce opportunity?
  3. What are some of the giants that you can identify in your life or in the world that we live in today?
  4. Can you think of examples of past giants that were slain in your life or in the lives of others?
  5. Giants are not always what we think they are. Some of their qualities that others fear may actually be the source of their weakness. Can you identity weakness in the giants, listed in questions 3 and 4, that could be their downfall?

 

[1] Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath Underdogs, Misfits, And The Art of Battling Giants (New York: Little Brown and Company, 2013), p. 10-11