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David and the Dwarf, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
May 30, 2022 7:05 am

David and the Dwarf, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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May 30, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Today on Insight for Living. We'll have the benefit of reading the precise details of the enemy. We'll be looking at the celebrated battle between the obscure shepherd boy, a warrior named David, and the large over the nation of Israel. Though Goliath the Philistine was nine feet nine inches tall, it was really young David who stood tallest on the battlefield that day. Let me read for you portions of David's victory story from the 17th chapter of 1 Samuel so that you can have a better understanding of how you too can face and conquer the giants in your life.

We'll begin reading at verse 1. Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle, and they were gathered at Soka, which belongs to Judah, and they camped between Soka and Azekah in Ephesdamim. Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and camped in the valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array to encounter the Philistines. The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side, while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side with the valley between them.

Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. Verse 8. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, and said to them, Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul?

Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us. Again the Philistines said, I defy the ranks of Israel this day.

Give me a man that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Now David was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons.

And Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men. Verse 31. When the words which David spoke were heard, they told him to Saul, and he sent for him.

David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail on account of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine. Then Saul said to David, You were not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, while he has been a warrior from his youth. But David said to Saul, Your servant was tending his father's sheep.

When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him and rescued it from his mouth. And when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God. And David said, The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, he will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Go, and may the Lord be with you.

Verse 40 David took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd's bag, which he had even in his pouch. And his sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. Then the Philistine came on and approached David with the shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth and ruddy with a handsome appearance. 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. The Philistine also said to David, Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field. Then David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and 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 taunted.

This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear, for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. Then it happened, when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand into his bag, and took from it a stone, and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead.

And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone. And he struck the Philistine and killed him, but there was no sword in David's hand. Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. Now verse 54, then David took the Philistine's head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent. This is Insight for Living.

For resources designed to help you dig deeper into today's topic, go to insight.org. And now let's continue Chuck Swindoll's message titled, David and the Dwarf. In a pastor that I held up in New England a number of years ago, there was a local high school that began a new course entitled The Bible as Literature. The individual who desired to teach that course thought that it might be good to know how much the kids in the senior class who would take that elective knew about the Bible.

It was an incredible revelation. He found after giving a quiz to the top percentage, academic percentage of the class, that their biblical ignorance was appalling. He found that most of the students believed that the Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John. A number of people believed that Adam was created from an apple.

These are serious answers that they gave. They believed that Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers. They thought that Ahab was Jezebel's donkey. And the one answer that blew my mind when I heard it was the answer given to the question, what was Golgotha? The answer came, Golgotha was the name of the giant that slew the apostle David.

Three or four mistakes alone in the last answer. Now I have a feeling that you know a great deal more about your Bible than those high schoolers, at least I hope that you do. Because we're going to be looking at perhaps the most familiar of all the battles of the Old Testament this evening.

Not fought between two armies really, but a battle that was fought between two people who represented two forces. And it is the familiar battle between David and Goliath. But before we look at chapter 17 of 1 Samuel to see that story, I want you to look at chapter 16 verse 7. I know that you've looked at the verse before, but I want you to see it again because it is sort of the life verse for David.

I don't think it would be a bad idea for some of us to take it as a life verse for ourselves. 1 Samuel 16, 7, but the Lord said to Samuel, do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature because I have rejected him. For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Literally verse 7 reads, for man looks at the face, but the Lord looks at the heart. We being men and women are subject to that very problem of being impressed with or not impressed with individuals because we judge from their face.

We look at the externals and we come to a conclusion and it is usually erroneous. Now if ever that verse applied, it applies in the story of David and Goliath. Goliath having all the things that would normally impress and more than that intimidate an individual, David began to see like God always sees and he was not impressed and he was not intimidated because no matter how big the giant might be in anyone's life, God is greater than that giant. That I think is what the story is going to tell us tonight. The story in chapter 17 revolves around people and events and some great truths that I don't want us to miss. I learned this morning that those three things are found in the Bible.

There are two main characters and another third character that plays sort of a minor role in this drama. There is a major event that is fought at the Valley of Elah or if you've traveled in Palestine, the Valley of the Terabenth. And the third thing that we should see is that in this passage there are some timeless principles.

Four of them I want to share as we wrap up our thoughts together. First of all, let's take a look at the scene as it was in chapter 17, first the battleground itself. The Philistines gathered their armies for battle and there were gathered at Soko which belongs to Judah. And they camped at this location and Saul, verse 2, he's the third character by the way, the minor role played by Saul. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up in battle array to encounter the Philistines.

Now to get the picture in your mind, the Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side with the valley between them. Probably it would help us to understand that this valley was more like a canyon than a little valley. When we think of a valley we probably think of an area that's rather small, but this was a vast canyon. Travelers tell us that the ancient site was probably about a mile wide and it opened up toward the mouth of the canyon even further. There was a ravine at the bottom of the slopes that was about 10 to 12, perhaps even 15 to 20 feet wide. This little ravine where David found the pebbles for the sling. But there was this great slope to one side of half a mile perhaps and then on the other side there was another vast slope of another half mile stretching a full mile across.

It was no small area. And bivouacked on one slope was the army of Israel and then on the other slope the army of the Philistines. Goliath came forth according to verse 4 down through verse 10, including verse 16, and his size was so impressive that the writer pauses to tell us about that giant. There was a champion, verse 4 we're reading, who came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. Now we don't understand what that passage means because we don't measure things by a cubit or a span, we measure them by feet and inches. And realizing our inability to understand that distance, I brought along a little help this evening to show you how tall Goliath was. Goliath was nine feet, nine inches tall. There he is in all his glory. Just thought you'd like to see what it looks like to be nine feet nine.

He could jump center for abominable state, let's face it. He was an enormous man. By the way, I had a little interesting experience bringing this to the church this morning. As some of you know, I drive a little bug, Volkswagen, and I couldn't get this inside. And so I was in a little bit of a hurry this morning and had forgotten to plan ahead, and about 7.20 I hopped in the car and I leaned this against the side of the car, and I reached out after closing the door out through the window and I held it outside the car like this. So I got in, put it in gear, and I was driving down here and before long the wind began to sort of shake it around. And I thought, that's kind of fun, and so I got up and I was doing this. And I went around the corner, slinging this thing around, and there was an officer on the corner who motioned to me and said... And that did not mean go right on.

It meant pull over. Now I have written on this little board, do not remove, this is Goliath. And I wanted to sit this board down here and I didn't want the custodian to run off with it. And so when the officer walked up, he said to me, what are you doing? And I said, I'm taking this to church. And he said, what in the world is it?

And I said, it is Goliath. And then he said, who are you? And then I said, I am a minister. And I said, I am on my way to church. And he said, is that the church that you go to down there? And I said, yes, sir, that's the church. He said, go on. So if he is here tonight, I want to thank him for letting me come on to church and to bring this with me.

I wanted you to see and I went to all that sacrifice to get this little piece here. That's how tall, well, what does it say? Six cubits and a span is.

That's what it looks like. And if you add to that the height of his arms, when he would be able to lift them up over his head, you see what an imposing creature he was. Let's read on something about this giant. We read that he had a bronze helmet on his head. He was clothed with scale armor. We would call it a coat of mail.

I understand that the Philistines garbed themselves for battle like the ancient Assyrians. They carried, they wore a heavy undergarment like canvas and it was it was interlaced with ringlets of bronze. In other words, it was a coat of mail that went from the shoulders to the knee, almost to cover the body to protect it from the blow of a club. And notice it weighed, verse five, five thousand shekels of bronze.

If you look at that closely, you'll discover that it weighed between a hundred seventy five and two hundred pounds. The armor alone, the coat of mail. So he has on this helmet.

He's he's nine feet nine. He has a he has a helmet on his head. He has a coat of mail that weighs perhaps almost two hundred pounds.

Let's read on. He had bronze greaves, which means leggings to protect the shins, and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders. This was an extra piece of armor or an extra weapon slung behind the neck with a with a strap, no doubt to hold it. And the shaft of his spear was like a weavers beam. And the head of the spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron. That's about twenty to twenty five pounds, just the head of the spear that he carried.

Here is this massive giant with helmet, with coat of mail, leggings, the spear behind him and the spear in his hand. And notice also that it says he had a shield carrier who walked before him. The word used for shield is the Hebrew word for the largest shield that men used in battle.

It was the size of a full grown man to protect him from the arrows of the of the enemy. So he had running in front of him this fellow that carried his shield. The most submissive man in the world was the guy that carried that shield for Goliath. I'm convinced he ran in front of Goliath carrying the shield to protect Goliath for some reason. I suppose Goliath needed protection from a shield and he was there to carry that out.

Notice something that the that the giant did. He stood verse eight and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul?

Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. He was suggesting what was commonly done in the eastern world and that is a representative battle. I will represent the Philistine host. Let your man represent the Israelis.

You send a representative. I will represent my army and whoever wins. So the army wins and whoever loses the whole army will lose. He was suggesting that they fight one on one rather than one army against another. He said, Why are you bivouacked up there?

There's no reason for you to be there. Just send a fighter and I'll take him on. I'm the champion.

I am the greatest. I suppose he would say if he lived today. Verse nine, If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, you shall become our servants and serve us. One more verse again, the Philistine said, I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man that that we may fight together.

Now, you think that happened only once? No, look at verse 16. Verse 16 says it went on 40 days. The Philistine came forward morning and evening for 40 days and took his stand.

In the theatrical world, this is known as a cliffhanger. We're right in the middle of the familiar showdown between David and Goliath. And I'll urge you to keep listening because details about the outcome of this battle may surprise you. You're listening to the Bible teaching of Chuck Swindoll, and this is Insight for Living.

We'll hear a closing comment from our Bible teacher in just a moment, so please stay with us. And then if you'd like to learn more about this ministry, be sure to visit us online at insightworld.org. But first, perhaps today we'll afford a couple of extra minutes to browse our variety of free resources available to you. Insight for Living has taken extra measures to make Chuck's teaching available to you, not only through this daily program, but for instance on our mobile app as well. By using the Insight for Living mobile app, you can readily listen to this teaching series at your own pace. There's even a Bible reading guide, and Chuck's daily devotional is there too.

Look for the mobile app through your favorite app store or go directly to insight.org slash app. At Insight for Living, we've been surprised, just as you have, by the complicated international tensions that escalated this year. It only bolstered our resolve to stay the course and remain committed to the mandate Jesus gave us long ago.

Here's Chuck. I've discovered a strange statement in Scripture that summarizes the Christian life. Listen to these words from Hebrews 11, verse 8. It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home. He went without knowing where he was going. There isn't a Christian listening to my voice who hasn't walked that path, leaving the familiar for the unknown, obeying, yet not really understanding, going, yet not knowing. If you had asked me where God was taking Cynthia and me as we began this ministry, I could never have told you. I didn't even have a clue.

We didn't have a brilliant strategy or some master plan. It all started so insignificantly small. In fact, our mailing list could fit into a shoebox right under our bed. Today, however, Insight for Living reaches into places I will never step foot. All around the world, at Insight for Living, we're still going, yet not knowing. Every single day, we take another step of faith, and we never walk alone.

You see, that's where you fit in. Will you come alongside us today with a generous donation as we follow Jesus' final command? Go and make disciples of all the nations. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. This month, more than most, your gift really matters. Our financial year closes in a few weeks, and we still have a long way to go to meet our budget goals.

So your generous donation before the 30th of June will make all the difference, believe me. God refers to His children as strangers and pilgrims. How true. We're people on the move, unencumbered, ready to roll, wherever and whenever God leaves. Together, let's step forward in faith, going, yet not knowing. Thanks, Chuck. As you're prepared to join with us in making disciples of all nations, we invite you to give generously toward this worthy cause.

Here's how you can respond. You can give online at insight.org slash donate. That's insight.org slash donate. And thank you for your generous support of Insight for Living Ministries. I'm Bill Meyer, inviting you to join us tomorrow when Chuck Swindoll continues his clarifying message about David's battle with Goliath on Insight for Living. The preceding message, David and the Dwarf, was copyrighted in 1977, 1988, 1997 and 2009, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2009 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-12 00:17:25 / 2023-04-12 00:26:38 / 9

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