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David and the Dwarf, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2022 7:05 am

David and the Dwarf, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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May 31, 2022 7:05 am

David: A Man of Passion and Destiny

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Today, Chuck Swindoll on David and Goliath. We see the present as though seeing with hindsight. What a wise young man. Unintimidated. People of faith are often tested for their courage.

Whether it's the sagging economy, the loss of a job, perhaps a fractured relationship, these common issues cast a large shadow over our confidence. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues a message introduced yesterday based on a dramatic conflict that unfolds in 1 Samuel 17. It's the well-known story about a young warrior who faced the biggest battle of his life. Need a new perspective on the giant facing you? We begin in 1 Samuel 17 verse 4. Chuck titled his message, David and the Dwarf. 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. He's nine feet nine. He has a helmet on his head. He has a coat of mail that weighs perhaps almost 200 pounds.

Let's read on. And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and the head of the spear weighed 600 shekels of iron. That's about 20 to 25 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.

Notice something that the giant did. He stood, verse 8, 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 bivwacked up there?

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

I am the greatest. Verse 9, 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 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. By the way, you've got giants in your life and they don't come just once. They come morning and evening, day after day, relentlessly coming to intimidate. They come in the form of a person or the giant comes in the form of a pressure or a worry. Some fear that hangs there and hammers on your heart every morning and every night, day in and day out, yelling across the ravine in your own personal valley of Elah. Just like Goliath, the principle is still true.

Few things are more persistent than our fears, our worries. Now let's notice on the other side a change in scene. About 10-15 miles away there was a little hamlet named Bethlehem. In that hamlet there lived a family, the family of Jesse, who had eight sons, the youngest of whom was David, whom we have met in earlier evenings together. And he is keeping his father's sheep. I believe that David knew very little of the battle, probably had never once heard of Goliath, or if he had it was only something of the scuttlebutt that passed from one soldier to another and finally wafted up on the hills of Judah and rang into David's ears. He had never seen him.

He knew nothing of what was going on. He was keeping his father's sheep. Now the scene changes to that quiet, simple hamlet in verse 12. David was the son of this Ephrathite of Bethlehem whose name was Jesse. Verse 13 says the three older sons were in the army of Saul. So there was Eliab the first born and Abinadab the second and Shammah the third who were fighting in Saul's army. But David was too young.

He wasn't even 20 years of age. David was the youngest, the three oldest followed Saul. David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father's flock at Bethlehem.

And the Philistine came forward morning and evening for 40 days and took his stand. Now in the meantime the father of Jesse, the father of the sons, became concerned about the welfare of the boys in battle. He knew much of the battle.

The boy was out tending the sheep. He didn't know and he probably could care less, at least if that's true. If he cared at all it's not revealed. But the father was concerned about Eliab and Shammah and Abinadab. So he told David, I want you to run an errand for me. Verse 17, take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves and run to the camp to your brothers and bring these ten cuts of cheese to the commander of their thousand. They were going to take some quarter pounder with cheese and some large fries up to the battleground and David was to give them some refreshments. He was to go and to represent the love of the father to the boys. He didn't have any plans to fight. He was just going to go and bring them some refreshments. Bring them something to let them know that dad at home was concerned. Look into the welfare of your brothers and bring back the news. No plans to fight.

Remember that. By the way, this morning rose just like any other morning in the life of David. That's the way it is in our life. You face a Goliath and you don't even know it's coming until that morning and it happens. The 41st morning of Goliath's experience was the last day of his life and it was really the first day of David's heroic life.

Nobody announced it. No angel blasted a horn from heaven saying David this is your day. He just rose up early says verse 20. Early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him and he came to the circle of the camp while the army was going out in battle shouting the war cry. So here's David.

It must have been exciting. He came with the cheeseburgers and he was ready to take them over and to present them to his brothers. And all of a sudden there was this war cry.

Look at verse 21. Israel and the Philistines drew up in battle array army against army. Well, he was watching this happen. David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper and ran to the battle line and entered in. He entered in order to greet his brothers. And as he was talking with them, this is neat. Behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath, named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines and he spoke these same words and David heard them. Now he's never heard them before. He's talking to Bubba, you know, standing there and he's talking to Shammah and he's talking to Abinadab and all of a sudden he hears this loud belch from across the ravine and there's Goliath coming up.

He's never seen Goliath. And here's David standing there and all of a sudden he's alone. That's what I see in verse 26. As he was talking with them, the champion came and spoke those words, verse 24. And when all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled, for they were afraid. And here's David talking and all of a sudden, he's all alone. He looks over there and he looks out and he sees this giant of a guy coming down, shouting out these defying words and cursing the God of Israel. And that made him mad. You're not supposed to talk like that about the God of Israel.

Why is everybody running? Remember now, this is the 40th time you've read the story, but this is the first time it's happened to David. He's never heard of this before and he's standing there experiencing it. Isn't it interesting how hindsight gives a lot of insight? Have you ever had a Goliath face you and three days later look back and say, Man, I wish I'd have done such and such. That's called hindsight. And it's infallible.

When you look back, you always know a better way, but at the time it happens, you sort of shoot from the hip. Unless you're a David. And David had the character it took to see the present as though seeing with hindsight. What a wise young man, unintimidated. Wow, am I impressed with David. Look at what he does.

It's beautiful. Verse 26, David spoke to the man who were standing by him saying, What will be done for the man who kills his Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? What's going to happen? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should taunt the armies of the living God? The people answered with with one accord with this word. Thus it will be done for the man who kills him. By the way, we missed what would be done on purpose. I want you to see that Saul had an incentive plan for killing the giant. The reason he did is because the one who qualified in the camp of Israel to fight Goliath was Saul. Remember, he's the one that's head and shoulders above everybody else. He's the one that really ought to be out there fighting Goliath and being a coward because he's not walking with God. He worked out an incentive plan that would get somebody else out in the battle.

Look at what it is. Verse 25, it will be, it's in the middle of verse, and it will be that the king, that's Saul, will enrich the man who kills Goliath with great riches. First of all, he'd make him rich and he will give him his daughter. Later on, we'll meet his daughter. You can understand why he'd want to give her as soon as he could. His name was Micah.

What a drag. And so he would make him rich, he'd give him his daughter, and third, he'd make his father's house free in Israel. No taxes.

It's the best of the three. He'd make him rich, he'd plague him with his daughter, and third, he'd give him the taxes. He'd take away all the tax problems. And so he said, look, this is what will happen, David. Listen to this incentive.

All sorts of external or extrinsic motivation. That just passed right over David's ears and David's head. He was concerned intrinsically with the name of God that was being blasphemed.

Who is this creature? I don't care how tall he is, that thinks he can speak of God in those terms. By the way, I don't know if you got this. It takes a little bit of concentration. But I was looking at the words in verse 8 and verse 25.

I want to show you something you maybe haven't seen before. Verse 8, he stood, that's Goliath, and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said, 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. Let him come down that slope and we'll meet at the ravine. In 40 days time, look at verse 25. Have you seen this man who is coming up?

Yeah. That dummy has come across the ravine and is coming up Israel's side now. Look, he's coming up, he's on Israel territory. And David says, what's he doing on our side? He's an enemy. You see, in 40 days time, if you tolerate a Goliath, he'll take over your territory.

He'll move in your camp. He'll in fact take your thoughts that normally ought to be on God and he'll put them on himself. You can't tolerate a Goliath.

You kill the giants. David says, well, who is this fellow? Now, I don't know if you've had this experience, but most Christians do when they go through a time of standing by faith. They will get flack, often from members of their own family.

Look at verse 28. It's what I call the older brother syndrome. The older brother syndrome. Eliyab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the men and Eliyab's anger burned against David. By the way, don't forget who Eliyab really is. He's the one who first walked into the house and Samuel said, that's the king, remember? Chapter 16. And God put his hand on Samuel's shoulder and said, no, no, that's not the one.

And a little later on, Eliyab was standing there when the horn of oil was emptied on the head of David. And the older brother saw the younger brother chosen to be the king. Maybe you haven't had it happen in your home, but I've seen it happen in homes where the younger gets blessed above the older. It's awfully hard for the older to handle that, isn't it? Hey, is your younger brother or your younger sister used in a greater way than you? Is that a bother with you? Is that a problem? Are you applauding God saying thank you, Lord, for lifting up your name through the life of my brother or my sister?

Isn't it hard for the older to share the glory? Eliyab saw David, remembered that he had been anointed, and he got his strokes in. He said to David, oh, why have you come down? The Berkeley says, why have you really come?

What is that? It's an attack on his motive. Look, David, why have you really showed up here? And then he asked the second question, which was designed to humiliate David. He said, and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness?

You get the slam? David, you know, you're the shepherd boy. Where did you leave those five sheep?

Just sort of a little subtle jab, twisting the knife. Where did you keep the few sheep? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart.

Isn't it interesting how a person who is guilty of the very things will call those things in the life of somebody else? Who had the insolent, wicked heart, the one calling the shots? Eliyab, the older brother. I know where you're coming from, he said. You've come down in order to see the battle. There's a little question in the Hebrew text as to whether it might say you have come down to be seen in the battle. Boy, am I impressed with David.

An average person would have rolled up his sleeves and used all his energy, you know, punching his brother's lights out rather than dealing with Goliath. David just ignores it, as if to say that. Look at what he says. He says, what have I done now?

Was it not just a question? Hey, let's go on to bigger things. And he walks right away. By the way, we've got to know who to fight, who to leave alone. You can fight all day long if you want to, and you never will get outside the ranks of the Christians. If you don't watch it, all of your battles will be in the realm of the family of God. You've got enough Christians to give you enough flak to have all of your energy used up right inside the circle. And the enemy just waxes eloquent outside, winning victory after victory.

I appreciated Pete Gilquist's book that was written some time ago. Let's stop fighting about the Holy Spirit. Let's stop fighting with one another.

Let's fight the real enemy. And he lives like a giant. And he roams the prairie of our territory.

We're spending our wheels and spending our energy on our own kind. David said, oh, just a question, let's go on. And so Saul calls him in. This is a beautiful scene. The scene changes from Eliab and David to Saul and David.

Look at it. Verse 31. Now remember, Saul's the guy that doesn't want to fight, but he won't admit it.

He's a phony, but he just doesn't know how to declare it. So when the words of David were told to Saul, he sent for him, and David said to Saul, let no man's heart fail on account of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, you're not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him. You're but a youth while he's been a warrior from his youth.

Remember 16.7? God is not impressed with the externals. He looks on the heart.

Man is impressed with the externals. He doesn't see the heart. Saul looked at David and said, you don't have the size for it.

You're just a little tyke. Look at that giant. I imagine about now David was blinking and thinking, what giant? The only giant in my life is God.

That's a dwarf over there, Saul. God doesn't fight on the basis of size and intelligence. God is omnipotent. And if he's on my side, omnipotent can't lose. Saul hadn't learned that.

You're not able to go up against the Philistine. And then he describes how in the past God proved himself faithful when he slew this bear and this lion. And he says in verse 37, the Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from this Philistine. By the way, we forget what we ought to remember and we remember what we ought to forget. We remember our defeats and we forget the victories.

Most people can give you the book, chapter, and verse in vivid detail of the failures of their lives. But we're hard pressed to name in the same specific way remarkable victories that God has pulled off. David says, you know why I can fight that giant, Saul? The God who gave me power over a lion and a bear will give me power over that giant. Hey, just let me at him.

Unintimidated. And look at this carnal Christian, verse 37, who answers, go and may the Lord be with you, brother. May God bless you. Isn't it remarkable how carnal Christians use a lot of spiritual cliches to cover up their empty life? They know all the verses.

They know all the sayings. God bless you. Boy, I'm not going to go out there and fight. I think it just passed right over David's head. He was all ready to go and Saul said, now wait a minute, David.

We've got to fix you up for battle. And tell me the Bible doesn't have humor. You're about ready to see some of it. Look at verse 38. Saul clothed David with his garments. Here's Saul, a 52 long and David is a 36 regular and Saul brings in this armor. This huge amount of, you know, all this stuff and he says, put it on David, verse 38.

It says, 38 says that he put his bronze helmet on his head. He clothed him with his armor. David girded his sword over his armor. Can't you see David? Give me that sword. It's so big he can't even hold that thing on him.

And look at what it says in 39. David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk. And David says, Saul, I can't fight like this. He says, I can't go with these. I haven't tested them.

David took them off. Hey, you know what? What works for you will not necessarily work for someone else. Stop trying to fit the specific clothing that works for you on someone else.

God doesn't operate like that. He provides unique principles and techniques for unique people. That's why your advice is not necessarily what that other person needs because you know that other person.

What works for you works for you because you are like you are. But that other person isn't like you. There's only one you. Chuck Swindoll has recreated this dramatic showdown between the ill-suited shepherd boy and his adversary, the Philistine giant. And be sure you join us again tomorrow when Inside for Living features the conclusion to Chuck's message.

But don't rush away because we've set aside time to hear closing comments from Chuck coming up in just a moment. To learn more about this ministry, be sure to visit us online at If you're looking to explore the life of David on a deeper level, let me point you to the biography that Chuck wrote. It's called David, a Man of Passion and Destiny. I think you'll agree that God has given Chuck a wonderful gift of taking the biblical narrative and bringing life to these classic stories. He does so not to entertain us but to teach us the practical lessons that we can integrate into our daily experience. To purchase a copy of Chuck's biography on David, go to slash offer or call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Again, it's called David, a Man of Passion and Destiny. Inside for Living relies on your personal support to make these daily programs not only on your local radio station but on a variety of channels that make learning more about the Bible easily accessed by people everywhere. This includes, of course, a smartphone app, the internet, and even a free daily devotional that comes through email. We provide these free resources because it's our goal, our mission, to make disciples of Jesus Christ in all 195 countries of the world. And now is not the time to slow down in our efforts, but instead we need to keep moving forward and focus on another successful year of ministry.

Here's Chuck. Whenever we reach the June 30th deadline at Insight for Living, the financial goal appears daunting. It's always a test of our faith because, frankly, the gap we need to close appears, well, not like a gap but more like a gulch. Isn't that just like our God? He's testing our faith and our confidence in Him.

For more than 35 years, He has proved Himself faithful, and He's done so through friends like you. So how do we close the gap before June 30th? Someone put it this way. He gave us an image that's hard to forget. He asked, how do you eat an elephant?

Well, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. My friend, we'll reach this goal one gift at a time. Together, as a family of loyal listeners, we can do this. Your gift of $50 or $100 or $250, perhaps even more, is all that is needed. So please, right now, pick up a pen and write down the contact information. Let's conquer this daunting goal together, one bite at a time. Thanks, Chuck.

Here's how to respond. If you prefer to call us and you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888, or you can give online at slash donate. I'm Bill Meyer, urging you to join us when Chuck Swindoll concludes his important message about David and Goliath tomorrow 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 / 2023-04-11 12:46:37 / 2023-04-11 12:56:49 / 10

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