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When the Giants of Life Attack, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
October 27, 2022 7:05 am

When the Giants of Life Attack, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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October 27, 2022 7:05 am

Clinging to Hope

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Beginning earlier this week on Inside for Living and continuing right now, Chuck Swindoll is recounting David's courageous battle against Goliath.

And on today's program, we'll hear the culmination of this epic showdown and the application it provides. At the core, David's victory demonstrates how God was faithful to the people of Israel. But it also assures us that God will stand with us in every battle of life. It's quite possible that you're dealing with a giant right now. So let's begin with a helpful review as Chuck continues his message called, When the Giants of Life Attack. According to the original scene in the Valley of Elah, how easy it was to have been intimidated by the giant unless you were a slinger. Giants simply mean the bigger they are, the harder they'll fall. Which was in David's mind, I'm sure. Goliath is huge, admittedly, 9'9", of course, compared to David. But a small and slender, the giant is heavily armored, carrying massive weapons. David has no armor and carries only a sling and a shepherd's staff. Look at verse 40, where he picks up the five smooth stones, puts them into his bag, then armed only with his shepherd's staff and sling, started across the valley to fight the Felicity. Remember, King Saul is an infantryman. He thinks in terms of size and statistics and human power. David is a shepherd whose life is spent based on faith.

In the open field, dealing with predators like packs of wolves and roaming hungry bears and an occasional lion. Over the years, he has relied on stealth and speed and surprise and a sling. During my research into this ancient scene, I came across several fascinating observations and insights regarding this lumbering giant. It's always interested me some things about Goliath that no one had ever answered before.

I call on your memory because of your familiarity with the story as I point out these two or three observations. First, Goliath comes into the valley with a shield bearer, but he's not an archer. Why would an infantryman like Goliath that size even need a shield bearer? Why doesn't he carry it for himself, sword in one hand, shield in the other? Why would Goliath need a archer's shield bearer if he could handle a shield on his own? Maybe the shield bearer played another role.

Keep that in the back of your mind because he did. Second, the comments of the giant are strange. How does Goliath tell David to come to him?

Look at it. Verse 43, am I a dog? He roared that you come at me with sticks and he cursed David with the names of his God. Come over here, he said.

Come over here and I'll give your flesh to the bird. Why didn't he go to David? He's the larger of the two.

And why would he curse David and taunt him knowing that to arouse the anger of a slinger only increases the intensity of his intentions unless Goliath couldn't see all that well? Many now believe that this giant was a man who had a serious medical condition. His actions and his words look and sound like a person suffering from what is called acromegaly, which is the pathological enlargement of the bones of the hand, the feet, the face, and the head. That is caused by the chronic enlargement and overactivity of the pituitary gland in the base of the brain inside Goliath's cranium.

And get this, one of the common side effects of acromegaly are tumors. And the tumors on the pituitary are known to cause visionary problems because they grow to the point that they compress the optic nerves with the result that those with this problem often suffer severely restricted sight called diplopia. We know it as double vision. It's what you see when you cross your eyes.

The world around you becomes a blur. There's an important lesson here for all of us, each of whom battles his or her own giants. The powerful and fearful in appearance are not always what they seem to be. The Lord's earlier words, I don't see like humans see. You look at appearance and you're very impressed. You see a beautiful woman or a woman not that pretty, I don't pay attention to that. You see a slender and sleek and a man in good shape, I don't pay attention to that. That's not my focus, says the Lord, I look at the heart. That's why I've said for years, it is all about character.

Or as Winston Churchill would say it, character, it is about character. And with character, you can face any giant, and David had it. David viewed the giant as the Lord saw him, so he ran toward the giant without fear, happy with the invitation. It only meant his stone would hit the mark exactly on target, whereas Goliath was unaware of who he was fighting. He had no idea he had in front of him a confident, experienced, unintimidated, and very accurate slinger in David. Now all of that was then, dated in the ancient days when the valley of Hila was still blooming and the ravine had its rocks, where David chose those five to put in his bag that he would choose one, interesting, he chose smooth ones, they would make a more accurate trajectory.

He knew exactly what he was doing. We are not slingers, we are believers in Jesus Christ. We have been equipped with the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God is a member of the Trinity with all the powers pertaining thereto. We are equipped with the one who has never known intimidation. He lives within us. He exists as a resident within our being for the purpose of getting us on our feet, off our backs, out of our tents of fear, and into the faces of our giants. As I said earlier, we all face them.

Let me help you with a few of them. There are domestic giants. One of them is called a divorce.

Some of you have gone through or are going through a divorce. It's a giant to you. It's not to anyone else, but it is to you because you've told yourself that it has statistics and it has a downside to it that makes you less than others. It's a giant. Yes, there was failure on both sides, of course, but it's a giant. Maybe you're giant as a wandering son or daughter. It could be death, and your spouse in life has been taken from you, and you grieve, and you find yourself wanting to draw your drapes and lock your door and live an isolated life, the worst possible response.

That's what you do when you're a sawhole. You run from the giant, but it's a giant. Your giant may be a sick loved one hanging between life and death, and it requires exhausting labor to care for that person. That's a giant.

It's not impossible. Maybe yours is a personal giant. You have a serious health issue, and things don't look like they're getting better, or maybe you're facing a lawsuit, anything more intimidating than being served papers, or you're being forced to move from the familiar and the secure to the unfamiliar. We know a couple right now, dear, dear couple in Christ, who are facing that very thing, and you probably know some as well, and to them it is a huge issue.

They love where they live, but they sense God may not be in their staying there. All the unknowns are in front of them. It's like a giant, or maybe you've gotten yourself into a mess, and the complications are building. Could be you're given to depression or loneliness, all giants, and nothing but giants.

Let me mention the A word. Your aging is starting to bother you. I've always liked Jim Dobson's description, how fast aging comes. About the time your face clears up, your mind gets fuzzy. It happens quick. We don't expect it.

We start to get aches in the joints, and we start having problems, and we begin to share our operations with others, and the story goes on and on. Stop it! Stop it! Why would you yield to a giant? Everybody ages, some more obviously, more drastically than others, but it's a giant. Face it. It's no accident. God knows exactly what he's doing in your life.

You're no surprise to him, any more than Goliath lumbering along the other side of the Valley of Elah was a surprise. So you're aging. Welcome to the club. We're all there. I like to visit with people before our services start, and they always say, I'm so glad to be here. I respond with, I'm so glad to be anywhere, actually.

Doesn't matter where I am. Why? Because it's a giant. I'm not going to live intimidated by the giant. Everybody told me when I was in my mid-60s to retire, hang up the cleats, take it easy.

Why would I do that? You and I would have never met. This building would have never been here. We would have never known what God's plan was in the future had I given in to a few people who wanted me to hide in the tent because of the giant of aging. Who wrote the book that says you hang it up when you're 64 or 59 or 81 or 92? When we had our group going to Israel, we had a bus, bus seven, it's a great group. It was the Jade bus. They renamed it the Joy bus because one of their people on the bus was named Joy, 94 years old. Who spent her time on the bus saying, everybody get out. We're going up that hill, 94 years old, the Joy bus.

What are you doing when you're 94? You're making excuses. You're living intimidated by the giant.

Weren't you glad David wasn't? That's a personal giant. I can't pass up economic giants. We've all faced them, spending more than we had, making bad mistakes with our money. Not setting aside as much as we should, starting our own business, it goes under, but you can be under the giant of discouragement and blame yourself from here on because your business failed.

Talk to people who have succeeded and they'll tell you about several things they did before the success where they were miserable failures. It's a giant. How about a spiritual giant? Unbelief. Unbelief says until I get every single question answered, I'm not going to commit myself to that person that hung on a cross, claimed he was dying from my sins.

Oh, really? How are you going to do in hell when you die? What are you going to use then as an excuse? You want to know something? You're sitting around believers today, all of whom let their unanswered questions at the cross.

I have a number of them. I just don't focus on them. God whether live in light of faith and let God handle the things I can't answer, then run the risk that I may be risking eternity for the sake of my pride. Don't let that happen. Now back to David and I'm through, how did he do it?

Get this. Number one, he remembered how God had strengthened him in days past. He had a lot of wolves and lion and bear stories. Don't forget those stories.

Every one of us can name them. When you have an anniversary, go back and remember whatever the anniversary. Remember when and call to mind those things God did. People strengthen your faith for today. He remembered the God of yesterday, which gave him strength for the God of today.

Let me tell you the second one. His theology was straight, it helped him with his perspective. When he went on to face the giant, he said while going across the valley, the battle is the Lord's battle.

I'm not doing this on my own. He's with me, Saul and all the guys in the tent back across the valley are staring in disbelief. David is having the time of his life taking on Goliath and the strength of the Almighty. When your theology is great, your perspective is clear.

When it gets fuzzy, you start doubting, running scared, and holding back. That's what this story is about. And frankly, there will be times you'll need to be very creative because I will assure you giants are ahead of you that you can't even guess will come in the days ahead. They're coming.

And we don't know what they are. It's like the story I've loved for years. There was this very faithful man of integrity and enterprising who opened a little general store in a community. He sold some groceries and he sold some hardware and he sold some fabrics and it was just a general store that people were able to come and buy what they needed in the community. Well as time passed, you would expect there was urban renewal and the town grew to a city and before long there were the big guys that showed up and said to him, we'd like to buy your property because we're going to move in some gigantic stores that will just consume you. And he said, no, you're not buying my store.

This is my stores, my property, I'm not selling. He said, well, we're going to build a huge, huge grocery store right here. And they did, bulldozers came in, cleared the land, built this massive grocery store, sold a lot of the same foods he sold to his clientele for years and now they're selling them even for less. And wouldn't you know it, the bulldozers came there on the other side and built great store of all kinds of things that people need, you know, like a big Walmart, they have carried everything. All the hardware he carried and all the fabrics he carried and they're there in multiple choices and so here are these two towering giants on each side of him. Here he is in his little, little store. So what's he going to do? Now he could have licked his wounds and felt sorry for himself the rest of his life but he didn't. He pooled his resources and went to the best sign shop in the city and had them make him a large sign that would be neon lighted, full of color, had only three words but it would go above his door, right there in the middle on that little store.

Main entrance here. And you know what, people believe that. What are you going to do with the giants around you? It's your story when you're laid to rest, he just gave up, he was intimidated, it was too much for him. He didn't realize that God was at work to reshape his life, to reframe his whole way of thinking, to renew his future.

Let me speak on my own here. I can tell you in my personal testimony, you cannot beat walking by faith. You cannot beat stepping into the battle in the strength of the Lord. You cannot beat ignoring the majority who will give you bad advice based on the culture, the media, the whole thing is going to hell in a hand basket, you're going to be swept along with it.

Oh really? You know I'm not buying a ticket there, I'm not going there. God's plan for me is different and that's where I'm going and that's where I want to lead you. As we go together across the valley of Elah and watch God kill the giants and lead us into victory. Bow with me will you? Thank you Father for the joy of realizing that greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world, that there is really no miracle here, this is simply a young man who had learned how faithful you are and how accurate you can make him and how courageous you can turn him into a man of incredible skill through your power. Help us all to lay aside the scales of unbelief and the fears that we have clung to long enough and realize the main entrance to our lives is right here, right where we find ourselves not at escaping to some place like some mythic utopia. Bring us home our Father to yourself, strengthen our theology, stabilize our faith as we walk by faith and not by sight.

In the name of Jesus, I pray everyone said, amen, amen. And with Chuck Swindoll's closing prayer, we conclude message number seven in a brand new 12-part teaching series called Clinging to Hope. To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at www.insightworld.org. In the events you missed previous programs in this series, Inside for Living offers other options to keep you current with Chuck's teaching.

To listen at your own pace or go back and catch up with programs you might have missed, you can easily listen online at www.insight.org or simply download the convenient mobile app. In addition to these daily programs, Chuck has written a brand new 12-chapter book by the same title. It's also called Clinging to Hope and it's available right now. When chaos and calamity strike, sometimes we begin to question if God even knows about our troubles. In his book, Chuck reassures us that God not only knows, but He truly cares. To purchase a copy of Clinging to Hope, go to insight.org slash hope or call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Those who suffer can find comfort in the fact that we serve a compassionate God who understands our pain because He endured the cross. In fact, we often hear from grateful listeners who tell us they find solace in this program because it reinforces their confidence in God. For instance, we received a voicemail from a young lady who said, I found the love of Christ through your messages on the airwaves.

It literally changed the course of my life and the lives of my children. Well, if you're among those who've supported Insight for Living, God used your contribution to touch lives just like this one. And when you give today, your donation will be channeled directly toward bringing the hope-filled message of the Bible to people who need encouragement. To give a gift right now, call us.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or you can give online at Insight.org slash donate. You've heard him teach about the Holy Land using word pictures to make us feel like we're actually strolling through the Old City. Everything about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure, but seeing the land of Israel with your own eyes is life-changing.

In fact, it's absolutely magnificent. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by Insight for Living Ministries. Join us on an unforgettable 12-day tour March 5th through the 16th, 2023. At special sites along the way, I will teach from God's Word. We'll worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's Table at the Garden Tomb. In fact, we'll sail the Sea of Galilee together and we'll visit places where Jesus walked and taught.

To learn more, call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along those sacred sites and seeing the Bible come to life before your very eyes. Mark your calendar for March 5th through the 16th, 2023 and make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to Insight.org slash events. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. Why does God bring suffering to our lives? I'm Bill Meyer urging you to listen when Chuck Swindoll presents a biblical answer that's Friday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, When the Giants of Life Attack, was copyrighted in 2019 and 2022 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-05 20:02:36 / 2022-11-05 20:07:32 / 5

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