Welcome to The Daily Platform. Our program features sermons from chapel services at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day, students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel Platform. Today on The Daily Platform, we'll be hearing a message preached by Dr. Johnny Pope, pastor of Christ Church Baptist Fellowship in Houston, Texas. I'm going to be reading from 2 Samuel the 21st chapter, 2 Samuel the 21st chapter, and I'm going to begin reading verse number 15 of this great passage of scripture.
And thank you, Dr. Pettit, it is an honor to be here. Verse 15, 2 Samuel 21, More with the Philistines, and yet war again with Israel. And David went down and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines.
And David waxed faint. And Ish-bi-banab, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass and weight, he being girded with a new sword thought to have slain David. But Abishai, the son of Zeruah, suckered him and smote the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David sware unto him, saying, Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, that thou quench not the light of Israel. And it came to pass after this that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gobden, Sibakai, the Hushathite, Slu-saph, which was of the sons of the giant. And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan, the son of Jerorajim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gentite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. And there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature that had on only heavy hand, six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number, and he also was born of the giant. And when he defied Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the brother of David, slew him.
These four were born to the giant in Gath and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. Let's remain standing. We'll have a word of prayer and then we'll be seated, please. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the opportunity to be here at Bob Jones University. Give us that Holy Spirit, function the function, lift up Christ, magnify your name, make the proper application individually as well as corporately. And we'll be careful to give you the praise and thanks in Jesus' name, Amen.
You may be seated, please. David was now in his late 50s or 60s. It wasn't like it was when he was a youngster in the valley of Elah, where he was given a little bit more than a shot of adrenaline from God, but given supernatural power to slay the giant. For the Bible says here about David at this point in his life that he was, after he had had some battle that morning, he was waxing faint.
He learned the hard way that when kings go out to war, you go out with them. And so he had led the troops in battle. One of the amazing things about the Bible would be the concise biographies of the Bible, how the God often goes right to the point and he leaves a lot to your imagination. We must be careful when we use our imagination to do what the Bible says, casting down our imaginations and every high thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing the captivity of every thought to the obedience of Christ. But if we use our holy imagination for a moment, I want you to see what was happening here. The Bible said there in verse number 15, moreover the Philistines I yet were again with Israel and David went down with and his servants with him and fought against the Philistines and David waxed faint.
And Ishmael which was the sons of the giant, now something was going on here. So it appears that David met with his lieutenants and said maybe it was around noon. Gentlemen, I want you to go ahead and finish up the war here, the battle here and then meet me back at the palace tonight and we'll plan strategy and tactics for the next time we deal with these uncircumcised Philistine. Your majesty, can we send an entourage with you?
No, I'm fine. I've got Clyde Park two hills over, that's his camel, again we're using our imagination. I've got some Bethlehem spring water already attached to the saddle there and I'm good. And so I can imagine him telling them I'll meet you tonight. He goes down one hill and up another and he sees the semi-oasis that he has Clyde tied to and he approaches the camel and he's so thirsty that he grabs that sack full of Bethlehem well spring water and he begins to squirt it into his mouth.
You ever been so thirsty when you drink water that it's coming down both sides of your face? I can imagine that's happened in the David. And then he hears a voice behind him. Let me read you again what it says in verse 16. An ish by Benab, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed 300 shekels of brass and weight. That's about a seven-half pound spear. He being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David, so he has had made a sword dedicated for the purpose of taking out this elder and most reputable king in the world, taking him out. When the boys grew up in Israel, they no doubt looked at David as their hero. When I was a youngster, I remember playing war games with my friends and we would pretend maybe if we're playing World War II that I'm Douglas MacArthur, I'm Dwight David Eisenhower.
And I imagine they were playing war games like that. I would probably imagine David hearing the little voice as his sister is visiting him and down the hallway, he hears a little voice say, on guard, I'm King David. And he spots his nephew and he says to his sister, hey, sis, can I go fellowship with Abishai over there? Sure, Dave, go ahead. He goes over there and says, Abishai, would you like to know how to use that sword?
Yes. Well, Abishai, and I can see, now I'm westernizing this very eastern setting, mid-eastern setting. I imagine him grabbing a wooden sword.
Okay, it's like Peter Pan dates for me, but on guard, Abishai, on guard, your majesty. You know, history tells us outside the Bible that Abishai, for some reason or another, came across this interesting piece of history. He was the greatest swordsman that Israel ever had. Little Abishai, David's nephew. So when they were growing up, they wanted to be like King David, the giant killer.
But in Philistia, it was quite the opposite. They grew up wanting to kill the giant killer, especially if you were the son of Goliath, which Ishbi-Benab was. Go back to Clyde and David drinking his water, and he hears a voice behind him. David!
Didn't mean to scare any of you there. He knows two things. Number one, he's not a member of the kingdom of Israel, and number two, he's got an attitude. And David turns around, and there stands Ishbi-Benab.
If he's anything like his dad, he's standing right at ten feet tall, and he's got this brand new sword with David's name on it, glistening in the midday sun, pointed right at him. I can just imagine this. Maybe you can too. Hello! My name is Ishbi-Benab! You killed my father. Prepare to die! By the way, you can't make this up.
There's even a six-finger dude in here. Amen. My name is Ishbi-Benab! You killed my father. Prepare to die! And David says, you talking to me? No, I isn't. David is not feeling brave.
He is waxing faint. As I see David standing under the shadow of this massive sword, and this massive bad attitude giant, ready for vengeance for taking out his daddy, my mind goes back to August 19th, 1990, when President George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, said to Saddam Hussein, if you invade Kuwait, we consider it an act of war. Furthermore, if you invade Kuwait, we consider it an act of war against the United States of America. He invaded Kuwait and Desert Storm was on. President Bush never got such bad, I mean, press as he did in that day.
Everywhere he turned, everyone was giving bad reports. They were saying things like, you started the Battle of Armageddon. People that didn't even know the Bible, weren't even believers, said you started the Battle of Armageddon.
Others have said, you started World War III. But on August 19th, at 11 o'clock p.m. Eastern time, he gets a call from Great Britain, and it went something like this, and I believe this is recorded in 10 Downing Street. Good evening, Mr. President. This is Margaret Thatcher, the great Iron Lady. And I'm just going to tell you, sir, that I have at your disposal, sir, the Army. The Royal Army, sir. The RAF. I don't know if she said here, here, but I just...
I have at your disposal, sir, the Navy, and I have at your disposal 7,500 Desert Train Marines. And I'd just like to tell you, I'm quoting verbatim now, and I'd just like to tell you, sir, that this is no time to go wobbly. What a very humble expression for such a distinguished lady.
This is no time to go wobbly. And I thought to myself, I wonder now, I think I know, but I wonder exactly what she meant. So I looked it up, not in the Merriam-Webster, but in the OED, the Oxford English Dictionary.
And I'm not going to give you the full definition, but here's what stood out. Wobbly. To vacillate from side to side. To even bobble like jelly. If I could Americanize it, to even bobble like jello.
This morning, for just the next few minutes, I'd like to speak to you on this subject. This is no time to go wobbly. Everybody look at somebody next to you and say wobbly.
No, no, say it like you're from England. Wobbly. This is no time to go wobbly. All right. Why?
Why? Because number one, spiritual war is real. Just as real as these wars between Israel and Philistia, spiritual war is real. That's why the Bible says put on the whole armor of God, Ephesians 6, that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Loring's good about the truth. Breastplate of righteousness.
Right? Shield of faith to quench every fiery dart of the devil. I've often wondered, Brother Pettit, exactly what was God talking about when he said fiery darts of the devil. But after years of meditating over, I'm convinced that fiery darts of the devil, because if you think about it, a thought is an electrical impulse from point A to point B in your brain. Remember when Jesus said, I saw Satan falling? Like what? Lightning. Remember? Have you ever thought about how many good things, but yet how many evil things are communicated through the airwaves?
I've often wondered, would fiery darts be impregnated thoughts of the devil places like arrows, fiery arrows through the air? You know, there's a group of men for over 35 years who've been praying with me for one hour a day. We did it 14 years at 5 o'clock to 6 o'clock in the morning at our church, and now we're doing it separately, but there's a group of men that pray for one hour. In our church, you know, peer pressure can work for good instead of bad. So in our church, if you're a young man or even a middle-aged man that come in our church and you want to get what we call in with the in crowd, you need to become a prayer warrior. The most often heard statement that would be told to me when I have young men or even middle-aged men or older that get into prayer life. They've never been into a real serious prayer life.
Here's what they say. Pastor, I was about to break through in prayer. For the first time in my life, God was more real to me in my prayer life than I've ever been. And out of nowhere, the most ungodly thought came to my mind.
I would submit you if that didn't come out of nowhere. That's why we must lift up the shield of faith to quench every fiery dart of the devil, and indeed to bring in the captivity of every thought with the helmet of salvation. And pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and for me that utterance may be given that it may open my mouth boldly.
Have you ever thought about this? Paul the Apostle, who I believe was caught up in the third heaven, who wrote much of the New Testament said, if you don't pray for me, I can't preach effectively. Prayer is the preacher's power. Prayer is the penitent's plea. Prayer is the orphan's refuge. And a Christian that's not a praying Christian is a playing Christian. Luke 18 one, speaking of Jesus, how he went everywhere teaching this, men are always to pray and not to faint. Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?
This is no time to go wobbly. Let me tell you something. I've known a lot of people that were called great Christians. I've known people that were called great CEO types in the Christian faith, great leaders, natural leaders. I've known men that were called great orators in the Christian experience.
I've known people that were called great teachers, had didactic ability like nobody's business. And I've known several of these types, if you want to call it that, that have fallen. But I want to tell you something, I've never known personally, I've never known a person of deep, serious spiritual prayer that ever fell. And that's because, I'm not saying it's not a possibility, but it's not a probability because you cannot live in the holy place and live an unholy life. This is no time to go wobbly, so it's time to get serious about your Christian experience in this matter of understanding that spiritual war is real. It is not that it would be nice if we have revival, it would be neat if we have revival, it's now necessary that we have revival.
Number two, this is no time to go wobbly because we cannot live off the spirituality of our past victories. If you have your Bibles, I invite your attention to Leviticus chapter six. Leviticus chapter six, you know, I believe that all scripture is given by inspiration of God.
That there's something for you in every book of the Bible, in every page, in every line if you look for it. For instance, a kid comes home from youth camp, or a group of kids come home from youth camp and they say, boy they're on fire for the Lord. Remember how God spoke to Moses out of what kind of a bush?
A burning bush. Remember how God answered Elijah on Mount Carmel by fire. You remember on the day of Pentecost when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit was evidenced by flames of fire over their heads. We see that in the temple and the tabernacle, God himself started the fire and it was the duty of the priest to keep the fire burning. Now if you tried to imitate it or simulate it, you could die like Nadab and Abihu, so the priest must work on keeping the fire burning. In Leviticus 6 in verse number 13 it says, the fire shall ever be burning upon the altar, it shall never go out. Let me tell you something, as a New Testament believer, if you are saved by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. It is your duty as believer priest to keep the fire burning. What causes the fire to go out?
You ever thought about this? In the context of the scripture in Leviticus 6 it says in verse number 10, and the priest shall put on his linen garment and his linen breeches shall be put upon his flesh and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar. He shall put them beside the altar. He shall put off his garments and put on other garments and carry forth the ashes without the camp into a clean place. For those of you that have ever tried to keep a fire going, you know how necessary it is to remove the ashes, lest the ashes smother the fire. You know what ashes are? They were yesterday's wood. Ashes were yesterday's fuel.
It was great yesterday, but it can smother the fire today. It is so easy in the work of God. I've seen this happen so often. Boy, the youth group that used to be at our church when my brother was in the youth group was the best youth group we've ever had. It'll never be like that again. I've been in some churches that I remember back in the 70s and 80s they were some of the largest churches in America, and I go there again and it's like museums and they're always telling me what God used to do at the church, how Jesus was so real in their church. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We don't have to live off yesterday's blessings. Furthermore, if you try to live off yesterday's blessings, you're going to find it smothers the fire today.
God wants to do something with Bob Jones University that could be the greatest things he's ever done with Bob Jones University since 1927. Do you believe that? If you could believe that. See, as your faith is so beaten to you, if you have negative faith, you'll get negative results. You need positive faith to believe that God can remove a mountain. It could be cast in the sea.
If you would believe all things are possible to him that believeth. So listen to me, quit living off yesterday's ashes. Thank God for the wood that we had yesterday, but it's ashes today.
God has given you wood for the day to do something about it. This is no time to go wobbly and try to live off the past blessings or your mother and your father's blessings. You know, God has no grandchildren. My great grandfathers on both sides were preachers. My daddy was a preacher.
My mom was a wonderful Sunday school teacher. But I'm not saved because they're saved for me. I had to be born again.
They're not, are you listening? I'm not filled with the Spirit because they were filled with the Spirit. I've got to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Be not drunk with wine in his excess, but be filled with the Holy Spirit. That's a command to each and every one of you. This is no time to go wobbly because it's your turn to step up. You killed my father, prepare to die. And it looks bad for the home team, but now I hear a voice behind Ish-ba-banab. Yo, Ish-ba-banab! He turns around, Abishai!
And Abishai is wielding his sword. Ish-ba-banab says, my mind fights not with you. It's with this king over here. You mean Uncle David? Uncle David? Hey, Uncle David, I mean, your majesty, command me. So what does David say? No, I got this.
No, he doesn't have this. I can imagine David's mind going back when he was the little boy and he became a squire in the kingdom. Then he became a knight in the kingdom. Then he became one of David's mighty men. I can imagine David said, okay, Abishai, show us your stuff.
And I can see Abishai. Much smaller than Ish-ba-banab. And Ish-ba-banab realizes that dynamite comes in small packages. Man, he is wielding that sword and Ish-ba-banab is trying to maneuver and he can't quite maneuver. And I can just imagine Abishai saying, hey, Uncle David, remember this move? And just like his uncle a few years earlier, he too is getting a head in life. This is no time to go wobbly because now, Abishai, it's time for you to step up. At my age, I'm realizing now more than ever, Brother Pettit, that there's more years behind me than there are in front of me. And I'm on this, the hardest thing in the world for me to do is to turn down speaking engagements for teenagers or college kids because it's like, I used to think of the race that I'm running as, I'm the lone runner.
I'm like Eric Little, the territory of fire. Oh, no, no, no. It's a relay. It's a relay. And I've got these microseconds left and now I'm sprinting because I don't see tape that I'm breaking, but I see you out there waiting to receive the inspired and errant Word of God. And the command from the Lord to pray without ceasing. And the command of the Lord to go ye in the law of the world and preach the Gospel. So I'm sprinting because I want you to understand just in the same way that David served his own generation by the will of God and was a man after God's own heart, Acts 13, you too are now ready to step up. Hey, Abishai, yo, Abishaiette, it's time for you to come on, come on, step up.
It's time for you. Charles Plummer was arguably the greatest ace during the Vietnam War. He flew 75 missions off the USS Kitty Hawk.
Successful sorties. On the 76th one, he was shot down. His seat ejected, his parachute opened perfectly, he came softly to the ground, but he was soon captured by the Viet Cong. For six years he was in prison in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. For three of those six years he was in a cubicle of three feet by six feet. For two years he could not even stand up straight. But he gives his testimony that Jesus Christ was a strength during those years. It was now 15 years since he had been shot down.
Of course he was released and now he was back in America and was going around the places giving his testimony. He was with his wife Kathy and he was sitting in a restaurant and there was a man over there that was looking his way and his wife says, what's wrong, Charlie? He kept looking at me, well, don't worry about it, let's finish up, we'll be out of here. And he kept looking over there, Charlie, what's going on? I don't know, he's kind of bothering me, he's looking. Charlie, maybe he thinks he knows you.
Don't worry about it. And so they went back to eating but then he looked over there, that is Charles Plum looked over there and the guy was not sitting there. Now he was standing right next to Charles Plum, true story. And he looked down at Charles Plum and he was standing very straight and tall and he had a very serious look on his face, he said, Plum, right?
He said, yeah, Charles. USS Kitty Hawk, right? Yeah, I was on the USS Kitty Hawk. 75 successful mission, 76 mission and he named the date and the time.
You were shot down, right? He said, right. And the guy stood up real straight and then he saluted. I packed your chute, sir.
True story. And then he smiled even bigger and said, I guess it worked. Charles Plum stood up and said, 15 years, every night for 15 years I've gone to bed thanking God for the man that packed my chute and he gave him a big hug. And that night Kathy went right to sleep but Charles had a hard time going to sleep. He said in his biography because he kept thinking about the people that had packed his chute, his mother who was instrumental in winning the Christ, the coach that brought him back to the Lord when he back slid.
And then God spoke to his heart and said, hey, Charlie, whose chute are you packing? As I came across that piece of history, I have to tell you I reflected back on my own life. My dad had an earned doctor's degree in Bible languages. He taught me theology but my mother, she never got past the fifth grade. She taught me neology.
I've seen mother go 21 days at a time with fasting and prayer, not putting a bit of solid food in my fasting and praying for her kids. I am the product of a mother's prayers. She packed my chute. The little lady that I'm married to now for almost 48 years, every week that I would go away preaching somewhere, stay faithful to me and help rear our children for the nurture and admonition of the Lord, packed my chute.
And today I'm realizing more than ever I'm here just packing chutes. To all young people, even though I probably don't even know most of you, God has saved you by his grace. He's called you for a purpose. Please don't disappoint our Lord. Do the will of God. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice.
So go ahead and do it. God said it's your reasonable service. You're all supposed to be doing it. The day is going to become that my voice is silenced if Jesus doesn't come and yours is going to be the voice that people are going to be waiting to hear the good news from. Young people, this is no time to go wobbly. Give everything you have to Jesus.
You know, Jim Elliott was right when he wrote in his diary just before he died at the hands of the Alka Indians. He, can I tweak it a little bit, or she is no fool who gives up what they cannot keep to gain what they cannot lose. Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, Jesus says. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
It's time to get quit wobbling and let's give everything to Jesus Christ. He is worthy. He who shed his blood for us. He who died for us.
He who rose again. He is worthy of our love and total service. Heavenly Father in Jesus name we pray your blessings upon the young people. May all the wobbling stop. May those who are tempted to wobble not wobble but may they give it all to Jesus Christ. And we'll give you the praise and the thanks for what they decide to do. We pray this in that holy, wonderful, worshipful name of Jesus. That name that's above every name. Amen and Amen.
You've been listening to a message preached by Dr. Johnny Pope, Pastor of Christ Church Baptist Fellowship in Houston, Texas. I'm Steve Pettit, President of Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. I'd like to invite you to attend one of our summer camps for both middle and high schoolers. DJU has over 50 camps to choose from, so there is one for you. Here's just a few. Aviation, astronomy, cinema, computers, culinary, criminal justice, media, music, nursing, theater, robotics, soccer, basketball, volleyball, golf, and there's many more. Come explore your future during a week of what we call EduCamp. For more information about our camps, visit our website, go to EduCamp, that's E-D-U-C-A-M-P dot B-J-U dot E-D-U. Join us again tomorrow as we'll hear more messages preached from the Bob Jones University Chapel platform.
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