English Ministry

Lessons Down the Line: David and Defeating the Giant

Friday, October 31, 2014

You’ve probably noticed that it’s hard to get through a day without hearing about some kind of war of fighting going on somewhere in the word. 


I recently saw the movie fury. Great war time movie. Intense, gritty, and yes violent. 


As I sat there and watched the carnage of war on humanity I found myself feeling thankful that I have never had to be on the front lines of battle, and thankful for the ones who have in my place. 


I’ve never had to stand in there with an enemy slugging it out, trading shots until one of us dies or gives up. 


As the week has gone by I have continued to think about this movie, the questions it asks, the questions it answers about people and how we fight, why we fight? 


Though most of us have never been anywhere close to a war, to say we have never been involved in a fight is simply not true.


I say this because each and everyone of us faces a daily battle, just simply living life can in many ways be like war.


Living life is tough, dealing with the blows life toughs us is even tougher.


When life starts to pound us it leads to asking some big questions about ourself and getting to the bottom of those very personal questions requires a lot of courage and stamina. 


We never get to the root of our struggles and our pain and our disfunction's without becoming open and honest with ourselves and others. We call this vulnerability, and it is easier said than done.


This morning we are looking at David and Goliath. 


Maybe the most famous battle in all of the bible. 


I want to look at it this morning because I want to talk about the “mocking, criticizing giants” that we face in our own lives.


You know, those giants that contribute to our disfunction's, insecurities and pain.

Those giants that greet us each and every day to lie to us, accuse us, criticize us and remind us of things we are trying to forget.


As we prepare to get into the story I want you to consider your life as a battle. 


I want you to consider what it is in your life that is a giant to you. 

What is it that you are ashamed of, tired of, hurt by, wish you weren’t, sorry for and insecure about.


Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:1-50


This story focuses primarily on two characters. Goliath, the giant philistine warrior and David the young, brave shepherd.


I am going to spend the majority of this talk speaking about David but I do want to just make a couple quick comments about Goliath.


We know he was huge, verse  4 notes that Goliath's height was measured at “six cubits and one span,” which is about nine feet, six inches. This tells us he would have been intimidating and imposing. 


We know that he liked to taunt. There are few different references in this text where he was mocking and taunting the Israelite army and specifically David. 


It is safe to say to say that goliath was a bully.


We know that Goliath’s taunting was relentless. Verse 36 says “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel.” 


Goliath’s behaviour can serve as a accurate example of those things in our life that we battle against. The goliath’s that we face or have faced.


Just like Goliath our giants taunt us challenge us, they  cause us great trouble because they intimidate, bully, harass and they cause us fear. 


Verse 11 says 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.


I think we can all agree that like Goliath, those things within us that call out to us to taunt us and lie to us don’t show up once never to be sen again. 


It can be years of daily battles and just like Goliath they keep coming out. 


Here is the one thing that tie all of our experiences with giants in our lives together. 

It is what we have all and will al experience and it’s what makes us all understand and relate to one another.

Our battles, lies, criticisms from our giants cause us to feel shame. 


Life is about trying do our best to try, to take risks, to get involved, to reach our potential, to be loved and to love and yet we face a critic within inside of us that tells us we can’t do that - that’s shame. 


Has anyone here ever heard of Brene Brown?


Brene Bown is 

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 15 million views. She gave the closing talk, Listening to Shame,  at the 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach.


I want to share a quote from the Listening to Shame Ted Talk because it relates to the battle we enter everyday. She refers to those daily battles we face as “the arena”.


That's what life is about, about daring greatly, about being in the arena. When you walk up to that arena and you put your hand on the door, and you think, "I'm going in and I'm going to try this," shame is the gremlin who says, "Uh, uh. You're not good enough. You never finished that MBA. Your wife left you. I know your dad really wasn't in Luxembourg, he was in Sing Sing. I know those things that happened to you growing up. I know you don't think that you're pretty enough or smart enough or talented enough or powerful enough. I know your dad never paid attention, even when you made CFO." Shame is that thing.



So getting back to the story David, faced a giant. David got into the battle, he entered the arena. 


And he was successful. 


I want to quickly point out the reasons David defeated his Goliath and hopefully give you some things to consider as you face your own giants.



There are three reasons why David was successful. 


  1. David was willing to fight. 32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”


Nobody else was willing to take a chance. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.


The Israelite army sat on the the sidelines paralyzed by fear.

They didn’t even have the courage to get involved. The heard the words of the giant and they froze.



Brene Brown, in that same Ted Talk quotes Theodore Roosevelt “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”  ~Theodore Roosevelt


There is something powerful about the moment when we, like David, say “enough of this, I’m getting involved.” 


Even if David had been killed he would have been the only one up until that moment who tried. 

H was the only one courageous enough to take the chance and try to defeat Goliath. 


We win simply by getting involved. 


Whatever you are sensing that God wants you to do I challenge you today to silence the voice of shame and take the first step, quit hiding, running or avoiding and get into the fight.


2. He knew what he valued.   


David valued Israel’s honour and God’s glory.

 …26 who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”


46…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,



It’s our deepest values and our awareness and connection to those values that become a real place of strength for us. 


If we go through life without ever asking ourself what our values are and then seriously looking at how those values dictate our life, we will miss out on a really key part of our life.


I recently heard values described as a compass. 


Regardless of how lost we feel in life if we look at our values they can serve as a really effective tool to get us back on the right path. 


If you go into your day to day battles unsure of what you value it will be tough to ever take the blows from your giants or even find the strength to fight at all.


It was David’s strong sense of value that produced strength and determination to fight back.



3. David knew who he was, he remained true to himself and he knew what weapons he needed to defeat the giant. 


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.” 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.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. 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.




Once Saul agrees to let David to battle Goliath he tries to dress him in his armour. 


This is something that we need to pay attention to in our own lives.

We have to be aware of who we are and that we aren’t trying to be someone else.


When we take other peoples experiences and try to make them our own we become like David in Saul’s armour - awkward, over-encumbered and simply not ourselves.


If David had gone into battle dressed as Saul he most certainly would have failed. 


It’s only when we are true to ourselves which means knowing our values, our gifts (both life gifts and spiritual gifts) and our personality that we are best prepared to take on our giants.


When we try to use someone else's gifts or personality or values we give in to the bullying giant who tells us we are not good enough.


David knew that he needed to be himself and he had confidence in the way God made him and that God would work through him exactly the way he was.


Lastly David knew what to take into the fight with him.


Our world is overflowing with spiritual and psychological help. 


From Oprah, to New Age guru Deepak Chopra, to Anthony Robbins, Dr.Oz even our pastors at church we are inundated with “help and advice”. 


I’m not saying we shouldn’t listen to experts, or people we trust, I believe God works through them I just mean that we have to know what will work for us, and does it line up with the bible. 


When you find something that honours and uses biblical teaching and really hits home to something you’re dealing with, then put that in your tool belt and use it against the goliath in your life. 


But ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom and discernment on what you need to bring to the fight. 


Goliath missed this. 


He was covered head to toe in large, heavy awkward armour and some scholars believe that it was his battle attire that cost him his life.


Some believe that Goliath was so over armoured that he was weighed down and his movement became slow. 


This is why David had no trouble hitting him with the stone. Gliath was largely immobile.


What you take into your fight literally could be the difference between victory and defeat.


Take to much you will become an easy target, take something that’s not yours you and will be awkward and unsure.


You need to find out your greatest tools and weapons and use them. 

Remember that David took into the battle what he had already been using, he was a shepherd and had protected the flock with his slingshot. 

Look closely at what strengths you already have as their may be a powerful tool already there.


As we close today I want to say that I am not a therapist or expert on dealing with the giants on our life.


I can’t give you all the answers I can simply encourage you to take a long hard look at yourself, see what your struggling with and begin to fight back.