Slaying the Giants in your Life: David & Goliath
1 Samuel 17:41-49
Rev. Sandy Johnson
August 21, 2016
It was early morning. The armies had had a restless night. The fighting had gone on for forty days and the soldiers were tired. They longed for a resolution, for the war to be over. The largest among then, a brute named Goliath was their champion. The Philistines put their hope in him as their conqueror.
He was massive. More than 9 ft. tall, some called him a giant. The armor he wore was unbelievable. It was hundreds of pounds and would have slowed most men down. But not Goliath, he seemed even more agile with the weight on him. He carried a staff that could have been a tree he had pulled out of the ground. 6 ft long and 2.5” around. Nobody carried a staff like that!
Goliath was the most impressive specimen on the battlefield and he knew it. He had ego and arrogance to spare. He knew he was better than any soldier the Israelites had on their side and baited the Israelite army, begging them to send someone who could challenge him. The Israelites knew of him, they had heard the stories that had been told about Goliath. He had been fighting for years, beginning as a child. There was reason for the Israelites to be afraid, he was a menace to society.
Every day Goliath came out to the battlefield hissing threats across the valley. “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me,” he said, “If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us. Give me a man that we may fight together.” Daily he taunted the opponents and dared them to send someone, anyone, to fight against him and for forty days his challenge went unanswered.
Early one morning David, the youngest son of Jesse from Bethlehem was sent by his father to check up on his three older brothers who had been fighting with King Saul. Jesse sent food and supplies for his sons and also provisions for the leaders of the army. While David was checking on his brothers, he heard Goliath’s morning tirade. He watched as the Israelites fled in fright from the place where Goliath stood.
One of the soldiers told David that King Saul would reward anyone with great riches, who would defeat Goliath. He even speculated that the victor would win the king’s daughter in marriage, a prize for saving the kingdom. David was in a quandary, he couldn’t understand why this giant instilled fear in his brothers. David was a man of great faith and was struck by the lack of faith of his own army. “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” It was a great question.
David’s older brother overheard him and thought David was boasting and chastised him for leaving the sheep unattended and coming down to see the battle. Eliab thought that David had an evil heart and was jealous of him. One of King Saul’s advisors overheard David’s boast about the living God and that God should be capable of defeating the Philistine. They brought David to King Saul and it was here that David told Saul that he could and would defeat the giant.
Saul was aghast, before him stood a young boy, certainly a good looking young man, but hardly capable of the type of the hand to hand combat that would be required to overthrow Goliath. Saul reminded him that he was just a boy and that Goliath had been fighting for years. Sheer experience would prevent David from victory.
But David was experienced, just not as Saul had thought. As a shepherd David had taken on many giants of his own. He had protected his sheep from bears and lions with only a slingshot and rocks he picked up from the ground. David was confident that Goliath would be no more difficult to kill than these wild animals were.
King Saul tried to help by loaning his heavy armor to David. David wilted under the strain of the chainmail and instead elected to face the giant, bare of any armor. David took his staff, picked five stones from the river bed, put them into his satchel and with his sling in his hand he approached the Philistine.
Goliath saw him approaching and couldn’t believe his eyes. Before him was a boy, surely the Israelites had lost their mind. They sent a boy to do a man’s job. This was laughable! Victory was certain! He was going to have some fun with this lad. He hollered to him, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” Who was he kidding? Sticks and stones against the massive spear that Goliath wielded?
But then David shocked Goliath. He stood up to him with nearly the same confidence and swagger that the giant had. “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin;” said David, “but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day” David said, “the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so 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 save by sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s and he will give you into our hand.”
What a punk! Was this imp really serious? Did he actually think that he would be victorious? Goliath looked over to where David had been but he was gone, so quick on his feet David was fast approaching, charging at Goliath.
It was about that time that the first stone hit the giant in the middle of his forehead. The blow was solid and caused the giant to stumble, then fall, face down on the ground. David was upon him in an instant and finished the job, cutting off the giants head and the war was over. The Philistines saw what had happened and turned to flee with the Israelites on their heels. The giant was dead. David had overcome the odds and with God by his side he had taken down the fiercest of enemies.
We all have giants, don’t we? We all face challenges that can either be a stumbling block or a boost forward. We face giants of fear – fear of changing or fear of staying the same. Some giants look like pride or arrogance, or aging bodies that just don’t work like they used to. Stress, overwork and addiction can be giants that keep us up in the night, stealing the joy from our lives. Some of us face giants of financial origins, or health issues that have no easy treatment. Giants in our lives can be any hardship or insurmountable obstacle or temptation. A giant can be problems that rob us of our sleep, that wake us up in the night, in anguish, unable to find a solution. Unable to experience peace.
The funny thing with giants is that some of them start out as little people. They don’t begin as huge insurmountable problems. But if small problems are left unattended, they can grow into a raging giant, ready to destroy everything in its path.
Sisters and brothers, I have some great news. Giants can be defeated. But we must first recognize that we all have giants and take the time to get to know them, to study them and to understand where they come from. In doing so we can create an action plan to tackle the most wicked giant we might come across.
1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us, 13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” Knowing that God is on our side is the greatest tool we have to fight our giants. Our battles belong to God and we must call on God and pray for His power to protect and resolve our giants.
To battle our largest giants may require we get some help. There are professionals that can be huge assets as we engage in battle – physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, financial planners. We don’t have to face our giants alone. If we allow it, God will direct us to the help we need. Being involved with a Christian church and surrounded with Christian friends who care for us and pray for us, makes a difference. To be the best we can be, to be in shape to face our giants, we must arm ourselves with the word of God, take time in prayer to seek and hear God’s direction and encouragement.
David was prepared to face his giant and did so with enthusiasm. He knew God was guiding him and he trusted in the Lord. “Don’t look at God in the light of your giant. Instead, look at your giant in the light of God.” No giant, no matter where it resides or how large it seems, deserves control over your life. You were created for more. You were created for a purpose.
When we realize that our greatest lessons are learned on the battlefield we can approach the battle with our giants in a different light. We can understand that when we defeat the giant, we are empowered to be more, to seek more and to lead more than ever before. “It is time to stand and fight for our health, our children, our families, and our neighborhoods. The giants of anxiety, addition, brokenness, burnout and division have had their day.” Sisters and brothers it is time for us to slay our giants and live in the peace that God promises us.
Let us pray: Almighty God, empower us to slay the giants in our lives. Remind us that you are our strength in times of need, you are the rock upon which we stand. Give us the courage to do battle, knowing that with you by our side we will be victorious. Amen.
 1 Samuel 17:8-10
 1 Samuel 17:43
 1 Samuel 17:45-47
 Facing Your Giants. http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/facing-giants-11652635.html Accessed August 19, 2016.
 The Five Stones: Conquering our Giants. http://www.thrivingpastor.com/the-five-stones-conquering-our-giants/