Wednesday, September 6, 2017

EmmDev 2017-09-06 [Lessons from Samuel] The trouble with giants

The trouble with giants

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armour of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." 10 Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." 11 On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified....
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.      (1Samuel17:4-16)
(We're going to spend a week or two looking at the story of David and Goliath...)

Giants can come into our lives at any point.

In Israel's case it was a literal giant soldier named Goliath. But giants can be spiritual or emotional problems. Giants can be systems, peer-groups or tough circumstances. Giants can be temptations or past failures. Setbacks or obstacles can become giants in our lives. The curved balls that life throws our way can be giants.

At some point you and I will face or have faced a giant!

There are some things we can learn from Goliath. These are "tricks of the trade" in the giant handbook of "how to intimidate God's people":

  1. They are big and well equipped. Goliath set out to make a massive first impression. Not only was his physical size phenomenal, but He had armed himself with incredible weaponry. He seemed insurmountable, impregnable and invulnerable.
    Many of our giants are the same - they seem larger than life. They same to have powerful weapons and impenetrable defences.
  2. They come offering compelling deals often too good to be true. "Send someone to fight me - winner takes all." Sometimes we have to question the deal. In the Biblical account David takes the deal and overturns it by winning against long odds.
    We should, however, be careful - sometimes the deal offered is a smokescreen and leads to compromise. But don't be afraid of being the underdog. With God on their side, underdogs win!
  3. He calls them servants of Saul. There are two aspects to this: Firstly, Saul has already started imploding and so their loyalty to him is waning. But secondly Israel are actually servants of God. But Goliath doesn't want them to remember that....
    Today's giants will try to make us forget who we are as children of the king. They will have us focus on heroes with clay feet or our own clay feet, crumbling from our failures.
  4. Giants keep coming. Goliath wore the Israelites down - morning and evening for 40 days. Each time he yelled at them the more they feared him. And fear was the object of the exercise.
    Modern day giants also fight wars of attrition. They will wear us down through repeated threats and many voices.

These are just some of the tactics of giants.
We should be on the alert...
If you see these tactics, you're facing a goliath!

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