David properly placed Goliath's defiance as against God, not Israel. He applied to the confrontation the appropriate offense. Though Goliath saw his own actions as against just another nation, David put it where it belonged, as an affront to God. David didn't take it personally. Christians face their giants in the form of various persecutions, and though we may be inclined at those times to feel sad, alone, or angry, we, too, don't have to take it personally.
The other day, I asked Gabriel about what type of subject he might like to hear about during a sermonette. He brought up David and Goliath, and how that story can relate to overcoming the giants in our lives.
Since that could be a pretty big subject, I decided to tackle one aspect of that relationship then try to show how the same principle of that aspect can be applied to us as Christians in a hostile world.
How did David show that he relied on God? …REVIEW
1 Samuel 17: 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover, David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
David did not respond to Goliath in kind. Goliath announced he defied the armies of Israel. David responded that Goliath was actually defying the armies of the living God. The men of Israel were afraid because they were thinking only of themselves. They could see the huge presence of a great warrior standing against them, and they took it personally. In this situation, they were afraid.
David, however, put the defiance where it belonged, which was against the living God, which makes a lion, and a bear, and even a mighty warrior like Goliath into something like an ant under a grown man’s heel.
David Didn’t Take It Personally.
Let’s move on to you and me here and now…
How would you feel if your teacher threatened to fail you, not because your grades are poor, but because you will be away for the Feast? How do you feel when everyone in class drinks that Kool-Aid called “evolution”, and they scoff at you for believing in a Creator?
Just how does this make you feel?
How do you feel when your own relatives sneer at your belief? How do you feel when threatened with losing your job over the Sabbath?
Just how does that make you feel?
Naturally, this persecution should leave us fearful or sad or angry, but we don’t want to respond to these things naturally, do we?
Some things to keep in mind so that we don’t take it personally…
John 15: 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.
I can almost guarantee you every single time I have met with persecution, initially, I felt alone. (Remember Jesus’ question to Paul going to Damascus.)
Matthew 5: 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Throughout history, Christians have been fed to lions, beheaded, beaten, imprisoned, run out of their own countries, rejected by family, lost their jobs, and just all around been rejected.
If you had been one of these, how would that have made you feel? If you’ve experienced any of these things, how did that make you feel?
Luke 23: 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
They don’t know what they do. Forgive them.
They are not persecuting you. They, in their ignorance of God, are defying the armies of God.
##Excerpted page 4 ## By God’s grace we can learn not to take it personally, but to use the personal experiences to draw closer to God; to grow in God’s favor and the knowledge of God. Let’s not take it personally. Let’s forgive their defiance of the living God. Without fear, anger or sadness, rejoice and be exceedingly glad for the promised reward of the Kingdom of God.
Don’t take it personally!
Except for the grace of God, there go I; there go you. Let us do our best to overcome; do our best to practice God’s righteousness and accept with joy the knowledge of the purpose of these trials you face, whether persecution or any other trial; even those we bring on ourselves…
…Because what is actually being witnessed is the righteousness of God. In everything, we suffer we are meant to respond and grow. We are meant to learn to forgive. We are meant to learn patience and endurance. That’s WHY we are here right now. That’s WHY we are being chosen as firstfruits. God can establish His righteousness in the weakness of human flesh and while in a world of ignorance and rebellion against righteousness. We’re the ones. Only those called and only those chosen are the ones to witness to this world the righteousness of God. When we overcome, people will see us overcome, or people will be given the record of our overcoming. When we endure persecution for righteousness sake, we establish a witness against sin as we establish a witness for the righteousness of God.