We continue our dive into the epic battle between David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17.
We are going to take two observations today from the text:
Saul and his soldiers were fighting the Philistines, but they were not facing the Giant.
1 Samuel 17:11 – When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
1 Samuel 17:19 – Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
1 Samuel 17:23-24 – As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him. All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid.
Above are a few excerpts from 1 Samuel. What you see is that when Goliath came and spoke, Saul and his men cowered and fled. Yet, what do we see in verse 19? Saul and his soldiers were fighting with the Philistines. That is a point that cannot be overlooked. They were fighting with the Philistines, they were engaged with a war against the enemy, but they were not facing the Giant. Whenever the Giant came back (vs. 23-24), they all tucked tail and ran away in fear.
We can fool ourselves in our marriages, in our parenting, in our churches, etc., that we are doing good things and engaged in the “good fight,” but are we really facing the Giants? Some may call it, the “elephant in the room,” but it is the same concept. I can be doing great things for God with my wife, and engaged in the spiritual warfare with her, but is there a giant like lust (Matthew 5:28) or bitterness (Colossians 3:19) that needs to be beheaded? We can be doing good works for God in our churches, but is there a “Giant” that needs to be defeated there? Think about it. Saul and his men were fighting the Philistines, but they were not progressing, because they did not have the faith to face the Giant head on.
The reward was offered to every soldier in Israel.
The final observation for today is that King Saul’s reward was offered to every soldier in Israel…to anyone. Here is the reward offered.
1 Samuel 17:25-27 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” And David said to the men who stood by him, “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?” And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”
David comes to the camp and finds out that the prize for conquering the Giant is (1) Money, Money, Money (2) Marrying into the King’s family (3) No taxes for all his family. Dude, that is some reward, isn’t it? But go back to the text and see that this was offered to “the man” who kills Goliath. Not specific, this reward is offered to anyone.
Question, why were there no takers? If you were offered this great of a reward, wouldn’t it be a no-brainer? Nope. Because for every soldier in Israel, this reward wasn’t worth the risk. If you offered me a billion dollars to tightrope 1,000 feet in the air in between two skyscrapers, I wouldn’t take the challenge! Why? It’s not worth the risk to me. All I can see is me becoming tomato sauce on the pavement.
The men of Israel were not encouraged by the reward because their faith was not strong enough to face the Giant. This point is true for us today, men. We can sing songs about heaven and read passages about heaven all day long, but if it is not joined with faith in the God who has conquered Satan and will conquer our Giants, then those rewards are just pie-in-the-sky dreams. Do you believe that God will help you overcome the giants in your life?
God’s reward of heaven and grace is offered to every man (Titus 2:11), but not every person has the faith in God to walk into the fiery battle with Him. Are we like David? Or are we like every other soldier in Israel?