1 Samuel 16-17:31 - Skip Heitzig
Calvary Church is dedicated to doctrine, and we want you to experience the life change that comes from knowing God's word and applying it to your life. So we explain the Bible verse by verse, every chapter, every book. This is Expound.
Let's get to it, shall we? Turn in your Bibles to the book of 1 Samuel chapter 16. That's where we left off, right? I trust that you are with me. Maybe, you've read ahead. But we are looking at chapter 16, and who knows how far will go. I am not going to make any promises. But I want to get right to it. I don't want to dilly dally. I want to jump into the text.
So Father, we pray for wisdom and pray that your Spirit would teach us. I need to be taught. We need to be taught. We need to be instructed, inspired, and we feel, Lord, that as a society and as a church we're at a very crucial time. And so we pray that you would speak to us as a group, as a church, as a body of believers, but also individually, because you know all the nuances of our lives, all the different things that we face, all the unique challenges. We pray that you would grow us up in the word of God. In Jesus' name, Amen.
We've been studying the life of Saul, and we've seen that Saul, almost from the beginning, not quite from the beginning, but almost, was a failure as a King. He will make an admission in a few chapters. We will read it. He will say it to David, who he will be hunting at the time. He will say this confession, a very rare confession from his lips. He will say, Indeed, I have played the fool and erred exceedingly.
That is his life statement. And really, it's an understatement. He played the fool in so many ways. He played the fool by arrogance. His son won a battle. He blew the trumpet. He played the fool by indifference, making his soldiers fight a battle without any nourishment whatsoever. And we saw last week he played the fool by disobedience. He flatly disobeyed a command of God in dealing with the Amalekites, this age old enemy, that he was supposed to wipe out but did not.
So now, the King gets fired. God will accept his resignation, actually he, will tear the kingdom, according to the prophet Samuel, from the hands of King Saul. Now, for that to happen the scene must shift, and in chapter 16 the scene shifts from the Amalekites battle to the little town of Bethlehem, the place where Jesus will be born years later.
So we go from chapter 15, the story of an Amalekite King, named Agag, to the future Israelite King, King David. There is more written about David than any other Old Testament character. A full 66 chapters are devoted to the life of David. And we'll understand why as redemption plays out on the pages of the Holy writ. We will see that the Messiah will come from the line of David. So the first King of Israel was not from the tribe of Judah as David will be. He was from the tribe of Benjamin. But the people clamored for a King. They got their King. Now, he is rejected.
But now, the focus will be on David. And David, as I said, there'll be a lot written about him in this book and in the next book and in several books to come.
As I mentioned the scene will be Bethlehem. And that should automatically, and I think it already did, just raise a flag, ring a bell. It's like, Oh, Bethlehem. Because in 1,000 years from where we're reading outside the little town of Bethlehem there'll be a choir from heaven, and the angel will say, glory to God in the highest, and unto you this day is born in the city of David one who will be Christ the Lord, the King, the Messiah. Notice it will be called the City of David. Now, that's important because when we're introduced to David in chapter 16, David is a nobody. He's a nobody that was out keeping sheep. Nobody really cared about him, but God did, and God picked him.
So important will David be that the city of Bethlehem will be referred to as the city of David. And Jesus will be called the son of David. So in chapter 16, verse 1, then the Lord said to Samuel, how long will you mourn for Saul seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse, the Bethlehemite, for I have provided myself a King among his sons.
You should probably know that David is going to have not one anointing but three anointings in his lifetime. This is the first one. It is a private anointing. The second one will be a public anointing at Hebron when he becomes the leader of Judah, the southern tribes, or the tribes down in the southern part of the kingdom. Then later on he'll have a third anointing where he will be acknowledged as the King of all of the tribes of Israel, North and South, also a public anointing. Something else I want you to keep in mind, the name anoint, or the term anoint, or to smear with oil-- that's what anointing is because when they anointed people they didn't take like a little swab of oil and make a cross on your forehead, like you're being anointed with oil. They poured oil and smeared oil on the person. And so the term Messiah, Mashia in Hebrew, literally means the smeared one, the anointed one, the one that oil has been poured over to make a demarcation that this person is selected for special service.
So kings were anointed, smeared with oil, marked out for special service. Priests were anointed, smeared with oil, marked out for special service. The ultimate anointed one, the ultimate smeared individual, the ultimate Mashia, will be the son of David, Jesus Christ. He will be given that term Messiah, or in the Greek, Christ. So fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse, a Bethlehemite, for I have provided myself a King among his sons.
There's three things you need to know, or note, at this point. Saul is rejected, number one. Samuel is dejected, number two. He's mourning. But David is selected, number three. And so here's somebody who has been rejected by God, the first King. He is pushed aside. The kingdom will be torn from his hands. This makes Samuel the prophet very dejected, very low, very mournful. All the while God has already got it covered. He's got somebody selected, somebody picked out in his heart, in his mind, even prophesied way back in Genesis chapter 49, where Jacob, on his deathbed, said of the tribe of Judah, the scepter will not depart from Judah. Nor the law giver from between his feet until Shiloh comes. Shiloh is a term for the Messiah.
So notice the scepter, the right to rule as King, will not depart from Judah. So God is raising up what was always on his heart, was always on his mind, the plan of a deliverer, Jesus Christ, through the lineage of David. I will provide myself a King.
So Saul is rejected. Samuel is dejected. But God has selected David.
I want that to sink in because I never want you to think that God panics, that God sweats a problem situation. God always has a plan. He's never without a plan. God never bites his fingernails and goes, Oh, man. Boy, Saul really blew it that last chapter. I don't know what I'm going to do now. It's like, push him aside. Next. God's got it covered. And in his Providence he is going to move one out and move another piece in.
Now, I have to say, and again, I don't want to dilly dally or wait too long because I want to move ahead, but Samuel impresses me. You would think that after all that Samuel has had to put up with Saul being arrogant, prideful, being indifferent to his troops, being very disobedient to God, just remember the last chapter and the confrontation they had that Samuel, when God said, I'm done with him, that he would go, phew. I am too. Get rid of him. You should have fired him a long time ago.
You think that he would go to Saul and say, you dummy. You're a loser. Get out of town. But he's mourning for him and, literally, in Hebrew, the word mourn means to grieve like somebody grieves at death. He is grieving as if he died. And I am just so impressed with the heart of this prophet. I think he really, really wanted Saul to succeed as King.
But he knew it was too late, and he goes into mourning and God says, OK. I get it. I get it that you're bummed out. I get it that you're saddened, that you're mourning, but how long are you going to keep this up? Know that I've got something up my sleeve. I'm working a trick. I've got somebody picked out.
And Samuel said, how can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, take a heifer with you and say, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. You shall anoint for me the one I name to you. And Samuel did what the Lord said, went to Bethlehem, and the elders of the town trembled at his coming and said, do you come peaceably?
Now, why do you think they trembled when the prophet came to town? Well, remember what happened in chapter 15? Remember what the prophet did to the King Agag? He hacked him to pieces with a sword. I'd tremble if that guy's coming to my town. I don't know what he's up to. So they were probably a little bit fearful as to what the prophet is doing, and already they know that Saul, they're King, as kind of a mental case and very unpredictable.
Does he know what Samuel is doing? Even Samuel, himself, is living in trepidation. He's scared. He's reticent to go. And I find it interesting that the Lord gives him a solution. He doesn't say lie to him, but he says, well, you could tell them that you're there to sacrifice, which is the truth because if you bring an animal and you sacrifice it, then you can say, I'm here to sacrifice.
But it wasn't the entire truth, was it? Because he was there to select, anoint, somebody to be the next King, to be the replacement of King Saul. But I find it interesting that God says, you can tell him the truth by bringing this in. Now, this is prudent. We know this in everyday conversation. You don't tell people what you are thinking. You're not brutally honest with people around you. You'd be fired if you were. You'd be divorced if you were. Most marriages couldn't stand a brutal honesty of everything that a person thinks or wants to say. So we learn to be wise in our speech, and the Bible tells us to be wise in our speech.
So the wise approach to go to Bethlehem is to take a heifer, a young female calf, and have a sacrifice. Now, you might be asking why are they sacrificing at these towns and not in Jerusalem? Well, Jerusalem is not the established capital yet. God did say back in the law that you shall only worship the Lord in the place when I tell you what that place is. But God has not revealed that yet. It will be Jerusalem, but until then it seems that people could have sacrifices in different towns, different villages, like in Shilo-- that's how the book opens. Eli is there as the priest in Shilo, where the Tabernacle is.
And people would go, and they would bring their animal, and they would have sort of like a barbecue. They bring an animal. They'd sacrifice it, and it would fall under the category of a Thanksgiving offering, or a thank offering, or a fellowship offering. The idea was giving thanks that we are God's people and just celebrating a meal in the presence of God. So just like just think of it as an extended, glorious, spiritual barbecue that he was having in Bethlehem, and he is there to anoint David.
So he says in verse 5 to the people, peaceably, I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, or consecrate yourselves, come with me to the sacrifice. Then he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. So it was when they came that he looked at Eliab and said, surely, the Lord's anointed is before him. Eliab was the eldest son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite. Eliab, evidently, was very tall, tall in stature, so Samuel looked and said, now, that guy looks like a King. Why would he think that? Well, the first King, King Saul, was also very tall, wasn't he? He was head and shoulders above everybody in Israel. So naturally, he was the only Israelite King as a point of reference so far. He sees Eliab and says, well, that guy looks very Schwarzeneggeresque. I think he will do just fine. That's King material. That's royal material.
So it's interesting that Samuel had a standard in his mind of what would make a good King. And it was appearance. It's how he looked. He looked stately. He looked tall. He looked authoritative. So as I look at him, I am making a judgment. Surely, that is the Lord's anointed. But the Lord said to Samuel, do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. So Jesse called Abinadad, that's the second born, and made him pass before Samuel, and he said, no. Neither has the Lord chosen this one. Then Jesse made Shimeah pass by and he said, no. Neither has the Lord chosen this one. And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before him, and Samuel said to Jesse, the Lord has not chosen these.
It's a very interesting statement that God just made. Man looks at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart. Now, that statement happens to be true. It's not a putdown. God isn't saying, you dumb humans. All you do is look at the outward. Because the outward is all we have to go on. All we have to be able to make any evaluation when we first meet a person is, generally, by the first impression, eye contact, smile, handshake, conversation. We do look at the outward appearance. We are appearance-oriented creatures.
I can prove that. Did any of you look in the mirror today? I'm guessing 100% of you did. Most people spend, in our country, about 3.8 to 5 hours a week looking in the mirror. Interesting, by the way, of all the countries on Earth where people look in the mirror the most, any guesses? Italy. See, yeah. You were going to say US because we're going to ditch the US. No. It was Italy. The Italian men and women spend considerable more time looking at themselves in the mirror.
So why do we look in the mirror? It's not because we like what we see because some of us don't. Some of us don't like mirrors. Mirrors are brutally honest. They tell you the truth. And some of us, and I'm including myself, don't really appreciate mirrors. We use them because we want to do our best. Why? Because we know man looks at the outward appearance. And so we'll put an article of clothing on, and we want to look a certain way. We want to appear cool, or we want to appear beautiful. And so why? Because we know this to be true. Man looks at the outward appearance.
So don't blame the prophet. This isn't a put down. That's his standard is outward visibility, outward appearance. That's not God's standard.
Verse 11. And Samuel said to Jesse, are all the young men here? Are all your sons here? You've given me seven. God has said nix, nay, no to all of them. Are all the young men here? Then he said, this is Jesse speaking, well, there remains yet the youngest, and there he is keeping the sheep, pointing out the window to a flock of sheep. Samuel said to Jesse, send and bring him. For we will not sit down until he comes here.
So Samuel had a standard and that was appearance. Jesse, it seems, also had a standard, and that was age. Because he made a remark, well, yeah. There's one, but he's the youngest. In other words, he's the least important of all my sons. In fact, he has the job of just being a sheep tender. You know, David was the, Oh, yeah. I almost forgot kid. He was, yeah. We got one more, but he's into FAA. You know, he's always out watching those sheep and he's technically my son, but-- So he had a certain standard in his own mind, and he thought one of his first seven sons-- so there's eight sons altogether-- but one is out in the field, and he's brought in. Interestingly, he wasn't even invited into the mix.
So he sent and brought him in. Now, he was ruddy-- ruddy means red-- with bright eyes, or beautiful eyes, and good looking. And the Lord said, Arise. Anoint him for this is the one. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
So Samuel had a standard, appearance. Jesse had a standard, age. God has a standard, the heart.
Now, what is the heart? When the Bible speaks about the heart, I fear that some of us get that term mixed up. Most Christians misuse the biblical term for heart. How do I know that? Because they say things like this. Well, you might know that in your head but not in your heart. It's not head knowledge. It's heart knowledge. And we as Christians, unfortunately, not biblically, unfortunately, have in our minds that we should set the heart against the head, against the mind. As if, well, the heart is more superior and how you feel, the emotional part of you, the heart, the real you, more important than the intellect.
Do you know that in the Bible the heart and the mind are the same. The heart refers to the mind, where you process your thinking, where your will is to make decisions, and where your emotions are produced. That's the real you. That's the core of your being. That is the biblical heart. So you look at the outward appearance. I see what a person thinks about, how they process their thought, what they want, what motivates them. I look at the heart.
So the Spirit of God came upon him. Now, notice the Spirit comes upon David but will leave Saul. Verse 14. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and a distressing Spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul's servants said to him, surely, a distressing Spirit from God is troubling you. First of all, notice that the Holy Spirit left Saul. Now, this is very Old Testament. This never happens in the New Testament. You're New Testament believers. The Spirit of God has come in you and is upon you. That's not going to change.
In the Old Testament it was different. The Holy Spirit came upon people selectively, and temporarily, where in the New Testament he comes upon people permanently, and pervasively. All believers of all generations in all parts of the world who are believers in Christ have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and he doesn't leave. He's an abiding possession. But in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon kings, came upon certain individuals for certain tasks.
What troubles some of us is that a distressing Spirit from the Lord came upon Saul. What's that about? Some demonic tormenting Spirit that the Lord, in his sovereignty, allowed Saul to be afflicted by to do two things, punish Saul, and introduce David, or stage David, for the next phase of his life.
So you know that God is in control of all spirits. He's in control of all things. He's absolutely sovereign. He's in control of the devil himself. It's not like there's this cosmic fight and over here, ladies and gentlemen, there's the devil in this corner is God, and ding, ding, ding. Here it goes. They're battling. Who knows who's going to win. Are you kidding? Fights over before it began. God's the champ. Satan can't go one round with the champ. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.
[CLAPPING AND CHEERING]
So God allows, permits, and, by the way, demons can only operate by permission. When the demons were being cast out by Jesus, they had to ask a permission slip from Jesus to go into a herd of swine. Because no movement can be made in the Spirit realm, even the demonic realm, without the will of God.
So God, for his own purposes, and two I just mentioned, for the punishment of Saul and for the initiation of David, allows a distressing Spirit to torment him because of his pushing God away, pushing God's control away, pushing God's Spirit away, in this case, a troubling Spirit distressed him. So look at their solution. Let our master now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing Spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well. Man, you just need a good record. You need a good CD. You need a good band to listen to.
So Saul said to his servants, provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me. Then, one of the servants answered and said, look, I have seen a son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person. And the Lord is with him. That's his most important characteristic. But they're working for Saul, so that's last on their list. Therefore, Saul sent messengers and said to David, send me your son who is with your sheep. And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul. So David came to Saul and stood before him, and he loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer.
Now, notice that. Notice that David loved Saul greatly. He went to work for him. He became a court musician. He will become his armor bearer, as well. But David was loyal to Saul, and he will continue to love him and continue to be loyal to him even during that decade when Saul will try to kill David, when he will seek his life, when you will force David into hiding. David will be plagued by doing anything that would go against the Lord's anointed. He was loyal to him and loved him to the end. So he wasn't like, I really want this job as King. When will that King leave so I can be in charge? He was loyal to him, and he loved him and would have served him to the very end.
Then Saul sent to Jesse saying, please, let David stand before me for he has found favor in my sight. So it was whenever the Spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp, play it with his hand, and Saul would become refreshed and well and the distressing Spirit would depart from him.
You know, music is such an important part of humanity. It's part of our culture. It's a part of every culture. I think every culture I have ever encountered has a national anthem, a song that they rally around for the nation. I wish we would rally around our national anthem more, not less.
When you sing a song, it should evoke a certain emotion, a certain pride of nation. There are folk songs in every generation and every culture. There are songs in commercials. You want to sell a product, come up with a clever tune. People will start singing it. I still sing those stupid commercial songs from the 60s that I've heard. So they did a good job in advertising because it's stuck.
So music is so important. It's important in worship. It's important for our spiritual culture. Still to this day, when I hear certain hymns, certain songs, it evokes an emotion in me. I love all the new songs. I love all the new expressions. You know I'm an advocate for that, but when you bring back one of those ones that I remember hearing that brings back a whole emotional pitch and fervor in my Spirit.
Now, I heard an interesting story about the importance of music in a culture. A missionary went to Nigeria to build a mission station. There was a foreman that he hired and a crew that he hired to build the mission station. They went to work on the first day and the second day and things were rolling along, and then third or fourth day the work just stopped. And the missionary went to the foreman and said, so, you got off to a good start. You brought the material in, but you stopped. He goes, yeah. I don't know what the problem is, but for some reason, the foreman said, the musician has been delayed.
Missionary said, musician? What does that have to do with building a work station? Oh, musician is very important to what we do. So what they meant is somebody who would come there and beat on a log with a certain cadence and chant folk songs that they were familiar with, and they would work to that. So it's almost like saying, yeah, you know my radio broke. I'm sorry. I can't hammer those nails. I can't work for you today. So very, very important.
So all that to say music is important, and it was important for Saul even. The only problem is he was using it to try to solve the problem, and he was just covering the problem. He was just masking the problem. The problem is in his own heart, his own rebellion against God that has invited this tormenting Spirit. But he's just letting the music drown it out, cover it up, just turn it up louder, party hearty. But not really deal with the core problem.
Now, verse 1, chapter 17. The Philistines gathered their armies together to battle. They're always a problem. They're an ongoing source of irritation to the Israelites, and this is probably the most famous battle that we encounter of Israel and the Philippines. The Philistines gathered their armies together to battle. They were gathered together at Socoh, which belongs to Judah. They encamp between Socoh and Azekah in Ephes Dammim. See, this is where I wish you have been with me to Israel because if you've been with us to Israel, you could close your eyes, and what I just read you can picture exactly the scene. Most of us who haven't been, you have to let me try to describe it to you with words. So I'll try.
So this valley that they are in was a natural battlefield. It is called the Valley of Elah. And it's an S-shaped valley. It's about a mile wide, and on either side are sloping hills. And this is how a lot of ancient battles played out. So the battlefield was in the middle. The armies were camped on either side of these sloping hills. Again, if you go to Israel with us, we can actually show you the hill where Israel stood and the hill where the Philistines stood. And you can stand in the middle of the valley and go through the text and go even through the little brook where David selected the stones. You know that area is still farmland and largely untouched.
So the way it would work is the army would be pitched on one side facing the army on the opposite hill. Then they would go down into the valley and just sort of spar each other on, just choose each other off, like, come on. Let's fight. Yell at each other. But each army was hoping that the other army would attack first. Why? Because again, the camp is up on the hill. So if the army wants to attack the army's camp, it's literally an uphill battle. You're fighting uphill. And it's always easier to throw a javelin or stones or whatever attack when you're in an uphill position facing downhill than the opposite. Same in golf. It's always easy to have an approach shot downhill rather than uphill, right?
So that is the issue. They're in this valley. They're camped on either side. They're hoping the other will strike first. It's a pretty even balance so far. It's about to change. It says, and Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side. Israel stood on a mountain on the other with a valley in between them.
And a champion-- now the battle changes-- and a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. If that is an accurate number, that means he was nine feet nine inches tall. Hold that thought. He had a bronze helmet on his head. He was armed with a coat of mail. The weight of the coat was 5,000 shekels of bronze. He had a bronze greaves on his legs, a bronze javelin between his shoulder, and the staff of his spear was like a weavers beam. And the iron spearhead weighed 600 shekels. It's like a 15 to 20 pound shot put weighted spear. And as shield bearer went before him.
Nine foot nine inches. Every single NBA team would be after that guy if he was around today. Right? I mean, slam dunk. Just stand there. Pft. Pft. Just past it to Goliath. Right? Imagine what size shoe he had to wear. What kind of a bed does a guy sleep in like that? I know, a king-sized bed, of course. California king, exactly. just a little bit longer.
In 1918, there was a man by the name of Robert Wadlow who was born in Alton, Illinois. And when he was born, he was born at eight pounds five ounces. By the time he was age 13, he was seven feet eight inches tall. His ultimate height was eight feet nine inches tall. And when he died his casket was almost 11 feet. It had to be carried by 12 men to bury him, and there have been people who have been known to be this tall, but they die young. They have all sorts of medical complications.
So that's what the scripture says. However, we do have a textual issue. If we were to read the Masoretic text of the Old Testament, if we were to read the commentary on the Old Testament by Josephus, the Jewish historian, if we were to look at the Septuagint version, the Greek version of the Old Testament, if we were to look at the Dead Sea Scrolls, which now happen to be the oldest Old Testament manuscripts we have in existence, it says that he was not six cubits and span but four cubits and a span, which shows a discrepancy. It would make him six foot nine inches rather than nine foot nine inches. Now, you could say, well, six foot nine inches, I mean, we shouldn't think about that, or entertain that, as possible, even though some of the old manuscripts have that, because that wouldn't be a formidable giant. Oh, yes, it would, given the fact that the average Israeli at this time was five foot three was the male average height.
So imagine a fully outfitted LeBron James, I think he's six foot nine, right? He's pretty hefty. So imagine LeBron James standing next to Danny Devito, the actor, and you have that kind of a scenario. It could possibly, plausibly, be four cubits and a span. A span is the length of your thumb to your forefinger, so it would be six foot nine. My brother was six foot eight. And I remember when he would walk into a room, and he rode a Harley Davidson, rode with another guy who was also six foot eight, when they would come into a room together, people went, whoa! I mean, it was a formidable presence. So it could be that he was nine foot nine inches. Could be that he was six foot nine inches. Either way, if you're five foot three, you're a champion.
Now, something about this soldier. This soldier, Goliath, I think, was a very specialized kind of the soldier. He's in the Philistine army, but it could be that Goliath was actually a mercenary, that he hired himself, that he was a soldier for hire, for money. Because, do you remember when the 12 spies were sent in by Moses to the land, and they came back and the 10 gave the report that we can't go take the land because there are giants in the land, the sons of Anak are there, Anak. The Anakim, the giants, are in the land.
Well, it seems that they didn't go away, that when Israel settled the land, I'm just going to read a quick little text of Scripture to you in the Book of Joshua. It says in Joshua chapter 11, at that time Joshua came in and cut off the Anakim from the mountains from Hebron, Debir, Anab, all the mountains of Judah, from the mountains of Israel Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. None of the Anakim were left in the land of the children of Israel. But listen, they remained only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod. Where is this Philistine giant from? Gath.
So it could be that he was one of the leftovers of the Anakim. He hires himself out. He knows, it's like, look, I'm a big dude. You could use me. And so he's technically in the Philistine camp, but his background is one of the genealogical records of the giants. So I wanted to throw that into just shed a little bit of light on Goliath that you may not have known.
So verse 8. He stood, and he cried out to the armies of Israel and said to them, why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. So here's this LeBron James looking at a whole bunch of Danny Devito's saying, pick a dude. One of you 5 foot 3ers, come on out. Let's go toe to toe. We will fight together. If he is able to fight with me, verse 9, and kill me, then we will be your servants, but if I prevail him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day. Give me a man that we may fight together.
So you understand what's happening. Instead of this stupid way to do war where you get a whole bunch of soldiers fighting a whole bunch of soldiers, how about just have one representative and winner takes all. Now, if you think about it, it's not a bad idea. Because when there's a problem in the world we send our best soldiers, and we have the best soldiers. We send them out overseas, and they protect our country, and they do a valiant job, but some politician decides, yeah, I think we ought to go to war against that country, and so we send America's finest. And many are killed. And they do it valiantly. And they do it for a right cause. But what if we sent the leader of the nation who wants to go to war to fight the war?
A lot could be said about that. But I'll tell you what, if we started doing that, we would vote a whole lot differently.
We want to make sure the guy has military background. He's a fighter man. He's so capable. We'd want the LeBron James scrapper.
When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Now, David was the son of that Ephraimite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, who had eight sons, and the man was old, advanced years and the days of Saul. The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul into battle. The name of his three sons who went to battle were Eliab, the firstborn. Next to him, Abinadad, the third Shimeah. David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul, but David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.
And the Philistine, that's Goliath, drew near and presented himself 40 days, morning and evening. Talk about intimidating. Every day for almost a month and a half. Twice a day. Making the same challenge. Send me a dude. Send me a man. Let's have a fight. It would grind. It would wear down the spirits of the opposing army, and it was intended to do exactly that. And it was intended to bolster the spirits of the Philistines. They were having a heyday with this.
Then Jesse said to his son, David, take now for your brothers and ephah of this dried grain and these 10 loaves, and run to your brothers in the camp, and carry these 10 cheese to the captain of their 1,000, and see how your brothers are doing, how they fare, and bring back news of them. Now, Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah fighting with the Philistines. So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with the keeper, and took the things, and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp of the army as the army was going out to fight and shouting for the battle. So they're there up to their same old things. They go down into the valley,
And Goliath said, send me a guy. Just kind of staging it every day.
For Israel, verse 21, and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army, and David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, probably in a cart, a chariot, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. And he talked with them. And there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up, notice this, coming up from the armies of the Philistines, and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them. And all the men of Israel when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. Think Wizard of Oz.
So the men of Israel said, have you seen this man who has come up? Surely, he has come up to defy Israel, and it shall be that the man who kills him, the King, that is King Saul, will enrich with great riches and will give his daughter and give his father's house exemption in Israel. So whoever is the man that we send over to fight, if he wins, he gets to marry Saul's daughter, and his whole family is tax exempt. Will never pay taxes again in Israel.
Now, here's what I want you to notice about what's going on. As the battle progresses, now they're not just going down in the valley, down where the brook is that divides the valley in half, now Goliath is coming up that hill. He's advancing. So not just staying down there and yelling at him, he's coming up. He's being more intimidating. He's being more defiant, and he's being aggressive. He's coming up. Three times, they came up. He's coming up, coming up.
I want you to get that picture because that is how Satan works. He won't expend much energy on you, if he knows you're weak, but if he knows you're strong, he'll come up. He'll think of other tactics. He's a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. And he never gives up. Just like Goliath, he's there morning, evening, morning, evening, morning, evening. He just keeps at it. And he gets a little closer and a little more defiant and a little more aggressive every day as the days go on. And as I said, he never gives up.
When Jesus was tempted by the devil, and Jesus successfully handle that temptation, it says this in the Bible. And when he had ended every temptation, Satan left him until he could find an opportune time. That's the devil against Jesus. He left him, but he was looking for an opportune time. Do you know that Satan always looks for an opportune time, a weak moment, when you're off guard, when you feel invincible, when you feel in-conquerable. You've just had a victory. I can handle this. He's coming up. He'll never give up. And if he goes unmet, he gets stronger and stronger and stronger. And that temptation, and that struggle you face, that you can't get out of, gets stronger and stronger because the enemy's coming up.
So David hears this. He knows what's happening. He sees what's happening. David spoke to the man who stood by him saying, tell me that again. What did you just say? What shall be done for the man who kills the Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? Don't you love David's spunk. And the people answered him in this manner saying, so shall it be done for the man who kills him.
Now, David has the right perspective. David's a shepherd boy, but David's a servant of God. David knows his God. And notice the perspective. Go back to verse 10. Here's what Goliath said, I defy the armies of Israel. That's not David's perspective. David said who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God? Who does this idiot think he is mouthing off to God? This is God's army. We're God's people. That's the right perspective. That's the perspective of faith, and that's the true perspective.
In the book of Zacharia the prophet will say, whoever touches Israel touches the apple of God's eye. If somebody goes after you, if a fist comes towards you, or a foreign body or a piece of sand comes at you, you block it. You keep it out of the eyeball, the apple of your eye. God's very sensitive when it comes to anybody attacking his people.
Remember when Saul was, not this Saul, but New Testament Saul, Saul of Tarsus, who would become Paul the apostle, was attacking Christians in Damascus? He was after Christians. That's not how Jesus saw it. He knocks Saul off his horse and said, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? When you touch them you are dealing with-- you're going to have to come through me. I'll take you on. You want to fight, Saul? Bam! That's David's perspective. This guy's mouthing off to the armies of God, The living God.
And something else, I want to focus on that. He didn't just say the armies of Israel's God, the armies of the what? Living God. You know why he said that? Because he knew there's only one God, that every other belief system, no matter how sincere a person may be, they're worshipping gods that don't exist. You can call a god anything you want. You can have any religious system you want. So it's not real. It's fake. It's been made up. There's only one true living God.
Do you know who the Philistines worship? Not a living God. They worship a god by the name of Dagon. Dagon was a god with a fish head and the arms of a man, and they worship the God called Beelzebub. Beelzebub means the Lord of the Flies, or, literally, the dung beetle. They worship a dung beetle. These Philistines worship insects that crawl on dung. And that guy's defying the living God?
You see how his perspective is when he enters this battle? You need to understand that because that's what accounts for him going full speed ahead into this battle. Now, Eliab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the man. And Eliab's anger was aroused against David and said, why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and insolence of your heart. You have come down to see the battle. David said, what have I done, now? Is there not a cause? And he turned from him toward another and said the same thing. And these people answered him as the first ones did. And when the words which David spoke were heard, which they reported them to Saul, and he sent for him.
Now, remember Eliab is the eldest. Remember, Eliab was the first in line to be considered to be King, which means he is the first to be rejected as King. So he remembers that whole incident, that whole ordeal.
Can I just warn you, in a good way, just so you understand this, not to keep you from serving God. But when you decide I'm going to step into the service of the Lord, I'm going to go be a missionary on the other side of the world. I'm going to go plant a church. I'm going to go lead worship with my music. I'm going to go-- I just want to serve the Lord. Not everybody around you is going to understand that. You're going to have blow back, flak, misunderstanding, misjudgment even from your own family. It's going to happen. Not to dissuade you, just know that going in. That's just job hazard. Comes with the job.
I'm looking at the time, and
I love that you say that.
We really need an hour and a half, but--
I also love your children. And I love those who volunteer tending your children and those who love and serve and have other commitments to do but--
One last thing about Eliab and we'll close. No, I'll save it for next week.
Same time, same channel.
Father, thank you so much for the opportunity to delve into the life of this man who is called a man after your own heart. A man who decided that living in safety was not what he was about, was not what he was called to. And if there is an enemy at hand that is defying the armies of the living God, he wanted to be a part of that action. Instead of retreating back to the sheepfold, instead of going back to Bethlehem, we will see how engaged he becomes. And how he is able to exemplify a man after your own heart, a man who knows that with God one is always a majority. And how impressed we are and will be with David in these early years of his life.
Thank you, Lord, for the lessons we have learned. Thank you for the hunger and thirst that so many have to hear your word. We pray, now, Lord that you would bless the rest of our week. Bless our going out, our coming in. Send us, Lord. Send us into battle. Send us into service. We know it's going to be difficult. We know that some won't understand but how honored we are and will be just to be slaves, servants, of the most high God. In Jesus' name. And God's people said, Amen.
For more resources from Calvary Church and Skip Heitzig, visit calvarynm.church.
Thank you for joining us from this teaching in our series Expound.