Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 24, 2012

Ordinary 12B
David Meets Goliath
I Samuel 17:1-49
Prop: Photo of Lion & Kitten (below--a larger version may be found using the Photo Credit link)

Who would win: a tyrannasaurus rex or an allosaurus?

Who would win: Batman or Superman?

Who would win: (Show photo) A lion or a kitten?

Photo Credit

Who would win: A heavily armed warrior or a shepherd boy?

Today's story answers that last question, at least in the case of Goliath and David.

This story takes place thousands of years ago, but the lesson it teaches is as important today as it was when the event took place.

The Israelites and the Philistines were at war.  The armies stood across from each other on hilltops with a valley in-between them.  God's people, The Israelites, watched as one huge warrior walked out of the Philistine camp and faced them.  His name was Goliath, and he was big.  He was bigger than big.  He was the most enormous person any of the Israelites had ever seen.  Goliath wore full armor and carried a huge javelin and a sharp spear. 

Goliath challenged the Israelites to send out a soldier from their army to fight him.  He shouted, "If your soldier is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I win and kill him, then you will be our servants and serve us."  When Saul, the king of Israel and leader of the army and his soldiers heard this, they were all afraid.  Goliath repeated his challenge twice a day for forty days, and none of the soldiers of Israel had the courage or faith to face him.

Now David was a young boy who took care of his father's sheep.  He was a shepherd.  David's three oldest brothers were soldiers in Saul's army.  David's father, Jesse, asked David to take some food to his brothers at the battlefield.  While he was there, Goliath came forward once again and dared Israel to send a soldier to fight him.  David said, "Who is this pagan Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God/"  That was big talk for such a small person!

Saul, the king, heard about David's bold words and sent for him.  David told the king, "I will go and fight this Philistine."  Saul said, "You can't go against the Philistine!  You are just a boy, and he has been a warrior for many years!"  Then David explained to Saul that he had protected his father's sheep from lions and bears.  "The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will certainly save me from the hand of this Philistine!," the brave boy said.

So Saul agreed to let David fight.  He dressed David in his own heavy armor, put a bronze helmet on David's head and strapped a sword on him.  But the suit was so big and heavy, David couldn't move!  He unstrapped the sword, removed the helmet, stepped out of the armor and walked to face Goliath.  He was armed only with a slingshot and five smooth stones. 

When he came closer to Goliath, the warrior became angry.  He thought the Israelites were playing a joke and making fun of him by sending such a poorly matched opponent.  David said to him, "You come to me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel."

When Goliath moved toward David, the shepherd boy ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  He placed one stone in his slingshot, whirled it around several times, and then let the stone fly.  It hit Goliath right in the middle of his forehead, and the mighty giant fell flat.

Who would win: a heavily armed warrior or a shepherd boy?  The answer is: The shepherd boy who put all of his trust in God.

Let's Pray:  Dear God, Give us faith like David's, so that we might meet every challenge in life with courage and confidence.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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