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giant man April 15 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 1Samuel 17; Psalm 144

Facing Giant Challenges

Facing the Giants was the title of a #1 Christian movie in 2005. The story centers on the struggle of a coach, Grant Taylor, his wife, and his football team to face the “giants” in their lives. Some of these giants were: a failure to win, financial difficulties, the inability to have children, lack of respect, self-doubt, and the giant football team with Bobby Lee, their big, bully football coach. What are the giants in our lives? Are they financial? Impossible tasks? Self-doubt? Fear? Inabilities? A big bully? How will we face them - with fear or faith?

At this time in our daily chronological Bible study Saul is king over Israel. He has not followed God's commands completely, however, so the lowly shepherd boy, David, has been secretly chosen to succeed him. David, though only a boy and the youngest of his father's eight sons, would grow up to be a man after God's own heart (1Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Since he is talented at playing the harp, a warrior at heart, well-liked, and the LORD is with him, Saul chooses David to come and play before him whenever an evil spirit plagues him. Providentially, this allows David to understand some of the roles of the king of Israel.

Israel's enemy after Saul's defeat of the Amalekites is once again the Philistines, a maritime Mediterranean coastal nation.

A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet [about 3 meters] tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels [That is, about 125 pounds (about 57 kilograms)]; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels [That is, about 15 pounds (about 7 kilograms)]. His shield bearer went ahead of him. (1Samuel 17:4-7, NIV)

All Israel is afraid of him. One day David is sent by his father to supply his sons and their commanders with some food. Furthermore, he is to check on his brothers and report about the conflict with the Philistines. At the battle line David hears Goliath's daily defiance against Israel and Israel's God.

David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1Samuel 17:26, NIV)

They answer him the same as they did before, “The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel.” (1Samuel 17:25b, NIV)

David is angry that this Philistine defies their Almighty God and no one challenges him.

When he later comes before the king, David says he will fight this Philistine. King Saul is incredulous because David is only a boy.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine,” (1Samuel 17:34-37a, NIV).

David has great faith in God. He rehearses what God has done for him in the past and that gives him confidence for the future. Has God done good things in your past? He is the Almighty God and he can help you conquer the present giants of your life. Trust in him. Depend on him.

Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you” (1Samuel 17:37b, NIV). Then Saul tried to outfit David with his own armor, but David could not use it because he wasn't used to it. Instead, David went out to meet Goliath with faith, a sling and five smooth stones. David was not intimidated by Goliath. Goliath relied on his massive size and his sword, but David relied on the massive power of God. Let's not let our giants intimidate us. God is bigger than our challenges.

Psalm 144 is said to have been written about David and his confrontation with Goliath. The writer (perhaps David himself) says,

Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.

He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples.... Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful. (Psalm 144:1-2, 11, NIV)

Do not listen to the lies of those who do not know God. Do not let them cast doubt on the ability of God to deliver you. “Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD,” (Psalm 144:15, NIV).

As David faced battle with the Philistine he said,

You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands, (1Samuel 17:45-47, NIV).

The reason we sometimes face impossible situations or difficult tasks is so that God might be glorified. If our tasks were easy we would not need God, and he would not be glorified. Do we seek God's glory when we face the giants of our lives, or do we try to do the impossible alone without God? Do we seek his glory or our own?

Biblical faith is not just the right words spoken at the right time. Anybody can do that. Faith results in action. We must have faith in God and engage the enemy or face our difficulty. Notice what David does in battle with Goliath:

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him, (1Samuel 17:48-50, NIV).

David, by all appearance was weak and laughable to his enemies, yet David had faith in God and wanted to bring him glory. He put action to his faith. Do we bring action to our faith? We may still have some fear, but God will help us overcome obstacles.

Lessons to live by:

•  To face the giants in our life we need faith. Have you placed your trust in God to save you? (more...)

•  Has God done good things in your past? He is the Almighty God and can help you conquer the present giants of your life. Trust in him. Depend on him.

•  Let's not let our giants intimidate us. God is bigger than our challenges.

•  Do not listen to the lies of those who do not know God. Do not let them cast doubt on the ability of God to deliver you.

•  The reason we sometimes face impossible situations or difficult tasks is so that God might be glorified. Rely upon God to help you win the victory.

•  Faith results in action. We must have faith in God and engage the enemy or face our difficulty.

•  God will help us overcome obstacles.

Today's Bible memory verse:

1John 5:4 “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (NIV).

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