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Pray Then Slay, Part 1 | 1 Samuel 17:4-19, 20-27

Sometimes you just got to pick up the fly swatter of faith and choose faith over fear. Today we’re highlighting David’s faith in the face of fear over Goliath. Let’s get after this fan favorite Bible story in 1 Samuel, shall we?!

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Sometimes you just got to pick up the fly swatter of faith. There’s an analogy, right? And just swat away the flies of fear that love to buzz and fly up right in our faces. Hi, it’s Erica. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. Yeah. This week you and I are going to talk about choosing faith over fear, and we’re having this conversation because I did the opposite recently when I heard something, only understood half the story, and started to panic. Do you ever do this? So, I texted a very dear friend who I trust with all my heart, explained what was going on, and even though I sent a whole paragraph explaining all of my emotions, my very dear friend saw the two words that stood out. “What if?” What if it doesn’t work out? And she said, call me. And I was like, okay. And we got on the phone and my friend asked me a question that I want to ask you here in a second. She said,

Are you looking at this situation from the perspective of faith or fear?

And I immediately could answer that question. I was looking at the situation through the lens of fear, and I flipped the script immediately. It was as if scales fell from my eyes. And I was like, thank you Lord, for my dear friend who put everything back into the right perspective for me today. Today, you and I are going to study the life of a man who did this in a very important situation. If you think about how every day our minds are battlefields, right? We’re constantly wielding the sword of truth, the Bible or the fly swatter of faith, whatever you want to call it, against all of these thoughts that come against us. I think fear is so often the biggest enemy that you and I face on the daily. Fear of failing, fear of letting somebody down, disappointing someone… All these fears that come at us. And today, you and I are going to have a chance to observe King David before he was king, when he was just a young man and a shepherd. We’re going to observe him choosing faith over fear in that mental battlefield, and on a physical battlefield. So, join me now in one Samuel chapter 17, beginning in verse four, little context here. The Israelites and their enemy, the Philistines were at war and they were facing off. Alright, verse four now.

Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! 5 He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. 6 He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. 7 The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a shield.

So, we see the picture. Goliath is an absolute beast, and there might be a fear in your life today that is an absolute beast. It’s just terrifying. There is a way to defeat it. Verse eight, now.

Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul.

Saul was the king at that time.

Choose one man to come down here and fight me! 9 If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 10 I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

Maybe recently you’ve been deeply shaken by something and your faith has been rocked, and you have been letting that fly of fear buzz all around you. I think you’re going to be encouraged by David’s response to this taunt from Goliath. Verse 12 now.

Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. Jesse was an old man at that time, and he had eight sons. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons—Eliab, Abinadab, and Shimea—had already joined Saul’s army to fight the Philistines. 14 David was the youngest son. David’s three oldest brothers stayed with Saul’s army, 15 but David went back and forth so he could help his father with the sheep in Bethlehem. 16 For forty days, every morning and evening, the Philistine champion strutted in front of the Israelite army.

Imagine being confronted by such fear 40 days in a row, twice a day. Wow.

One day Jesse said to David, “Take this basket of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread, and carry them quickly to your brothers. 18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring back a report on how they are doing.

Verse 20 now.

So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries. 21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel. 24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes!” 26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And these men gave David the same reply. They said, “Yes, that is the reward for killing him.”

David asks two great questions. He is approaching the giant from a perspective of faith. The first question, wait, what’s the reward again? Because he’s expecting it. The second question, who is this guy anyway? Who’s allowed to defy the armies of the living God? So I want to ask you that question now. Who is this person in your life?

What is this thing in your life, and I ask myself these same questions that you are making bigger than the living God… The one who loves us so much, who is totally powerful? My friend Brian posted these incredible words on Facebook the other day.

Some thought Goliath was too big to fight. David thought Goliath was too big to miss.

And it’s because David didn’t put on his fear glasses. He put on his faith glasses and he could see clearly. Alright, until next time when we read the dramatic conclusion of this story together. Remember, you are loved.

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