“To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
~ 1 Tim. 1:17
In our evening sermon series we are working our way through the book of 1 Samuel. This Sunday we’ll be considering a very familiar and beloved passage: 1 Samuel 17 (David and Goliath). There have been many abuses of this text, but we dare not throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater. We want to always have an eye out for what any text tells us about God, how it relates to Jesus, and then how it relates to us. One of the masters of this was C.H. Spurgeon. Consider snippets of his sermon in preparation for Sunday night with a view to living by faith tomorrow and the next day and forever…
“I. David: A Type of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Mark well our warrior chief as he goes forth to the fight. The son of Jesse rejected the weapons with which Saul sought to arm him… In like manner the Son of David renounced all earthly armor… One of the temptations of the desert was not only that he should have the kingdoms of the world, but that he should have them by the use of such means as Satan would suggest. He must fall down and worship Satan: he must use the carnal weapon, which would be tantamount to worshipping him. Jesus would not have it. To this day the great fight of Jesus Christ with the powers of darkness is not with sword and helmet, but with the smooth stones of the brook. The simple preaching of the gospel, with the shepherd's crook of the great Head of the Church held in our midst. This it is that lays low Goliath, and shall lay him low to the last day. Vain is it for the church even to think that she shall win the victory by wealth, or by rank, or by civil authority. No government will assist her. To the power of God alone she must look. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," saith the Lord of host. Happy will it be for the Church when she learns that lesson. The preaching of the cross, which is "to them that perish foolishness," is, nevertheless, to us who believe Christ, "the power of God, and the wisdom of God."
“See, then, our glorious champion going forward to the fray with weapons of his own choosing, and those such as human wisdom despises, because they do not appear to be adapted to the work. With great strength and power, nevertheless, did he go forth, for he went in the name of God. "Thou comest to me," said David, "with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts…" This was Christ's watchword, when for our sakes, and on our behalf, he came to wrestle with sin, to bear the wrath of God, and to vanquish death and hell! He came in the name of God.
“Mark you well that David did smite Goliath, and he smote him effectually not in the loins, or on the hand, or on the foot—but in a vital point he delivered the stroke that laid him low. He smote him on the brow of his presumption, on the forehead of his pride… So, when our Lord stood forth to contend with sin, he projected his atoning sacrifice as a stone that has smitten sin and all its powers upon the forehead. Thus, glory be to God, sin is slain. It is not merely wounded, but it is slain by the power of Jesus Christ.
“So he had his triumph…, and every Israelite that day became a victor through the victory of David. They were more than conquerors, through him that had loved them and won the victory for them. So let us now bethink ourselves to be victors. Our Lord has won the victory…The angels have met him on the way. They have said, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in." And they that have been with him have answered to the question, "Who is this King of glory? "They have said, "The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory." And, this day, the feeblest believer triumphs in Christ. Though we should have been beaten, nor could we have hoped for victory—yet, now, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we chase our enemies; we trample sin under our feet; and we go from strength to strength through his completed victory.
“II. David: An Example for every believer in Christ.
Go on, then! Strive with coolness and courage! Be not daunted by the comely face, the princely figure, or the battle array of your antagonist! Let not his vaunting words deter you. Call on the name of Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, and use, even in God's battles, those weapons which you have tested and proved. But take care to go through with God's work; do it thoroughly, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith; so beloved, you may expect to go from strength to strength, and bring glory to God.”
“Let us go forth full of faith with this thought…
“A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
our Helper He amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great; and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not His equal.
“Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing; were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be! Christ Jesus, it is He,
Lord Sabbaoth His name, from age to age the same,
and He must win the battle.”
Soli Deo Gloria!