There is something we all share in common. Whether we want to admit it or not there is something weighing heavy on all of our minds and hearts. With the exception of a handful of Christian bloggers and pastors, few are discussing it.
I like to take just a moment to remind you of two familiar stories about David. In 1 Samuel 17ff. we see the Philistine and the Israeli Armies on opposite hills in a face off. The Philistine champion was named Goliath. He stood nine feet and ten inches tall (For most of us we brush over that as if he is only the size of one of our professional basketball players and don’t take the time to comprehend just how tall he was. Next time you are in a home improvement store, go to the molding aisle and pick up a piece of 10 foot molding and stand next to it. See just how big Goliath was). When you are fitted for your armor you are given that which you can handle with the greatest of ease. In Goliath’s case his sword was longer and heavier than most, his spear was longer that he was tall, and the head of the spear was cone shaped weighing approximately eighteen pounds. His armor weighed in at over 250 pounds, more than the average soldier can pick up on a good day.
“Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” 1 Samuel 17:8-11
Please read that scripture again. This time read it out loud, with emphasis and sarcasm in your voice. This is what the Israelite army heard, not once, but for forty days both morning and night. They went to bed hearing it, and woke up hearing it.
Notice how Saul’s army was feeling—dismayed and terrified. If you look these two words up in the Hebrew, they simply mean, shattered, broken, greatly afraid, and trembling excessively.
Now I ask, if you were taunted twice every day how would you feel? You are waiting and hoping someone, anyone but you, will answer the call. No one does. You hear murmurs among the others saying, “We can’t fight him; he’s way too big for any of us.” You sit and tremble knowing you have no chance of getting close to this giant because he has such a long reach. Understanding that to confront this man means certain death. Pushing each other saying, “You go!¾No you go!¾I’m not going!¾I want to go home—We are all going to die! And then to think if you are to lose to these heathen people you will have to serve them the rest of your life. The Philistine’s know they would beat you, with Goliath’s strength, and you knew it too. The foundations of your world are being destroyed. Fear has you hypnotized.
Well, we know how the story turned out don’t we. God sent a lad named David with a slingshot to defeat this huge tormentor and end his relentless persecution. David trusted God and did not fear the enemy.
So Jonathan told David saying,
“Saul my father is seeking to put you to death.
Now therefore, please be on guard in the morning,
and stay in a secret place and hide yourself.
1 Samuel 19:2
Goliath was David’s first victory in battle. Many others followed. Now he faced a new enemy, a new Goliath if you will, that frightened him. King Saul was God’s anointed king. Saul knew that he was beginning to lose his anointing and that someone would take his place. He believed it would be David’s older brother, Eliab. Because of David’s victories, rumor spread that David was God’s anointed and would take Saul’s place. Saul became jealous of David and assumed he wanted his throne early, so he sought to kill David.
Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch until morning so he could kill him. Michal, David’s wife, also Saul’s daughter, let David down a rope so he could escape. In the morning Michal told the messengers he was in bed sick. When they checked, they found what they thought was David covered up because they could see his hair; actually it was goats hair made to look like David’s hair. When Saul heard this he sent the messengers back to the house to bring him in the bed so that he could kill him. He was furious for his daughter’s deception. (1 Samuel 19:11-12)
He tried to pin David to a wall by throwing a spear at him. David escaped. (1 Samuel 20:33)
Saul continued to pursue him, to kill him. There is controversy over how long this pursuit lasted. Some say eighteen months while others say fifteen years. The time doesn’t matter as much as David’s panic. David lived in constant fear. He continued to run like, as we say in the South, a scalded dog.
You know the rest of the story. Saul is confronted by David, who is now holding a piece his garment. David sliced off a piece while Saul was relieving himself to show that David meant him no harm. In fact, David bowed before Saul in honor of the anointing of God on this king. David saved Saul’s life more than once.
These are two different stories of David. One is as victor, and one where the foundation of his world was crumbling. He lived in fear. Have you ever been in either, or both, of these circumstances? Have you ever felt like the foundations of your world were crumbling? Did you know what to do and how to handle it?
In the Lord I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
“Flee like a bird to your mountain.
For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”
We have a New Goliath on the loose¾He stands and taunts us every 83 days with another killing somewhere in our world. He is huge and stands in the same defiance of the True God as the Philistines did. You’ve heard of all these evil killings and the hatred that has developed over the last several years; especially the killing of those who will not follow Islam, or can’t quote the Koran, and in particular Christian believers.
I don’t have to go into a lot of detail to make my point. You know what is happening and if you are like the Israelites–like David–like me–you are scared. You just don’t know what to do so you don’t discuss it. You internalize it and hope it goes away.
If you read the news, ISIS is NOW going to kill Christian’s in their places of worship. In fact a Catholic priest was murdered this past week in France while holding mass. Nuns were used as human shields to protect these cowards while they fought off the police.
The foundations of our world are being destroyed before our very eyes.
David asked a very important question in this Psalm 11:3. “ When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
The authorities say ISIS is already in all fifty states of our union. They will begin to attack us on a regular basis. So what can I do as a Christian? What can the body of Christ do when the foundations of our world are crumbling?
This is Part 1 of this discussion and what has been on my heart and mind for months. In Part 2, I will discuss some of the answers. I would like you to ponder the following questions and have your comments ready for my next post.
I leave these questions with you?
Isaiah 35: 44 “say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives you. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
1.Based on these two verses of Scripture, Do we have right to be afraid?
2. As did David, should we stand against those who want to kill us? Why, or Why not? How can we stand against them?
3. What can the righteous do?