Jul 15th, 2018
Hello and welcome to episode eighty-two of the Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. Over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to dive into part two of this three-part series we’re in of “Killing Giants and Taking Names.” The first part was, “When Your Calling Is Just Words,” this entry is “When You’re Gathering Smooth Stones.”
The main focus of part one of this series was the frustrating, powerless position that you find yourself in after you’ve acknowledged a calling, recognized the moving of your heart, and embraced a motivation to set your course. That place where you're right next to what you know your supposed to be doing and can reach out and touch it, but the time isn’t ready yet. You’re in that position to prepare you to step into that calling, you’re in that position to test your heart so you can see what is in there; what you’re made of before you move forward.
In the last episode we left off David anointed to be king and serving king Saul part-time in the palace and the rest of the time continuing to watch his father’s sheep in the field. It was about this time in 1 Samuel 17 that the Philistines gathered their forces for war. Saul and the men of Israel gathered and camped in the Valley of Elah. The Philistines take a stance on the hill on one side of the ravine and the Israelites took their stance on the hill on the opposite side of the ravine.
The Philistines champion, Goliath from Gath, came out of their camp and yelled over the ravine to the Israelites, “Why do you come out to line up in battle formation? Am I not a Philistine and are you not servants of Saul? Choose one of your men and have him come down against me. If he wins in a fight against me and kills me, we will be your servants. But, If I win against him and kill him, then you will be our servants and serve us.”
Goliath was a big ol’ boy. It says he was 6 measurements of the length of the average forearm from the elbow to the beginning of the hand plus the distance from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pinky when your hand is all the way stretched out. The King James translated this as 6 Cubits and a Span, and other sources say this is equal to about nine feet, nine inches tall. While that is pretty tall, I’m not sure giant is a justified term; except that his armor weighed one hundred and twenty-five pounds, and the head of his spear weighed fifteen pounds. Lookup pictures of Brock Lesnar and add three and a half feet to his height because a man that can wear one hundred and twenty-five-pound brass armor would look a bit like that. Now that, that’s a giant.
So how did Saul and the armies of Israel respond to this giant's mocking and offer of one on one combat? 1 Samuel 17:11 says, “When Saul and all Israel heard these words from the Philistine, they lost their courage and were terrified.” This is what happens when giants rear their ugly heads; those who aren’t called, aren’t moved, aren’t motivated, lose their courage and become terrified. They tuck their tail in-between their legs and head for safety.
Now David’s three oldest brothers had followed Saul to the war. But David, he kept going back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock in Bethlehem. Twice a day, for forty days, Goliath would come out and repeat his mock, and his challenge. One day David’s father sent him with food for his brothers and to bring back a report from them on their well-being. David arrives and asks his brothers how they are. While he was speaking with them Goliath comes forward and shouts his daily mock and challenge.
David’s ears perk up, the little hairs on his arms stand on end, he gets this tingling in his spine that spreads over his shoulders and makes him shudder. The bible doesn’t tell us that’s what happened, but I’ve been in that situation where that giant rears its head and you recognize that this is the time to take the next step in your calling. This is the opportunity that God has prepared for what’s hidden in your heart to become visible to those around you. David asks, “What will be done for the man who kills that Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” They tell him that three things will happen for the man who kills Goliath; 1. The king will make him rich, 2. The man will marry the king’s daughter, and 3. The family of that man’s father will be exempt from paying taxes.
What happened to David next is exactly what happens to you when you take that next step. His brother Eliab became angry with David and accused him of abandoning their father’s sheep to come and see the war. Whenever you take that next step towards your calling those scared by the challenge you are facing will be jealous of the audacity of your presumption that you can take on the challenge that they are afraid of. Your response to them should be the same as Davids was, he said, “It was just a question.” Then he turned away from Eliab and consulted with others about what the offer was for the man who killed Goliath.
Saul hears about David’s bold insistence that someone should kill Goliath and summons him. Saul insists that David can’t take on Goliath. In the natural David is young and Goliath is full grown, David is a shepherd and Goliath is a trained warrior. In reality, Saul is saying that David can’t defeat Goliath because Saul is too afraid to even try. At David’s reassurance, Saul tells him, “Here’s how it’s done. Put on my armor and give it your best shot.” The armor though doesn’t fit; the way David’s predecessor in the same anointing and mantle did things isn’t the way David could get them done.
David takes off Saul’s armor and sword, picks up his staff and collects five smooth stones from the wadi and puts them in his pouch. Survive or fail, live or die, David had to define his own way to fulfill the calling on his life. One man’s method can be another man’s encumbrance. Even if it’s proven to work, even if it’s the way it’s always been done doesn’t mean that it’s the right way to do it.
A little challenge in closing to get your mind working, “Why did David pick up five stones?” After you’ve had time to think it over email me at email@example.com. I’ll reply with an answer, or if you’re local here in North Central Texas, look up our church The Ekklesian House and come join us on some Sunday evening. We can talk about it face to face.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”