The Victory Belongs to the Lord

Dr. Brent Aucoin July 19, 2020 1 Samuel 17
Outline

3 steps to gain biblical courage and overcome fear

I. Understand Our Problems with Worldly Courage

A. Worldly courage: A false confidence produced by trusting in the powers of this earth

1. Powers of this earth—those resources considered “mighty” among men

a. Goliath

b. Saul

1 Samuel 17:38-39 - Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk.

2. False confidence: Goliath

1 Samuel 17:10 - Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.”

1 Samuel 17:43-44 - The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”

B. Worldly cowardice: Fear and trembling, when the powers of this earth are seemingly not in one’s possession: Saul and Israel

Deuteronomy 20:1-4 - When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people. He shall say to them, “Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”

Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

II. See the Attractiveness of Biblical Courage

1 Samuel 17:32 - Let no man’s heart fail on account of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine…

1 Samuel 17:37 - The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine…This day the Lord will deliver you (Goliath) up into my hands...

1 Samuel 17:47 - …and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.

A. Does not rely on the distracting powers of this earth

I Samuel 17:38-39 - Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk…so David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these…”

B. Trusts in the living God alone

1 Samuel 17:26 - For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?

1 Samuel 17:36 - …since he has taunted the armies of the living God.

C. Takes courageous action

III. Adopt the “Champion” Through Which God’s Victory Is Won

A. One who is “lowly” and not “powerful” by the standards of men

B. One who would remove the reproach of the people

1 Samuel 17:26 - What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel?

1 Samuel 17:42 - When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him…And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

C. One who is the “man-between”/”the champion” winning the Lord’s battle

1 Samuel 17:32 - Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.

Most of you are familiar with J.R. Tolkien’s series The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The heroes of both works of literature, are the small beings call “the hobbits.”

Hobbits were smaller than normal humans, unassuming, uninvolved, uninteresting to the outside the world, and largely uninfluential.

In one sense they were seemingly inconsequential to the world.

However, in Tolkien’s works, these inconsequential people to the world make all the difference to the world of middle-earth.

In a letter to his publisher Tolkien wrote, about the home of the hobbit called the Shire. He said that the shire was "more or less a Warwickshire village of about the period of 1897.”

Tolkien was modeling the hobbits after the people and places he grew up around in the countryside of England

The people Tolkien grew up around were rural, very plainly normal, simple, preferring to keep to themselves, but had a rustic surprising courage about them.

While not seemingly being the type that other’s might expect to change the world, if England was going win WW1 and WW2, these kind of inconsequential people had to do very consequential actions.

With that in mind, please turn in your Bibles to 1 Samuel 17.

As soon as you get there you will recognize that we are going to be speaking about the story of David and Goliath.

Our summer series is called: Overcome Fear and Anxiety

And today we are speaking about The Victory Belongs to the Lord

If you have noticed over the last few weeks in our series, we have been featuring biblical characters who demonstrated courage (not fear) during normally very fearful circumstances.

Two week ago, we spoke on Daniel in the Lions den from Daniel 6

Last week, we spoke on Joshua, who was given the daunting task of being Moses’ successor and executing God’s grand plan for entering the promised land.

How can we not consider this passage on David and Goliath?

It is a classic historical story with something to teach us specifically about worldly courage versus biblical courage

Now, let me start with a bit of how I am approaching this text.

There are three primary characters in this text

The scary Giant—Goliath

The fearful people—King Saul and the people of Israel

The Giant slayer—David

When we read this text and try to wring out its application for us, most of us seek to apply its example of David to us.

That’s not bad or wrong.

However, it is not fully complete either.

First there are other characters in the story—The fearful Israelites—Why don’t we ever put ourselves in their shoes?

Here are the answers…

  • Because then that means often we are not really like David and we don’t want to acknowledge that
  • Second, if we acknowledge that we are not like David and more like the Israelites, then we have to humbly acknowledge that we need someone like David in our life to win the Lord’s battle for us—and engender courage in us.
  • Finally, there is one aspect in about David in the larger context of the story in which we are not like at all.
  • Powers of this earth—those resources considered “mighty” among men.
    1. Goliath— 1 Sam 17:5–7
  • Saul—1 Sam 17:38
  • False confidence: Goliath—1 Sam 17:10, 43
  • They are confident in economic crises, but they have wealth
  • They are seemingly courageous in decisions, but they have all the influence among people
  • They are wildly bold about winning a game because they have the athletic ability
  • They are condescending confident about solving problems because they have an off the chart IQ
  • They are bold with their speech, but they are the ones who currently have the popularity among men.
  • They are rioting but they seem to have the current political winds at their back
  • Or, they are callously and murderously harsh with a suspect, but they are a part of the good-old boys club
  • Is my fear a result of me lacking some earthly resource?
  • Is my fear a result of me comparing myself to another and saying, “I’m not as good or equipped
  • Is my fear gone when I am comfortably well-resourced
    • Friends
  • Wealth
  • Job
  • Ask yourself, If I only had ________ then my soul would be quiet. What is that blank?
  • o David was able to see past the limited resources Israel had.
  • o David did not number the swords that Israel had—2
  • o David did not size up himself—“Well, I’m only 5’6 and Goliath is over 9 feet”
  • o David did not start counting his money to see if he could go bribe Goliath.
  • who made the iron for the sword,
  • who made the man iron smiths who crafted the armor.
  • who made the people we fear
  • We would face risks on behalf of others…
  • We would love people without fear….
  • We would serve without thinking what it is going to cost us
  • We would give without fear of loss, because we are simply trusting.
  • You would face the most difficult, security threatening earthly circumstances (death) without resorting to looking out for yourself.
  • We would not fear the next pandemic, riot, war, economy collapse, but would see all of this as an opportunity to make the name of the Living God known.

When we look at ourselves through the grid of the fearful Israelites—then is when we will also see what God is trying to teach about a redemptive plan that will take us to Christ.

David was the Lord’s anointed spirit-filled “King to be”

He was going to be the Lord’s Messiah…that is the Hebrew word for “anointed one”.

In the previous chapter, the prophet Samuel was instructed by God to go to a rural country town called Bethlehem and anoint one son of a man to be King of Israel in place of the rebellious King Saul.

When Samuel arrived at this man’s home, house he immediately thought that the oldest, strongest, tallest son was going to be the next King of Israel.

Of course, the oldest, strongest, son would be fit for a King! Right?

God said no.

In fact God said “no” to all the sons of Jesse except the inconsequential youngest one who they had to bring in from the country side because he was so inconsequential they did not even bring him in for the family meeting with Samuel.

God had to rebuke Samuel regarding how Samuel was viewing who would be fit for a king…..

1 Sam 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

And David, the youngest, most inconsequential son, became the Lord’s anointed, spirit-filled King in waiting

Now, 1 Samuel 17, is the first look for you and me and the public at what this 17ish young man who would be king is all about.

This is a very long passage describing David’s public debut.

We can not read it all. I will be reading excerpts and I will let you know where I am always in the text .

1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle; (the philistines are the constant thorn in the side of Israel—David will be the king that eventually vanquishes this enemy and he starts at a young age against the Philistines main man Goliath) … VERSE 3 The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them.

4 Then a champion (a man between) came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath,

whose height was six cubits and a span. (over 9 feet tall)

5He had a bronze helmet on his head,

and he was clothed with scale-armor

which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze. (125 pounds)

6He also had bronze greaves on his legs

and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders.

7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam,

and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron;

his shield-carrier also walked before him.

This is by far the longest description of “technology/armor” in all of scripture. The last verse we will read is that David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and stone and no sword in his hand….

In fact, in Israel currently there were only two swords—one for the reining King Saul and one for King Saul’s son Jonathan. You can read about that in 1 Sam 13:19-­22.

8Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. …( for 40 days he would do this, he didn’t have a long line of volunteers. )

VERSE11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine,

they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12 Now David (here maybe some hope) was the son of the Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, (small town) whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons. And Jesse was old in the days of Saul, advanced in years among men. 13 The three older sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle. …14David was the youngest. (okay no hope) Now the three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s flock at Bethlehem. [He was a shepherd-- no hope at all]

VERSE17 Then Jesse said to David his son, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this roasted grain and these ten loaves (no hope here, he is just a servant)

VERSE20So David arose early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper (David was a yes man…simple obedience)

…after he came to the army camp…

VERSE23As he was talking with them, behold, the champion (man between), the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words; and David heard them. 24When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid.

VERSE 26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”

VERSE32 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”34 But David said to Saul, …

VERSE 36 “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”

VERSE38 Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off. 40He took his stick (staff) in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; (all the resources of a lowly shepherd) and he approached the Philistine.

VERSE41 Then the Philistine came on and approached David, with the shield-bearer in front of him.

VERSE42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. 43The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”

45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46“This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47and that all this assembly may know

that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”

48 Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.49 And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground.

50 Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.

The story of David and Goliath provides three steps to gain biblical courage and overcome fear

Understand our problems with worldly courage

This narrative draws our attention to two different types of courage.

You have the giant who is arrogant, taunting, and confident of his success against Israel

You have David who has none of the arrogant trappings but is still confident of his success against Goliath

I think the author here is inviting us to look at the contrast.

Furthermore, in this text we actually have two Goliaths!!!

Any guesses on who the second Goliath is?

King Saul

In 1 Sam 9:2 Saul is described as “from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.

So we have one Giant Goliath who is cocky and courageous

You have one Giant, Saul, who is fearful and trembling

And they you have one inconsequential shepherd who seems to have no doubt about how the battle will end and is wondering why all Israel is dismayed!

What is the difference between these men?

I think the text is clear—two of them are defining courage in a certain way and one is clearly different from the other two.

From where is Goliath getting his courage?

His stature

His armor

His weapons

His shield bear

Really what can touch him?

Let’s call this …

Worldly courage: A false confidence produced by trusting in the powers of this earth

What are ….

The author of 1 Sam devotes 3 whole verses taking up valuable ink and parchment scroll-space to describe Goliath’s stature and accoutrements.

There is nothing else in scripture like this description.

If you want to see the biggest man on campus with the greatest weapons…look no further than this man.

And when Saul wants to send someone else to fight this big man on campus, Goliath, with what does he try to equip the man?

Tit for tat, Saul believes the best way to try to match the powers of this earth is with more powers of this earth!!!

1 Sam 17:38 Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor.39David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk

Goliath’s trust in the mightiness of his earth resources produced in him a

1 Sam 17:10Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.”

1 Sam 17:43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”

We, the reader of the story, know what is going to happen.

Goliath’s seeming courage will mean nothing very soon when he is dead.

Now let’s stop for a moment

Do you know people, or are you one, who seem to be courageous, but it is a worldly courage?

And, in fact, all of this is can get you so far.

Goliath certainly rose to be a champion for the Philistines because of this kind of courage/confidence

King Saul certainly rose to be King because he was head and shoulders above the rest, and he began believing the press reports about his stature.

Again, it only gets you so far…until when…. someone comes along with more of the world’s resources/power than you.

And that when that happens, the worldly courage turns into….

Worldly cowardice: Fear and trembling, when the powers of this earth are seemingly not in one’s possession: Saul and Israel—1 Sam 17:11, 24

Because King Saul’s trust was in the might of military, the moment Goliath has more and better, the Israelites were fearful and trembling.

God had demonstrated in the past and commanded…that the Battle is the LORD’s.

Deut 20:1“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. 2“When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people.3“He shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them,4for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’

All that matters is what we studied last week in regard to the power of God’s presence.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Are you ready for some application questions now?

So, if we are going to understand how to overcome fear, we need to understand that

1) Worldly courage is a poor substitute that only goes so far. It is false confidence produced by trusting in the powers/might of this earth.

2) So when you lack or perceive that you lack the powers/might/resources of this earth the result will be worldly cowardice—Fear and trembling.

You need to understand the difference between worldly courage and biblical courage by seeing….

See the attractiveness of biblical courage

On the screen are excerpts from David’s words which would be back up by his actions….

Please observe the attractive humble confidence of these words as opposed to the abrasive worldly condescending courage of Goliath

1 Sam 17:32“Let no man’s heart fail on account of him (Goliath); your servant will go and fight with this Philistine…37The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine…This day the Lord will deliver you (Goliath) up into my hands...47and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”

David…

Does not rely on the distracting powers of this earth—1 Sam 17:39, 45

I think the author of Samuel wanted us to laugh regarding verses 38 and 39

I Samuel 17:38Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor.39 David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, …. so David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, …”

Do you remember King Saul was no short man? He was head and shoulders above all the Israelites

And King Saul thinks that his over 6-foot armor size with his big sword is going to help some teenage boy?

King Saul’s foolish trust in the might of this armor would have put David in danger.

David could not even walk.

The resources, might, strengths of this earth become for us distracting objects that put us in danger and take us away from the God

We fear the people whom God made!

Why not fear God!

David was unexpectedly unconcerned about earthly power, strength, riches, royalty, weaponry because he feared the living God…..

David’s, Biblical Courage, came from Him trusting …..

Trusts in the living God alone—1 Sam 17:26, 36

1 Sam 17:26” For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”…36 “since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”

And because His trust was in the living God, he picked up a stick, stones, and approached the Philistine….

He ….

Takes courageous action — 1 Sam 17:40, 52

David’s actions are an amazing testimony to fearing God and not the men who have more resources or might than we do….

Imagine actively living that way every day.

Let me say a word about our senior Pastor for a moment.

In a pandemic and a world as chaotic as ours, it is has been a privilege watching him respond.

Through many dangers, toils, and fears we have all been through in the last 4 months… we are by no means done yet….and by God’s grace, I have watch Pastor Viars get up every morning and simply choose to do the next righteous thing in leading our church family.

And the testimonies that we have seen are evidences of you demonstrating this kind of stable, biblical courage during perilous times.

Thank you for being a courageous church family.

Finally, today, what did the fearful Israelites need to see the most?

Was it one giant “Saul” taking on another giant Goliath.

For them to reorient themselves to God, do they need to see God raise up another giant so that there would be a clash of the titans?

One titan who relies on the might of this earth battling another titan who does the same…..?

This story takes us on a journey, in that it sets us up to think that there is no one bad enough, mean enough, big enough to take on Goliath.

Then the story introduces David…now there was David….Perhaps he is the man…..

But then our hopes are soon dashed…

Strike 1 he only a youth…he is from small town Bethlehem…(strike 2)…His brothers are cowards in the army (strike 3)…he is s shepherd (strike 4)…he is a simple obedient yes man (strike 5).

You see what did Israel need to see the most?

What if the living God could use what the world would consider foolish, inconsequential, insignificant to win the victory to show that the battle is the Lord’s.

So,

After we understand the problems of worldly courage

And we behold the attractiveness of biblical courage…

How to we get there….

We need to

Adopt the “champion” through which God’s victory is won.

As I mentioned in the beginning, perhaps we do not need to see ourselves as David so much as we need to see ourselves as the Israelites.

What did they need in order to be shocked out of their trust in the mighty things of this earth?

They needed to see God using….

One who is “lowly” and not “powerful” by the standards of men (1 Sam 17:15, 17, 18, 20, 33, 36, 40, 42, 50)

And that is the point, David was an unexpected champion one.

The best way to see that our earthly resources/might in which we trust do not provide courage is to see how God used the “lowliest” man without the trappings of might to provide the greatest victory—showing the battle is the Lord’s.

This becomes the theme of Scripture

The lowly would be the exalted

The last shall be first

The least shall be the greatest

Out of the smallest town (Bethlehem) would come the greatest deliverer

And one who…

One who would remove the reproach of the people (1 Sam 17:26)

Although we did not read the verse, the armies of Israel were taunted by Goliath for 40 days.

They lived in shame and reproach that their humiliating fear brought upon them.

David’s concern is not for his own glory but the reproach that his own people’s sinful fear have brought upon themselves.

1 Sam 17:26 “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel?”

The term reproach in Hebrew refers to shame and disgrace.

David wanted to step forward to remove the shame and disgrace of His people.

Did you also notice what happens when the only one who unashamedly and without disgrace stepped forward to challenge Goliath?

What did he receive?

Shame and disgrace.

1 Sam 17:42When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for. . .And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

The Israelites needed someone to bear their shame and disgrace

And….

One who is the “man-between”/”the champion” winning the Lord’s battle

The Philistines had their champion, but did you notice how none of the Israelites pronounced David as a champion.

“Hey go get our champion David…. And now in the blue corner, the champion of Israel, who is by day a shepherd and by night practices with his sling shot.”

Nobody proclaims David a worldly champion at all.

While the title of “champion” is given to Goliath, There is only one title given to David…from his own mouth.

1 Sam 17:32 Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine

How was the victory of God’s people secured?

Not by a champion championing

His power,

status,

riches,

weaponry,

but a servant willing to serve trust in the living God.

It is not hard to see Jesus here is it my friend…the unexpected servant

  • Not born in a palace but a manger
  • Not wrapped in royal robes but rags
  • Not born in the sprawling capital city but the no-name town of Bethlehem
  • Not eye-candy for the masses…but an unexpected servant who came to serve. (He had no form that folks should be attracted to him).
  • The one who bore our shame and disgrace
  • But the unexpected, lowly, one who secured the greatest victory for us—not against a giant, a pandemic, an economic collapse, racial tension…but our enslavement not to the Philistines but our sin that separates us from God.
  • He is the ultimate “Man between” us and God that grants us the Victory.

Dr. Brent Aucoin

Roles

President, Instructor - Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor of Seminary and Soul Care Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.S.: Mechanical Engineering, Oklahoma State University
M.S: Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div.: Central Seminary
Th.M.: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Ph.D.: Baptist Bible Seminary (Clarks Summit, PA)

Dr. Brent Aucoin joined the staff of Faith Church in Lafayette, IN in July of 1998. Brent is the President of Faith Bible Seminary, Chair of the Seminary’s M.Div. Program, Pastor of Seminary and Soul Care at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); ACBC certified; instructor and counselor at Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries; and a retreat and conference speaker. He and his wife, Janet, have two adult children.

View Pastor Aucoin's Salvation Testmony Video