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MEMORIAL DAY SERMON 2020

Ezekiel 22:30 says… “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall…But I found no one.”

Like our verse in Ezekiel…These Men and countless thousands have Stood in the Gap…So That America’s Freedom Might Prevail!  However…the verse also speaks about Building a Wall of Righteousness!  “I looked for someone who might Rebuild the Wall of Righteousness that Guards the land…” God is Always Looking for someone to stand in the Gap…To Stand for His Righteousness.

We see This in In 1 Samuel 17 in the story of David facing Goliath…You Know the Story…The Philistines had gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah to battle line the Philistines…A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was 7 foot 4 inches…He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing 125 pounds…[Vs 8-11] Daily 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…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.”  Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.”  On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified…

For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand… Now David was asked by his father to take supplies for those fighting the Philistines. He  ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were…As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it…Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear, saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel.

David asked the men…Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” [VS 36-37] But David said to Saul…Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has Defied the Armies of the Living God…The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”

Then David took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine…Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David…He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him…He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods…“Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!…Look At David’s Response.

[VS 42-47] David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him…Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face-down on the ground… David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 

What does this Story of David and Goliath say to You?  Is it just a great Story of Victory…Or…Is There an Application that We Need to Consider For Our Daily Lives? 

“What Goliaths are You Facing?”  Goliaths come in many forms…And it is Important that you Understand…Satan is Relentless in doing everything he Can…To keep You Filled with Fear…So that You will Run in Defeat!  His Plan is to keep You Facing One Goliath after Another…So that You will Not Experience the Peace, Joy and Victory that God Promises for Your Life.   

But First…Let’s Consider What Causes a Goliath in Our Lives…I Mean What Things Seem Bigger than Life to You?  What things in Your life seem so Wide that You Can’t Cross it? And what Hills are You Facing that seem too Steep and Impossible to Climb?

I want You to Understand what David Understood…That There is NO GOLIATH You Will Face that God Will Not Conquer!   I Want Each of Us to Embrace this Truth…The Bigger the Goliath—The Bigger the Victory…When You Put God In the Center of the Fight!

Any Struggle You are Facing…God Already Has the Victory…You Just Need to Turn Your Eyes on Jesus and Trust Him With the Outcome…Maybe Your Goliath today is Your Finances…Or the Lack of…Perhaps Your Goliath is that You Live in Fear of What Could Happen Or Might Happen…It Could be a Past Hurt You Just Can’t Forgive!  The Goliaths are Almost Unlimited!  For Example…There are those who’s Goliath is Failing to Overcome a Lust or the Inability to Control What They Watch on the Internet?  Goliaths Attack Our Weaknesses Every Day and at Every level…In Our Text Today…David Shows Us How to Slay the Goliaths that we face in Our Lives…And how we can live in Freedom and Victory and Joy in the Lord’s service?  SO…Let’s Get Started…

1 Samuel 17…Is a Story Filled with Instructive Contrasts—Saul and the armies of Israel viewing the situation from a human perspective…“Have you seen this man?”  Verse 25 While David views things from God’s perspective…“Who is this Uncircumcised Philistine?” Verse 26…Saul had Confidence in his Armor…as long as David was the guy wearing it!…But we See that David’s Confidence Was in his God…In Chapter 18 we learn that Saul was concerned about his own image…While in our text…David was Concerned with the Honor of God!

From David we learn that …To Slay Those Giants in Our Life…We Need a Spiritual Perspective…A Practical Faith…And a Deliberate Focus on God’s Glory…So…Let’s Take a Close look at each of these to Determine How We Can Slay Our Giants.

First…To Slay the Giants in Our Life, We Need a Spiritual Perspective. From a human perspective, Goliath A giant of A Man! He stood over nine feet tall, his armor weighed 125 pounds, and the tip of his spear alone weighed 15 pounds. He challenged Israel to a representative battle—Israel’s Champion Against Him…The loser’s people would become the Slaves of the Winner’s people…Goliath was a Single Problem…But he Threatened to Undo the Entire Nation of Israel.

This illustrates a Biblical Principle…Just Like Saul’s Army…As We Face Those Goliaths in Our Own Lives…But Instead of Turning Our Eyes to the Lord for His Strength and His Deliverance…We Choose to Believe We Cannot Win the Battle…It Is SIN!

Here’s My Point…From a Human Perspective, Goliath was a formidable enemy. But that was Precisely the Problem—Saul and his soldiers were Viewing the Situation with Goliath from a Human Perspective: “Have You Seen this Man?”They were allowing the Worldly Viewpoint of Goliath to Go Unchallenged when he said, “Am I Not the Philistine and You Servants of Saul?”…Well That Was Right From a Human Perspective… But David Saw things from God’s Perspective, and he Challenged what Goliath said: “Who is this Uncircumcised Philistine that he should Taunt the Armies of the Living God?”.

NOW…Did you Catch the Different Perspective?  Goliath isn’t just “the Philistine.” He is the…Uncircumcised Philistine!” And the Israelites are Not “the Servants of Saul.” They are… “the Armies of the Living God!”  You See…David’s Spiritual Perspective was the Correct Perspective…Because God Was In the Center of IT!

Saul and the Armies of Israel were Afraid because they saw it as a Conflict of their Puny Muscle against Goliath’s Mighty Muscle…And of their Little Weapons Against Goliath’s Impressive Weapons…And of Their Lesser Experience in Warfare Against Goliath’s Greater Experience…

But Here is the KEY TO VICTORY in Your Christian Life…While Saul and his men saw Goliath and thought, “He’s so big we can Never Kill Him!”…David Saw it as a Conflict Between God and the Forces of Evil… David Saw the Same Man and Thought…“HE’S SO BIG…I CAN’T MISS!”   Listen…When David called Goliath An “Uncircumcised Philistine,” he wasn’t calling him a Demeaning name…You See…To be Uncircumcised was to be Outside of the Abrahamic Covenant and the Promised Blessings of God.

So…When David called Goliath an Uncircumcised Philistine, he was saying, “Hey You Guys! This guy is an Immoral Pagan who is Outside of the Covenant Promises of God…And he has Taunted the Armies of the Living God.”

David had the Spiritual Perspective on the Problem…And like David…If You Want to Slay Some Goliaths in Your Life…You Must Begin by Calling it What God Calls it… Now Listen…I Really Want YOU to Get This Truth…You Will Not Conquer Your Goliaths if You Do Not See Them From God’s Perspective…You See…For any Problem You Want to Name…The World has a Euphemistic Label that Makes it Sound O.K.  The World makes Sin Sound like it’s Not so Bad…and like Everybody Does it and it Won’t Hurt You. But God Hates Sin…He Says that Sin will Destroy You…So to Slay the Goliath…You Start Fighting it By Calling it What God Calls it.

Take the Problem of Anger…The world calls it “having a short fuse” and tells us that it is emotionally healthy to vent our hostilities. God’s Word says that being Wrongfully Angry toward Another Person is to Murder them and that We Can and Must Control it.

Or, take Adultery…The world calls it “having a fling” or an “affair” and makes it sound adventurous and exciting. The Bible calls it Sin and shows that it will Ruin Lives and have Devastating Effects on Families…Gods Word says It Leads to Destruction!

Take Homosexuality...The world calls it being “gay” or calls it as an Alternate lifestyle. The Bible calls it perversion and an abomination to God. It is Not Sexual Preference…But Sin.

Take Abortion. The World Covers the Atrocity by calling it “Pregnancy Termination” or being “Pro-Choice.” The Bible calls it Murder or Shedding Innocent Blood.

Take Alcohol Addiction. The world calls it a disease from which you must recover. The Bible calls it drunkenness, a deed of the flesh from which you must repent and attributes it to a lack of self-control.

Whatever the Problem, if You want to Conquer it, the First Step is Always to do what David did here…Namely…Call it what God Calls it and to Call Yourself what God Calls You…Remember…In Christ…You are a member of the Army of the Living God…You Have Been Redeemed by the Blood of Christ and the Battle is His! This is the Starting Point for Victory Against Every One of Your Goliaths.

Secondly…To Slay the Giants in Your Life…You Need a Practical Faith in the Living God…David didn’t just have a Generic…“I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows” kind of faith…He Didn’t have Faith in Faith Itself…He Didn’t Buy into the Common Notion that “It doesn’t matter what you believe, just so you believe.” David Believed in the Living God…Who was in a Covenant Relationship with His People. David Not Only had Faith in the Lord…But he Also had Faith that the Lord Was In Him…And Would Give Him Victory in this Difficult and Challenging Situation.

The Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:13 expressed it this way, “I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me”… David didn’t say, “Well, trust the Lord, Saul, and good luck to you.” He said, “Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine”…Such Faith is Always Active and Aggressive; it Goes Out After the Problem and Takes it On…I want to Note two things about David’s faith, the kind of faith we need:

First…We Need a Faith Rooted in Personal Experience…This wasn’t David’s first outing in the school of faith. Even though he was a teenager, he had proved God in his own experience. When the lion and the bear had taken one of the sheep, David didn’t say, “Oh, well, that’s the way it goes. I’m not going to risk my neck for that dumb lamb.” He went after the beast, grabbed it by the beard and slew it…And then afterward, he didn’t attribute it to good luck nor did he go around boasting about his bravado. Rather, he Only Spoke of the incident here to Convince Saul that he Could Beat Goliath, and he was Careful to Attribute the Victory to the Lord in whom he was Consciously Trusting.

Saul should have had that kind of faith. He had seen God provide victory in battle before. But Saul had a track record of Partial Obedience…And Partial Obedience Equals “Disobedience”

Saul had Drifted far from the reality of the Personal Faith which David knew. Saul was a “Cultural Believer.”—Cultural believers go to church and believe in God. They know all the right religious clichés…Outwardly they seem to be believers. But their Faith is Not Personal and Practical Because they Don’t Want to Confront and Deal with Their Sin …SO…Whenever they Face a Problem, they Mouth Religious clichés like “May the Lord be with you” but they know Nothing of Personal, Practical Faith in the Living God.

My Point…If Saul Knew the Reality of the Lord’s Presence, then he could have Gone Out and Taken Off Goliath’s Head…However…As it was, he had a Form of Religion …But he did Not know its Power…He might just as well have said, “Good luck!”

Do You have the Kind of Personal, Practical Faith in the Living God which David had? It means that when those Giants come into your life, instead of tolerating it, You Recognize that You Can’t Allow it to have its way. You Can’t Live in Peaceful Coexistence with Sin…You must Confront it and Cut it Off…Either You Destroy Sin…OR…Sin Will Destroy You… As You Learn to Confront the So-Called Little Sins in Your Life…You Gain an Experiential, Practical, Personal Faith that Enables You to Slay Every Giant You Face that Would Seek to Destroy Your Faith and Obedience to God!

Secondly, You Need a Faith in the Living God Himself…Not in Human Methods…

David’s Faith was in the Living God…NOT in Human Methods. After Saul says, “May the Lord be with you,” he shows where his trust really lies when he tries to outfit David in his own armor…That’s the Way Of the Cultural Believer…You Fight the Enemy with All of the Latest Worldly Techniques, Methods and Philosophies…With some Religious Cliches Tacked On…

Many Christians today Face the Giants of Fear and Anger and Try to Overcome Various Sins In Their Lives In Their Own Way or Through Their Own Strength…Instead of Turning to the Bible which Shows Us How to Trust in the Living God…And Then Obediently Following Gods Plan for Victory…They Turn to the So-Called Wisdom of the World with some Bible Verses Thrown In to Make it Sound Spiritual.

Just try to Imagine the Scene…David Putting on Saul’s Heavy Armor…Almost Unable to Move…That was Saul’s Solution…That’s the Way of the World…Then Notice David’s Method…He takes his Shepherd’s Sling…Picks up 5 Smooth Stones…And Goes to Battle with his Eyes on the Lord…

The Method David Used was Consistent with his Faith in the Living God and with the Glory and Power of God…David did Not Put on Saul’s Armor…And When Facing His Giant…Goliath…David Didn’t Magnify his Sling or his Own Expertise…But Rather he Magnified the Lord…I can picture him nodding his head back toward the Faithless Cowards of Israel as he says…“That this Assembly may Know that the Lord Does NOT Deliver by Sword or Spear…”

Listen…There is nothing Wrong with Methods, as Long As Your Trust is Truly in the Living God and NOT in Some Slick Method…That Detracts from the Lord’s Glory and Power. The way to SLAY that Giant in Your Life is NOT by Some Latest Method…But by Genuine and Humble Trust in the Living God.

TODAYS POINT:  Faith Always Honors God…And God Always Honors Faith…NOT Our Works or Methods

This is Why…To Slay the Giants in Your Life…You Need a Deliberate Focus on God’s Glory…Not Your Own…When David heard Goliath’s taunt, he didn’t think to himself, “Hey, here’s the Opportunity I’ve been Waiting For…Here’s My Chance to Become a National Hero!” Rather, he was Concerned about God’s Glory…You See…God’s name was bound up with His people, and as long as this Uncircumcised Philistine taunted God’s People…God Himself was being Taunted…So David was moved with Righteous Indignation Because God’s Honor was Being Dragged Through the Mud.

Let Me Pause for a Moment to say…This is Also True for You…Me and Every Christian in the World Today…The World Watches How We Respond to Life…To Adversity…To Success…and When They See Fear…Anger…Pride…or Any Other Sin In Our Lives…They Don’t See Christ…And We Drag God’s Name Through the Mud! 

The Bible tells Us that Saul was more Concerned for His own Glory than for the Lord’s Glory…After he won a Victory, he even Set Up a Monument for Himself…Outwardly, he Practiced Religion for the sake of a Good Appearance, but his Real Motive was his Own Honor…NOT the Honor of God who is Called, “the Glory of Israel”

We All Need to Ask Ourselves…Why do I Want to Slay the Giants in My Life?  Do You want to Overcome Your Problems so that You’ll be Successful and Happy? …That’s the Wrong Motive!  Do you want to Overcome Your Problems so that People will Look Up to You and think of you as a Good Christian?…That’s the Wrong Motive!…Do you want to Overcome Your Problems so that you can build a large ministry and become known as a great Christian leader? Again Another Wrong Motive!

In Verses 46-47 David Clearly States why he Wanted to Defeat Goliath…First, so that all the earth (pagans) may know that there is a God in Israel. He wanted unbelievers to see that God is real and that He is Mighty to Save Those who Trust in Him…And Second, David wanted all the Professing Believers who Weren’t Really Trusting in God to Know that the Lord does Not Deliver by the Latest Methods (“sword or spear”)…But Rather, “the Battle is the Lord’s.”

To Slay Those Giants in Your Life…You Need a Spiritual Perspective …A Practical Faith…And a Deliberate Focus on God’s Glory…Practically…As You See The Battle You are Facing From Gods Viewpoint…You Will Be Encouraged…Your Fear Will Fade…Next… As You See How God Has Handled All those Battles in Your Past Your Faith Will Continue to Grow…And Finally During the Battle with Your Goliaths…Praise God that He Has Already Won the Victory for You!

TODAYS POINT:  Faith Always Honors God…And God Always Honors Faith…NOT Our Works or Our Methods.