David has Saul's blessing to face Goliath, but what happens when Saul dresses the shepherd boy up like a solider? And how does that help us answer the question: how do I overcome really big problems?Greensburg Church of the Nazarene
**not a word for word transcript, but the sermon manuscript
A REALLY BIG PROBLEM
PART THREE: THESE ARE NOT MY CLOTHES
How do I overcome really big problems? In the movies, we see the Avengers overcome the villains. See others conquer the really big problem. We have been looking at the story of David and Goliath trying to answer that question. So far, we have learned to (1) not allow fear to cripple us, (2) not to lose confidence. But there is still more to our answer.
1 Samuel 17:38-40:
38 Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. .39 David strapped Saul’s sword over the armor, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.” So David removed them. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine. (NRSV)
This is the Word of God, for the people of God, thanks be to God.
IN THE TEXT:
***[v38-39] DRESSED IN SOMEONE ELSE’S BATTLE RATTLE***
David showed up camp with a care package for his brothers, who were serving in the army who had been refusing to fight Goliath for forty days. Jesse, David’s father, had sent him after calling David in from tending the sheep. So, David had arrived at camp as a shepherd. A shepherd versus a nine-foot-tall human tank, and his little shield bearer too. Saul recognized David’s confidence, but believed that for David to succeed he had to be fitted like a champion soldier. So, Saul had David suited up in his armor.
“I cannot walk.” It did not work for David. The failure of the armor for David had nothing to do with the quality, this was the king’s armor. It was the best of the best that Israel had. Saul’s armor failed David because it did not fit him. Also, because David had never fought using this armor before. Wearing Saul’s armor, David knew he would have no chance because he would die trying to fight the armor as Goliath squashed him.
***[v40] DRESSED IN HIS OWN BATTLE RATTLE***
If David was going to fight Goliath, he had to do it wearing his own clothes. Saul’s fancy armor would not work for him. David was not Saul. Yes, David was taking Saul’s role as the champion of Israel, but David could not be Saul because Saul’s armor did not fit him.
Remember, David showed up to camp as a shepherd. As a shepherd, David did not wear armor. He had bag, used for things needed out in the pastures with the flocks. Most likely, he had some food in there. But in gearing up for Goliath, David picked up five smooth rocks and placed them in his bag. Much has been made of why five smooth stones, but I believe the reason is not that complicated. David picked up five stones encased he needed more than one.
David was going to face Goliath dressed as shepherd, carrying a shepherd’s bag with five smooth stones. The stones were needed for David’s sling, a weapon he was skilled with using. A person skilled with a sling could launch a stone at around sixty miles per hour, with incredible precision. He may not have been dressed up like a soldier, but David’s skill as warrior were tied to being a shepherd. It was within this skill set and battle rattle that David would face Goliath.
FROM THE TEXT:
***WHAT DOES THE TEXT SAY TO US***
Saul had given David his blessing, and asked God to bless David as he faced Goliath. But while Saul invoked God’s name, he relied on human understanding in how David would enter the fight. In his mind, Saul thought David had to be dressed up in the best battle armor, with the king’s sword. It never occurred that the armor would be a hindrance. He trapped David, and ultimately God, in the box of his limited thinking.
David was relying on God and how God had formed him. God had trained David for battle, not by sending him to army training, but in the fields fighting lions and bears. One of the few areas of excitement in the role of a shepherd. While David did try the armor on, it was clear to him that he could not beat Goliath as someone he was not. His confidence was in God and who he was as a shepherd. Where the skills of a shepherd fell short, David knew God could make up the difference.
***HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO ME***
If you are going to overcome the really big problem in your life, you are going to have to face it as you. Advice is great. Seeing how others defeated a similar problem can provide great knowledge. But in the end you must take all that knowledge, all the advice, and face that problem as you.
You say, “But Pastor Jason, don’t you know who I am? Have you seen me and my life?” To that I say, “do you know who you are?” God says through His Word that you are His masterpiece, “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT) If that is how you are, then stop conforming to how this world sees you! Trust God to help you! Start just as you are.
The mistake most of us make is we come to church, before God, putting on our Sunday show. My friend, Pastor Raymond DiCamillo, once said, “We think who we are on Sunday is who we should be all week. The truth is who we are all week is who we should be on Sunday.” Meaning, if you only wear armor in here on Sunday mornings, then those are not your clothes. You are relying on human understanding to prove God loves you, but the second you leave the church you have no confidence that God’s love goes with you. But that love can go with you, and give you the confidence that God will help you overcome your really big problem as you. And where you cannot do it alone, God will make up the difference.
BEYOND THE TEXT:
How do I overcome a really big problem? Do not be someone else. Trust God as you, in Christ Jesus.
Season 1 Episode 33, "Most important question." The text for the message is from Mark 8:27-30, part 1 of a series called The Son of Man. The question we are trying to answer is "What is the most important question?"