The Giant Has Been Defeated!!!
The battle lines were drawn. War was imminent. The Philistines, sworn enemies of God, took up arms and camped in between Socoh in Judah and the town of Azekah approximately 14 miles West of Bethlehem. In response to this Saul, the current king, gathered his army and camped approximately 15 miles southwest of Bethlehem in the Valley of Elah. Bethlehem was the home of a man named Jesse who had 8 sons, one was named David.
No one crossed over the battle lines except for one man. This man was a battle hardened warrior who had been a “man of war since his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33). This man’s name was Goliath and he was even more intimidating than his reputation that proceeded him. God’s word gives us a detailed description of this man of war – Goliath.
“He was over nine feet tall! He wore a bronze helmet, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He also wore bronze leg armor, and he carried a bronze javelin on his shoulder. The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed 15 pounds. His armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying his shield.” (1 Samuel 17:4-7 NLT)
Every day Goliath would walk a mile from the Philistine camp to within shouting distance of the Israelites camp and shout “Why are you all coming out to fight? I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” (1 Samuel 17:8-10 NLT). The next verse is disheartening to read as it shows us that the people of God and their earthly anointed king “were terrified and deeply shaken.”
Even if you don’t know much about the Bible at all you most likely know what happened next. David the young shepherd boy on an errand for his dad to take some food to his brothers and their captain on the battle front and to see how they were doing hears the challenge shouted by Goliath. David fully trusting in God says he will go out into battle with this giant as the Israeli army representative. David then takes a sling and 5 smooth stones and walks out onto the battle field to take on Goliath. David walking towards Goliath there in the Valley of Elah yells to Goliath “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues His people but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and He will give you to us!” (1 Samuel 17:45-46).
So the stage was set. If Goliath won then the entire Israeli army would be defeated but if David won the entire Philistine army would be defeated. What happened next was David rushed towards the giant grabbing a stone from his pouch and hurled it with his sling hitting Goliath right between the eyes. Goliath fell face first to the ground and David ran over and used Goliath’s own sword to cut Goliath’s head off. The Philistines turned and ran upon seeing their defeat and the Israeli army gave chase and killed many of the enemies of God.
We all have an even greater enemy; an ever bigger giant of an enemy, a enemy named Sin. Death had never been conquered and it’s great weapon, sin, had pierced all those he encountered. Who could defeat this warrior? In the face of this warrior all were terrified and deeply shaken. It is in the face of this warrior named Death that many have lived a life of fear resulting in living for this world and all of it’s trappings because they think this is all there is and so before death gets them they need to leave “their” mark on this world. But God sent us a champion, God sent us the God-Man Jesus Christ!
And it was into this battle Jesus Christ stepped. Jesus defied death on our behalf as our representative just like David did. Jesus fought and won the battle we never could have fought and won ourselves. Jesus disarmed death of it’s greatest weapon sin “For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:56-57 NLT). Jesus, although His heel was struck, gave the enemy a crushing head blow that defeated him forever. And the amazing thing is Jesus, like David, used this giant enemy’s own weapon against him. Jesus defeated death by death. Jesus took the very weapon the giant had in his arsenal and turned it upon this giant to defeat him. Jesus took the cross, an instrument of death, and turned it into a instrument that gave life!
Just like the Israelite army although we did not fight the giant enemy we can receive the victory as a result of what Jesus Christ accomplished on our behalf! Praise Jesus! Our job as those who have received this victory through faith in Jesus is to now chase down all sin that we see and slay it as the army of God’s people did the fleeing defeated Philistine enemy. Christ has secured for us our victory and so we must never forget that we fight from victory not for victory. We need not fear the giant Death anymore for Christ has rendered him defeated and eternal life waits for all those who have placed their faith in this Champion, Jesus Christ! We need not live for this world anymore because the Kingdom of God awaits all it’s citizens (Phil. 3:20)
For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17 NLT) God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20-21 NLT)