By Pastor KerryAnn Mapperson
Faith reflects a desired intention. Hope is the anticipated fulfillment of that intention; it deals with future states of affairs. Faith is the result of current belief systems that were shaped by experience, hope is the product of desiring a future state of affairs.
Faith is necessary for hope: no one can have hope without faith. So, if there is hope present you know that there is faith present as well. Oxygen is necessary for fire. If you have a fire you know that you have oxygen present. Faith without hope is possible: hope without faith is not possible. Hope is always accompanied by faith. People need to have faith because they need hope.
David had faith and hope in God to defeat Goliath because he had overcome previous battles over a lion and a bear. David does not know or even wonder how God will resolve this ugly confrontation, nor does he fear. As a result of David stepping up and standing in the gap and not hesitating, all Israel received hope.
People lose hope when their focus is on something in this time limited world, which can never satisfy the longings of our souls. The things in this world were never intended to satisfy us, but instead they were created as a glimpse of what is to come eternally. Putting our hope in this temporary world set us up for failure and hopelessness. We were made for eternal life and to help others find that life. This world is not our end.
When the rest of the world around you is despairing and groaning defeatedly – hope is the steady, stone within you that gives that sense of “maybe!!……”……..”but God…..”
Five stones – five – interesting – many stories in the Bible incorporate the number 5 – five virgins, five talents, five loaves and fish, five sparrows, the Samaritan woman and her five husbands – Grace – the number five means Grace.
We face giants like fear, failure, anxiety, family troubles beyond our control, insecurities, floods of crises, trials of fire, faithlessness and false hopes. Giants of habits, hurts, hopelessness, hang-ups and harbored feelings.
God’s grace equips us in our battles of faith that build hope. Build hope just like you would, an arsenal of smooth stones. Smooth stones, just like good character, when propelled fly straight. When stones have nicks and bumps on them when propelled don’t go the distance and they can change directions. Five smooth stones Stones made smooth by life experiences David’s experiences were already many, which he allowed to build character which gave him an arsenal to reach into when new challenging circumstances came along. David had more stones that he could use if needed, another person may have had none to choose from. Possible names to these stones that David selected could be:
Praise – always singing God magnifying songs – so in the midst of this adverse situation of abusive language and physical danger David just shouted the magnificance of God over the top of it all
Trust – that regardless what he was under, God was over it all
Commitment – involves bravery, personal training, service to others, a code of values to be held always
David was an undeveloped teenage body, which everyone including Goliath noticed as soon as they saw him. Like a toy poodle taking on a Rottweiler.
We are no match against abuse, alienation, unemployment, unfaithfulness of trusted family, or even our own unworthiness. We do not have the natural strength to meet the demands of people who we cannot please, passing grades you cannot make, payment of bills due, pornography you can’t refuse, habits you can’t shake.
We need a greater source of strength and stability than what is natural to us. God is the only source of strength and stability. In Joshua 1:5 He promises He will never fail us. It is up to us to gain the confidence and courage that comes in being persuaded of the power, presence and promises of God.
Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
David had made a commitment to serve God long before he faced Goliath. During that time of commitment, his trust in God grew. That is how he could run at Goliath saying, “I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty”. The word “champion” comes from the Hebrew word, “a middle man, the man between two.” The idea is that this was a man who stood between the two armies and fought as a representative of his army. When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Goliath was able to defeat the Israelites on fear alone. Things that confront us can also defeat us simply through fear – divorce, cancer, unemployment….. Saul was head and shoulder taller than other Israelite men (1 Samuel 9:2). Saul was the logical choice to square off against Goliath, and we can expect he knew others were expecting him to fight Goliath.
(1 Samuel 16:14). As the Spirit of the LORD left Saul, so did his courage. It shouldn’t surprise us that a man filled with the Spirit of the LORD will have the courage to fight Goliath.
The Spirit of the LORD really can give us courage. When we are dismayed and greatly afraid, that is not God’s Spirit within us. God wants to give us a holy boldness and courage, not in ourselves, but in Him.
And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days: Day after day, Goliath would taunt and mock the armies of Israel, exposing them all (and especially Saul) as cowards who would run from a fight.
Forty in the Bible symbolized testing and probation. It rained for forty days in the time of Noah. Israel was in the wilderness forty years. Jesus fasted and was tempted of the devil for forty days before He began His public ministry. During Moses’ life he lived forty years in Egypt and forty years in the desert before God selected him to lead his people out of slavery. Moses was also on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights, on two separate occasions (Exodus 24:18, 34:1 – 28), receiving God’s laws. He also sent spies, for forty days, to investigate the land God promised the Israelites as an inheritance (Numbers 13:25, 14:34).
So here, Israel is tested by Goliath’s mockery. And if that is not enough to include in your day, David’s eldest brother minimizes him like only someone intimate to you.
If hurtful words can get David to fear and doubt, then David’s strength is gone. The word-battle in which he had to engage with his brothers and with king Saul, was a more trying ordeal to him than any lion or bear.
But when David didn’t give way to fear and emotion, and answered softly, he was more in step with God’s good plans for him. You could start digging Goliath’s grave right then!
David said: “Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:30) David was different from all the men of the army of Israel, because he saw the battle as a cause of the LORD.
God wants to use us in and through the normal cares of life. How long did David prepare to fight Goliath? All of his life, up to that day. This is generally God’s pattern for preparation. He calls us to be faithful right where we are at, and then uses our faithfulness to accomplish greater things for Him. If David had run scared at the lion or the bear, he would never have been ready to fight Goliath now. But he had been faithful then, so he will be faithful now.
When he kept his sheep and the lion came, David did not raise the question whether he could kill the lion: he killed him, and then the question was settled. When the bear came, and was about to rob him of one of his lambs, he killed it, and then he knew he was called to do it.
As a shepherd facing the lions and the bears, David had no idea he was being trained to fight a giant. When we are in the midst of our preparation, we rarely see how God is going to use it.
David makes a contrast between himself and Goliath, without giving credit to Goliath himself. “Those are some pretty fancy weapons you’ve got there, mister. But I’ve got something far better than your weapons.”
David was motivated by a true love for God, and for the glory and honour of God. David was bold, but his trust was in God, not in himself. He believed that regardless what he was under – God was over it all.
Joshua 1:8 fear not…. I am with you wherever you go – whether you make wise choices or dark choices – God is there
God has a way forward for every person regardless of where you are at this moment. God knows how to create good outcomes for every person in any particular circumstance. That doesn’t mean you can dictate what that will look like. But right in this moment and from here forward – honour God first in every thought and choice – obey His preferences – that generates faith – which will lead to hope and hope fulfilled.