The kingdom of Satan has only one drive and it is to fight the Kingdom of God. Satan made his unfriendly intentions known from the very moment God created and handed over the newly created world to Adam and Eve. Immediately he knew about the plan of God to hand over the reins of the world to His own, he moved against them. He didn’t have to do much than to introduce disobedience into the lives of those whom God depended on.
Reading the first verse of 1 Sam. 17, the devil, through the Philistines, once again attacked God’s children (Israel), but this time around, the Philistines took the battle to Sochoh, the land of the Israelites. Taking the battle to your enemy’s camp is a daring step and a sign that the enemy has no respect, whatsoever, for you or your God. (Jonathan and his armour bearer did the same in 1 Sam.14:6)
Looking at the contemporary Church, the enemy is no longer fighting ‘God’ and His children from outside, but right within. He has taken over even the altar of God and he has his agents as ministers in every department of the Church. He is doing whatever comes to his mind against us and unfortunately, we are putting up no resistance. (Mat. 13: 24-25).
As the two nations pitched their tents for war, the Philistines looked more serious and prepared for the battle as they stood out to present Goliath, their own war champion – v4. Meanwhile, Israel fidgeted at the presence and words of Goliath. To worsen their situation, they could not produce a warrior to represent them. Although Israel had a king, he was not bold enough to stand as a champion to defend his people.
The qualities of Goliath: We may not like this, but the truth is that we can learn a lot from Goliath. He possessed some rare qualities that we should not overlook.
He was bold to be different: v3-8: Apart from his height, he was bold enough to step out and gave a voice to his intentions. While some of us are too quiet, shy and unsure of ourselves to talk about what and who we stand for, Goliath refused to be dumb. He was bold enough to address not an individual, but an entire army of Israel. Am I bold enough to cry out against iniquity and speak against an entire army of the enemy?
We may argue that we have a strong faith inwardly, but out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Mat. 12:34) We have no bold declarations because our hearts are not filled with enough pressure. When the heart is empty, the lips are sealed. Lord, let there be an abundance of goodness and righteousness for the kingdom within me. Daniel did not only purpose in his heart to stay pure, he opened up his mouth to make a request. (Dan. 1:8) Speak out and let us know your convictions!
Behold a Philistine citizen indeed: v8: Here you meet a proud Philistine who has no reason to deny his citizenship. “Am I not a Philistine…” he asked. He declared openly his nationality and this makes me to ask, when was the last time I declared my heavenly citizenship with all intent and purpose? (Eph. 2:19/Phil. 3:20). Are you really proud of being a Christian and a citizen of heaven? Do you not see it as an unfortunate situation that you are born again and a citizen of God’s kingdom that will allow you to come in the way you are, but that will not tolerate you to remain the way you came in?
My loss is loss to my kingdom & vice-versa – v8-9: Goliath was raised up to see and believe that whatever happened to him will have a direct reflection on his kingdom. He was taught to see himself as one with his kingdom. For him, his personal loss was his nation’s loss and his gain, his nation’s gain. He could not be separated from the kingdom that brought him up. Goliath was not a different person from his kingdom.
He knew and exploited the weak point of Israel: v8: He knew Israel could not produce a Champion to defend their land and he tormented them for it. He knew the youths of the land are handicapped and so he proudly dared Israel: “Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me,” he said. He went as far as defying the army of God (v10) and I can say that the Church is still very much being defied and defiled by her inability to produce a man to counter giants against our kingdom.
He was such a reliable man – v9-10: Is it true that Israel didn’t have men? They had, but the problem was that none was man enough to stand for his God and nation. They were men the nation could not rely upon; unreliable men. Unlike them, Goliath was so sure of himself that he put the entire Philistines at a risk of becoming slaves if he lost to the Israelites, but interestingly, none of his people accused him of this risky proposal. They were so sure of their candidate and relied fully on him. They trusted him to win the battle and saw no reason to doubt or caution him.
Brethren, who among us can the church or heaven depend upon? Can we relax knowing that you have gone to that Institution for us? (Isa. 6:8). God relaxed knowing that Daniel and his three friends went to Babylon on His behalf and that of Israel. Their failure and compromise would have brought shame to God and to Israel, but these men stood and excelled. They knew their God and did exploit. (Dan. 11:32) What are we to say of Joseph in Egypt and Esther in the Persian land?
As Goliath flexed his muscles, those whom Israel depended upon all became dismayed and afraid. (v11) Israel looked up to her King, Saul, but he could not come down and represent them. He did not have the life to stand in the gap for his nation and as they say, “Like leaders like followers,” none of his soldiers could take up the challenge.
The upbringing of Goliath: The Philistines, like men of other religions in our days are very deep in making plans for the future. They may not have much, but the Philistines succeeded in their project of bringing up a war champion from his youth. I can imagine his parents receiving a message from their gods (as did Samson’s parents in Judges 13:3-5) that Goliath was going to be a special child; a precious gift to the land.
They probably saw this uniqueness in his size as he grew and immediately, they directed it towards a worthy course. With his size and strength, Goliath could have used this advantage to terrorize his own people as an armed robber. He could have chosen to be a bodyguard to a music or film idol for the sake of money and fame. With his size, he could have organised and led a mafia or a rebel group against the government of his land, but through the hands of his elders, his unique abilities were guided towards the advantage of their land. Instead of living for himself, he sacrificed his life and became a soldier to defend the pride of his nation and he was gloriously celebrated for it as a champion.
Interestingly, as a youth who must have had his self-will, Goliath cooperated with those who brought him up. He probably wanted to grow up like every other youths around him, but there was something about him, his size, which made him special. To be a war champion from youth, he must have denied himself of so many things his mates enjoyed. When others were playing around with strong drinks, sex, pornography, watching movies and other life-wasting things and events, Goliath was undergoing a serious drilling. I imagine him in a camp, exercising his muscles and learning how to use his weapons. He couldn’t eat what he liked. He couldn’t wear those revealing dresses. Many restrictions came his pathway because he was being groomed for a national/kingdom assignment.
Moses also went through this training. (Heb.11:23) Youths that must fulfill God’s great plan must be willing to submit and cooperate with their parents/elders. They must be willing to be hidden for them not to lose and make common what has made them special. Goliath allowed himself to be made and he died for what he was raised to become. Boko Haram people are making their own disciples and they are dying on a daily basis for the purpose of their making.
Do we have young men and ladies willing to turn their back to things of this world and stay within the camp of God to be made as kingdom warriors? Are we willing to allow the elders, through discipleship, guide our special abilities towards the benefit of God’s kingdom? Don’t we have gifted children of God using their beauty, musical and other gifts against the kingdom? We have youths that have grown up, yet unable to take their stand in the purpose of God. He who created them for a purpose can no longer use them, because they left home and are no longer available. They deserted the camp before they were fully made. Today, they are serving another kingdom and surely, they are examples of a failed heavenly investment.
Goliath was a proud Philistine. He was bold and daring. He was raised up to be a warlord and he died being one without deviating from the pathway. He held on to his faith. What a life! What a consistency! If the devil could produce a champion, why is God finding it difficult to make you and me His end time war victors? What could be wrong with our lives?
Goliath ruled until the appearance of David:
The situation remained the same for 40 days until David suddenly appeared on the scene and restored Israel’s lost hope. At last, Israel found a voice and a champion in David, thus ending the days of terror against God’s kingdom. I don’t know the number of years the modern day Goliath has been harassing the church and I don’t know how much longer he will continue with this, but we can pray that your appearance on the scene will bring about an end to this reproach. Lord, may the body of Christ find her lost hope through us.
Saul’s discouragement was a revelation to David: “And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth and he a man of war from his youth.” v33
Saul saw an incapable young man in David and true to what he saw, David was a youth. However, he was wrong about David being incapable. It would be wrong to assume that every youth around is incapable of standing tall. Many may have missed it, but God still has His own well-kept from the modern day corruption.
Generally, people assume that youths are up to no good – people who cannot do but compromise their stand and faith, but David proved Saul wrong. (1 Tim. 412/1 John 2:14) We must not allow worldliness to rubbish our lives. Forces from the kingdom of hell will try to despise/look down on us, but we must not allow it. We may be young, but we are strong enough to overcome iniquities in our days. With the word of God in us, we are more than able to conquer the giants challenging our lives, homes and the body of Christ. (Psa. 119:9)
Saul also assumed that with the issue of fighting Goliath, young David had no idea. He believed that David could do other things successfully, but fighting giants was not anything he could do. Will you also allow the devil and the situation to classify your strength? Is it true that there are certain things you are capable of doing and other things you are incapable of? Is it true that among the things you are incapable of doing is being able to stand differently for the sake of heaven and the body of Christ in your generation? Well, the devil has just said it clearly and loudly that you are handicapped in fighting spiritual battles! Is this true?
Saul reckoned that Goliath was an experienced man of war and he was right. The challenge at hand did not just start; it had been in existence before we were born. Goliath had been fighting and winning battles since he was a youth. He started fighting as a youth; he grew up fighting and he was in this business until the day he died in the hands of David. Goliath lived a consistent life.
The big iniquity we see fighting our kingdom started small and slowly, it grew so big and it is now almost looking unchallengeable. It grew because it did not meet with a formidable challenge from so-called Christians. If Goliath had conquered David, he would have continued to grow proud. If our generation is defeated, this challenge will have the opportunity to continue to grow until it becomes too big for the coming generation to handle. Lord, let this monster and giant tormenting the body of Christ meet its waterloo as it encounters us. Amen.