THE GREAT CHALLENGE
1 Samuel 17:1-12
In this anchor text, we see the great challenge that faced the Israelites. An army of the living God, standing helpless, greatly embarrassed and humiliated before the army of the (uncircumcised) Philistines.
The Philistines camped at Shochoh which belonged to Judah. Before this time, the Philistines had encroached on some places in Israel. The hill of the Lord had become the garrison of the Philistines (1 Samuel 10:5).
There was a champion who went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits (nine feet) and a span (nine inches). This man tormented the Israelites for forty days, morning and evening.
Important lessons to draw from this message:-
1. Goliath was probably one of the descendants of the Anakims that were not wiped out in Gath (Joshua 11:21-22). Joshua and the Israelites thought they had completely wiped out the race of the Anakims, but the ones that were ‘mistakenly’ spared in the neighbouring cities eventually became national threats to Israel, many years after (1 Samuel 17:4). Every unfinished business has a multiplier effect on future generations…
If God has given you an assignment to undertake, ensure that you complete it in your lifetime, without delay and without leaving any stone untouched.
2. A family, group, organisation or nation is as good as its leadership. Everything rises and falls on the leadership. Under the leadership of the ‘ex-anointed’ the covenant people of God have suddenly become spiritually vulnerable (1 Samuel 17:8-11). Under an ungodly leadership, there are no plans to raise valiant men and kingdom ambassadors, people lack spiritual depth, men of sound mind and excellence are not raised…(1 Samuel 13:19-22).
As a leader, in any capacity where God has placed you, develop the capacity of your followers. In your home, office, or group, ensure that as you are developing yourself spiritually and intellectually, you are raising the standard also, in the lives of your people (followers). Never enrich yourself at the expense of the people…
3. God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11).
While the army of Israel was suffering a great humiliation from the giant of Gath, (under the spiritual leadership of the ‘ex-anointed’, God was ‘equipping’ another man for the restoration of Israel’s national dignity.
Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons… (1 Samuel 17:12).
God deliberately chose David, the last son of Jesse, as the next king of Israel to fulfil His own purpose for Israel and in his (David’s) life.
He deliberately chose Joseph as the anchor man, who would be strategic to the sustenance of the Israelites in the future (Gen. 39:2; Psalm 105:17).
For there is no respect of persons with God. He can pick up anyone from the dunghill and set him/her up in the palace and He can demote anyone at will. No one will ask Him, none can question His authority!
God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, He uses the weak things to shame the mighty… (1 Cor. 1:26-29).
As people of God, sons of the kingdom and soldiers of the Cross, the great challenge before us today, is to rise up and fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim. 6:12).
The battle line between the army of the Lord and that of the devil had been drawn right from the day the devil revolted against his Creator. Brethren, the good news is that Christ had won the battle for us over two thousand years ago.
Who do you say you are? Who are you in the light of God’s Word?
Are you a giant killer or a grasshopper? (Numbers 13:25-33)
Don’t wallow in self-pity! Don’t live a life of defeat…
Don’t let Goliath (devil, problems and challenges) triumph over you.
Rise up in the light of God’s Word! You are a victor!
PASTOR NATHANIEL SADELA
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