(Part 2 of 3)
We are in a battle. The devil knows that we are here and he wants to smother our faith. I want to talk to you of five pressures that we face in these trying days. I will use Goliath and his four sons as examples of the devil trying to destroy our faith and how they were defeated (1 Samuel 17:1-58 and 2 Samuel 21:15-22).
Goliath pressures… 1 Samuel 17:1-58… The “shock” soldier, the name “Goliath” means “stripped down as a captive, stripped down to nothingness, nude, shamelessly displayed.” The Philistines put him out in front for one purpose only: to shock the people of God and put fear into the hearts of God’s people. By his words, he defied both God and the people of God. His lies kept the people of God paralyzed. He was very effective. Israel began to believe his words, and the people became dismayed and afraid. They were beaten both in their minds and in their spirit. Goliath’s words shocked them and put undue pressure into their lives. The word “shock” means “surprised, stunned, shaken, dazed, appalled, horrified, outraged, and stricken with fear.” The devil uses those same tactics today. What we see often shocks us and frightens us. Large tornadoes have shocked our communities, hurricanes have shocked our nation, and huge tidal waves and earthquakes have shocked the world. What are you seeing and hearing that shocks you to the point of fear?
David came on the scene… to cheer up his brothers with food and water. Goliath stood up, again defied the God of Israel, challenged Israel to send a man to fight, and David heard it. The men of Israel fled. David asked, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26, KJV). He knew that Goliath was not in a covenant relationship with God. The battle was won when David challenged the words of Goliath. David’s brothers were angry with David. David answered with, “Is there not a cause?” (v. 29), or “What I have stirred up and done is nothing but the word of God.” The word of God changed the entire atmosphere of the battle. Goliath was defeated by the word of God; the five stones were incidental. The people of God were cheered up by a young man who was responsive to the Spirit of God. Cheering up others is being there to help them to live victoriously. What is your Goliath? Who are you listening to, the word of God or to the word of some stripped-down nothing that is out of covenant relationship with God? God is committed to you to cheer you up.
Goliath’s son… Ishbi-benob… 2 Samuel 21:15-24… This giant’s name can mean “emptiness” or “dwelling in emptiness.” The word “emptiness” means “lacking in purpose, meaningless living, unfulfilled desires.” Many are battling this today. Emptiness can kill you. Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, uses the words, “all is vanity” (1:2, KJV); in other words, emptiness. This is what happens when people have no vision, no goals, no inspiration in their lives. This son of Goliath attacked the people of God with a new sword, or in a new way. People get caught up with new scams or new far-out “revelations,” and soon discover that these cause emptiness as well. True satisfaction is only found in the Lord. Emptiness can cause you to wander aimlessly. Emptiness can cause you to live without restraint. Emptiness can cause you to become a fault-finder. Jesus tells us that one of the things which defiles the Christian is having an “evil eye” (Mark 7:20-23). Having an “evil eye” is looking at a person or thing, thinking evil thoughts, and following it up with accusations or unrighteous acts, such as sowing discord. Emptiness can kill your marriage, your children, your church, your job, and your joy. This giant was defeated by Abishai, “the father of gifts,” and our giants are slain by the rhema word that comes by the Spirit of God. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. A fresh word from God can cheer you up and defeat emptiness. Prophecy can edify you and inspire you. Encouragement comes by way of anointed and inspired exhortation.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved