Goliath is ‘our’ problem…
Over the past few weeks I have started to see something very clearly. Has that ever happened to you? I mean, I’ve seen something one way most of my life and then its like the light shifts and the shadows change and all of a sudden I realize that I have been ‘seeing’ it incorrectly all of these years. OK, maybe not seeing it ‘incorrectly,’ but at least from a skewed angle or a limited perspective.
I’ve probably taught on “David and Goliath” from 1 Samual 17 about 25 or 30 times over the past 18 years of pastoral ministry. And I’ve always taught it as ‘David faces his own personal GIANT.” Then I went down the usual list of points like:
1. What’s your Goliath?
2. Who is putting their armor on you? Take it off…
3. Remember your God stories…
These points and other very personal and individualistic morals of this story are to be expected I guess. But over the past few weeks I’m just becoming inundated with the realization that so much about the Scripture is about ‘our’ problems and not ‘my’ problems.
David wasn’t there to face his own personal giant. In fact, Goliath wasn’t ‘his’ personal responsibility. David’s responsibility was sheep. He was a shepherd. And the passage tells us that he arranged for someone else to do ‘his’ thing so that he could provide something for someone else.
Secondly, David didn’t come to the battle to be a warrior. He was a musician. He was a delivery boy for his mama’s fresh cooking. He brought food for his brothers and maybe… just maybe, a song for the king.
It was then that he recognized that ‘David’s People’ had a problem. His God and his God’s people had a problem. Goliath had laid down a challenge and with it, an opportunity, for the Hebrew people. Goliath wants one man to represent all Hebrew men. One man who is the best, strongest, toughest of them all to challenge Goliath on the battle field. If Goliath wins… the Hebrews are their slaves. If the Hebrew man wins… the Philistines will serve the Hebrews.
Whoever the Hebrews choose… they are putting the fate of all the Hebrews in their hands.
David steps up personally to handle a corporate issue for his people.
I think that moves like this are why the Bible calls David a man, ‘after God’s own heart.’
He knew the value of his people. He knew the value of the group. He knew the value of others.
He regularly took the needs of the group on as a personal struggle.
Do you regularly think of your choices as having this kind of results? Your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and the local expression of the Body of Christ are resting on ‘your’ life? Maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement… but you get the point.
In our context, we tend to think individualistically. Its pretty much an American thing. We value the individual. And that’s good of course… but not when we lose value for the group.
Could it be that we value the Christian over the Church? Could it be that we emphasize the ‘personal’ relationship with God over the ‘Body’ of Christ of which we are a part?
Just as it was in David’s day… Goliath really is ‘our’ problem.
So, what ‘our problem’ Goliath’s exist in your community, church, family… that need to become ‘your’ problem.
I know of at least one Goliath that threatens the mission and ministry of Four Rivers Church in Western Kentucky right now… Folks from 4RC will hear about it this Sunday… in FEARLESS: ‘Goliath is ‘Our’ Problem.’