Bible Topics In The Christian Library

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever been up against something that you thought that would be impossible to achieve? Many of life's greatest accomplishments have been achieved because men and women refused to be intimidated by the "impossible." David in the old testament faced a similar problem. He had a "giant" task.

1 Samuel chapter seventeen tells us of the Israelite army facing the Philistines and their great champion, Goliath. David was visiting his older brothers in the camp when he first came face to face with Goliath.



A. A definition of courage. 1. "The attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it; quality of being fearless or brave; valor." - Webster’s New World Dictionary.

2. Courage is: standing when everyone else wants to run, speaking when everyone else is afraid to speak, acting when everyone else is paralyzed by fear, taking action in the face of danger, holding one’s character and moral uprightness when everyone else is tempted to compromise theirs.

3. We need to understand something. Everyone is afraid, at some time or other. We all experience the emotion of fear. Courage is being able to overcome our feelings of fear and stepping out to do when we know is right.

a. Even the great lose their courage at times. The great Napoleon lost his once. His army was about to be defeated and he ordered the drummer boy to sound retreat. The boy answered that he had never been taught to sound retreat, only the charge. Napoleon regained his courage and ordered a charge. His army won the battle.
B. Christians need courage! 1. There are so many times when we face challenges to our faithfulness and are afraid.

2. Fear will cause persons to shrink from responding to the gospel.

a. Acts 24:25 - Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, "Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you." 3. Being fearful will cause Christians to lose their souls. a. Matthew 25:14-30

b. Revelation 21:8 - "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

Connecting Sentence: Let’s look back in the Old Testament to examine an episode in the life of a saint that showed his great courage. He is young David, before he became King. He was called upon to face the might giant Goliath.


A. Goliath was nothing to take for granted. 1. He was indeed a "giant of a man." 2. His spearhead weighed about 15 pounds and wore a breastplate of about 125 pounds. 3. He was somewhere between 9 and 11 feet tall B. It is foolhardy to underestimate our enemy. 1. The Devil is an enemy every bit as fearsome in the spiritual sense. 2. 1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

3. Ephesians 6:11-12 " Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 - For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

4. Satan is not a comical figure to be laughed at, but is rather a crafty, cruel enemy who can use all kinds of pleasing forms to entice us to sin. a. 2 Corinthians 11:14 - And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

b. Revelation 12:10 - The Devil is described as the "accuser of our brethren."

III. DAVID COULD HAVE BEEN AFRAID BECAUSE NO ONE RESPECTED HIM. A. For David it was a lack of respect because of his youth. 1. His brother thought that he was just a kid looking for excitement. a. 1 Samuel 17:28 - Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle." 2. King Saul thought that he was too young to go up against Goliath. a. 1 Samuel 17:33 - 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." 3. Goliath just laughed at him. a. 1 Samuel 17:42-43 "And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43- So the Philistine said to David, ‘Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?’ And the Philistine cursed David by his gods." 4. But just because no one thought that he could win caused David to back away from his principles. B. Some will look down upon us for various reasons 1. For some it may be because of age, either young or old. a. 1 Timothy 4:12 - "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." b. Many people unwittingly put down young people by calling them the "church of tomorrow." c. Some think that when a person reaches a certain age they are ready for a spiritual "retirement home." 2. Some doubt our abilities. a. But God can take us an use us to do great things, we are his clay. b. 2 Corinthians 4:7 - But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 3. Sometimes we are fearful because we doubt our own abilities. a. We are sometimes like the Israelites of old when the heard the evil report of the ten spies concerning the land of Canaan. "There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight" (Numbers 13:33).   III. WHY WAS DAVID NOT TERRIFIED OF GOLIATH WHILE THE ENTIRE ARMY OF ISRAEL, INCLUDING SAUL, WAS SO FEARFUL? A. Reason Number One - because he trusted in the true and living God. 1. 1 Samuel 17:26 - Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"

2. 1 Samuel 17:45-46 "Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46- This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.’"

3. This great faith in God will allow us to stand up to the Devil and his temptations. a. 1 John 5:4 - For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.

b. Hebrews 13:5-6 "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6- So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"

c. 2 Corinthians 5:7 "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" 4. Everything logical pointed to being afraid of the Philistines and their great champion. a. Everything if one did not remember the great invisible force fighting on their side. b. Hebrews 12:1 - "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," B. Reason Number Two - He built on past experiences where God watched over him. 1. 1 Samuel 17:34-37 "But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35- I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36- Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’ 37- Moreover David said, ‘The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.’ And Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the LORD be with you!’" 2. Paul had confidence in his God because He had stood by him in the past. a. 2 Timothy 4:16-18 "At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17- But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 18- And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!"   IV. DAVID STOOD EVEN WHEN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN TEMPTING TO FLEE. A. He stood within spear shot of a man who was almost twice his size, a great giant man of war. 1. Goliath's taunt of David. a. 1 Samuel 17:44 - And the Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" 2. David's brave reply. a. 1 Samuel 17:45 - Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. B. We must stand against evil and wickedness, even when we want to run. 1. James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." 2. Ephesians 5:11 - And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

3. Ephesians 6:13 - Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

V. DAVID SUCCEEDED WHEN EVERYONE ELSE THOUGHT THAT HE WOULD NOT. A. When the battle was over it was David, and not Goliath, who won the victory. 1. 1 Samuel 17:49-51 B. We can be assured that God will lead us on to victory if we walk by faith. 1. Romans 8:31 - What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

2. 1 Corinthians 15:57 - But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. 2 Timothy 4:8 - Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

C. As Christians let us have the courage to: 1. Obey like Abraham a. Hebrews 11:8 - By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 2. Suffer like Moses. a. Hebrews 11:24-25 "By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25- choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,"

b. Romans 8:16-18 "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17- and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18- For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

3. Serve like Joshua. a. Joshua 24:15 - "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

b. Matthew 6:24 - "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

4. Rebuke sin like Stephen. a. Acts 7:51-52 "You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52- "Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,"

b. Jesus had to rebuke Peter when he was wrong. "But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, ‘Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’" (Mark 8:33)

5. Speak the truth like Paul. a. He spoke the wisdom of God, not man’s - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5.

b. We must present the Word of God with boldness - "And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20- for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:19)

CONCLUSION: David stood when everything told him to run. Through faith he won a great victory for the people of God. Will we stand for God. "Who will follow Jesus standing for the right, holding up his banner, in the thickest fight?....who will follow Jesus, who will make reply, 'I am on the Lord's side, Master, here am I.'"

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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