>I Want to be a Giant Killer

>David gegen GoliathImage via Wikipedia

Let’s see.  Two weeks ago we introduced our “Good Samaritan” theme to the congregation and told them that we’re going to be addressing the plight of some of the world’s most needy people.  This was not going to be small task.  These were going to be big issues.  A week ago we talked openly and honestly about AIDS and pandemic disease.  We threw out facts and figures with the hopes that persons in the congregation would get a sense of just how many people are dying of diseases that we can actually do something about.  Yesterday we dove head first into issues of justice, highlighting the growing world slave trade, including sex trafficking.  As I look to next week, I’m excited to be looking at poverty.  That’s something that hits a little closer to home for our folks and for me as well.  Here is something that we’ve actually seen in some of its forms…a more familiar enemy.

These are big issues.

These are bad issues.

These are issues that are clearly not what God wants for the world.

However, their size and their scope can make us feel so very small.  In fact, I think the issues are so big that we have this natural flight response that makes us want to run away from them as fast as we can so that we can deal about those issues which are more personal to our own situations.  Give us something smaller.  How about talking about trying to be Godly spouses or our need to read the Bible more frequently?  Tell us some nice stories of Jesus and the coming Kingdom of God.  When’s Christmas?  At least these are issues we feel like we can do something about.


But next week I’ll be in that pulpit with sermon in hand and I will try with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength to have our congregation get passionate about the poverty issue that face so many of the people in the world and so many people in our own country and, really, so many persons in our own community as well.  And I’m not sure where we’ll be at the end of the hour (or hour plus).  Will anyone be moved?  Will anyone have their eyes opened to little things that can be done in our own backyard?  Will lives be changed?  Will a new generation of advocates rise up? 

Or will everyone get a glimpse of the size of the issue at hand and run the other way?

(Sigh.)

One of my favorite prayers is the prayer of a fisherman that I had heard years ago.  It says:

“Dear Lord, the sea is so wide and my boat is so small.”
That gets at some of what I feel as these issues are addressed.

From Scripture we also get the account of David and the giant, Goliath.  It’s in 1 Samuel 17 and the Wikipedia account of the battle goes like this:

Saul and the Israelites are facing the Philistines at the Valley of Elah. Twice a day for forty days, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, comes out between the lines and challenges the Israelites to send out a champion of their own to decide the outcome in single combat. However, Saul and all the other Israelites are afraid of him. By chance, David is present, having brought food for his elder brothers. Told that Saul has promised to reward any man who defeats Goliath, David accepts the challenge. Saul reluctantly agrees and offers his armor, which David declines, taking only his sling and five stones chosen in a brook.

David and Goliath confront each other, Goliath with his armor and shield, David with his staff and sling. “The Philistine cursed David by his gods,” but David replies: “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down, and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that God saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is God’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

David hurls his sling with all his might, and hits Goliath in the center of his forehead. The Philistine falls on his face to the ground, David takes Goliath’s sword and cuts off his head. The Philistines flee and are pursued by the Israelites “as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron.” 

We’re facing some giants on these Sundays. These are big beasts.  Our ammunition seems so puny in comparison.  I mean, how are we to do battle against AIDS, and injustice, and slavery, and hunger, and poverty, and all the damage that’s been done to our earth?  How are we to deal with these big issues that have a way of making us feel, rightfully, so small and insignificant?  What could we possibly bring to the fight?  Here we are, waging battle, and we have a sermon and a video and a Sunday School class, and a take-home devotional.  Can anyone take us seriously in this fight?

We need to remember as we do all of this that David didn’t have much either.  He was just a kid who was pretty good with a sling shot and had the faith of God that he’d be victorious.  He just found a few good stones right as he goes off to the fight.

Says David right before the battle:  “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”  (1 Samuel 17)

And we know of that turned out…for both David and that menacing giant that he faced.

So, next week, once again we’ll gather and we’ll hand our our little stones…small changes in life, ways to get involved, bits of information to spread the news about the issues at hand so that we can better know our enemy.  Together we’ll fling these with all the faith and strength we can muster…praying that we hit our enemy right where it hurts…and that we win through the grace of our God.

And, when all is said in done, perhaps we will be giant killers and the world will see the glory of our Lord. 
It’s something I pray for.
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