A New Goliath – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we discussed the Israelites and their fear of the Philistines who wanted to subject them to their will. We also discussed David, and the panic he encountered when chased by King Saul who wanted to kill him. You can find Part one here: https://christiangrandfather.com/2016/07/28/a-new-goliath/

goliath

In 2013, there were some 2,100 Christians killed across the globe for their faith. In 2015 that number rose to at least 7,100(Not all ISIS). 3  In 2014 “ . . .the Islamic State (ISIS) . . . published a new edition of the propaganda booklet Dabiq, which is again signaling its primary enemy – Christianity.  This “terror groups desire is to conquer Rome and ‘break the cross,’” This aspiration is much like that of the Philistine’s who stood in defiance of God and petrified the Israelite army. “Their goal is to pave the way for the appearance of their Mahdi, the Islamic Messiah.” 1 Just this morning ISIS has announced they will begin attacking London and Washington D.C.

I am by no means a theologian so I am not trying to go so deep that I lose both you and me. I only share what is in my heart, and in the hearts of those around me. I left you with the following questions:

Do we have right to be afraid? As did David, should we stand against those who want to kill us?

“The Philistines were mentioned in the Bible as far back as the time when God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. The Philistines were the mortal enemies of the nation of Israel for hundreds of years. When the Israelites had finally settled into Canaan, they had to contend with the Philistines.

These two nations constantly fought against one another. One of the major reasons as to why the Philistines and the Israelites constantly have strife with one another is because of their religious beliefs. The Philistines primarily believed in Dagon (god of fertility) and the Israelites believed in Yahweh, or God. These two gods were nothing alike and this religious difference played out in the lives of the Philistines and the Israelites in forming their cultures and shaping their lives.

Another major reason as to why the Philistines resented the Israelites is because they had conquered so many people when they entered into Canaan under Joshua’s leadership. The Philistines were a powerful and warlike people, and they didn’t like the idea of having the Israelites being strong. So they constantly challenged the strength of Israel and many times they wanted to subject them to their rule to prove they were better. God also let the Philistines remain in the land to test and punish the Israelites whenever they strayed away from worshiping him. The Philistines defeated the Israelite armies on many occasions and they even managed to get some of the people to turn away from worshiping Yahweh.” 2

America has been a strong nation over the past 240 years. Our strength was formed on the foundation of Christianity. Those who hate us are challenging its very foundation. We see around the world Christians been beheaded and killed in other ways. They desire to come to America, and are already here in small cells preparing to attack when they feel it is time. This is our New Goliath.

My first inclination is to say, “YES” we have a right to be afraid. I believe most of us would agree this would be our first thought. We defend our fear by saying God created us with this innate characteristic to protect ourselves from harm. It is part of our human nature. If we see a tornado headed out way our emotion is to get to safety and protect ourselves. If someone wants to hurt our children we immediately run to their protection. Fear is a part of human nature. When Goliath comes for us are we to be afraid? When this huge enemy comes against the foundations of our world are we to grow fearful of what will come?

If you are old enough, do you remember the days of uncertainty; post WW2, in the 1950’s and 1960’s when everyone was building bomb shelters? We had atomic bomb drills in school. When the alarm sounded we immediately climbed under our desk, folded up into a ball and waited for the end of the world. Children were genuinely afraid and were relieved when the alarm sounded a second time to tell us to go back to learning. We were preparing ourselves for war.

Like David, if we did not have a human nature of fear we would not need these passages to remind us. The key is to overcome this mortal nature with one of a spiritual walk with out God. The Bible is full of passages where we are instructed to have no fear. In fact there are so many I struggle to decide which ones to use. We all agree with these. I believe most of you are like me in that while we agree with these scriptures we do so with a disingenuous heart simply because we have never had anything, or anyone really stand against us and threaten our lives. This New Goliath is now doing just that.

Through out the Word of God we are given example after example of how to handle fear. These examples have One thing in common, they trusted God. I imagine Abraham had fear sparked in his heart when God told him to sacrifice Isaac. His fear was quelled by his faith in God. Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into a fiery furnace. Elijah was deathly afraid of Jezebel, who threatened to kill him, so he ran. Their own Goliath challenged each of these men of God. Paul and Peter were thrown in jail for their faith and their lives were threatened. Stephen was a layman just like you and I. He was stoned and killed for his faith. God delivered each of these men.

And fear not them which kill the body,                                                                                                                                                                                                 but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him                                                                                                                                                                        which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.                                                                                                                                                                Matthew 10:28(KJV)

We have a hard time understanding what it means to rely on God and put our trust in him. This is why so many gloss over the scriptures that tell us “do not fear.” We battle within our hearts with what it means to not fear when the foundation of our world is crumbling. We struggle with allowing God to be in control.

These Scriptures are there for our benefit. They are God’s Word for us to place in our heart and develop a faith in His security. Instead so many of us do not embed these assurances and move forward in our own strength. When we lose sight of these promises, our worries build an intense scenario that does not exist in God’s Word. When we apply the Word of God daily He will ensure our safety.

We need to be like Job; he had a fence around him so high satan could not penetrate it. How did he have that hedge of protection? Through prayer, worship and obedience to God. How can we build this hedge for ourselves and our family? One prayer is the first brick. Another prayer is another brick on top of that one. Worship is another brick. Obedience is still another on top of these. If in our lives we are constantly laying brick we begin to realize that we are building the same hedge of protection around ourselves, and our family. Our confidence grows. In this way we begin to see that when we take God’s at his Word and do not fear, we are growing in the same confidence the saints of old had in their lives.

God is faithful to his Word. When we develop our hearts and minds to capture God’s strength we learn to depend on Him and His Word. When we have our confidence in Him, we do not have to fear. We know that this Goliath is only one of many that will be defeated by the Almighty.

The key is to grow in confidence by FOLLOWING. We prepare for battle in the same way those saints before us have done; we allow God to lead; we follow. “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” James 4:8. This is how we prepare to meet Goliath. When we follow after God’s lead, . . .the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp (Job 11:20).

In Part 3 I will address the question: What can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (ESV)  

References:

  1. Newsweek, 10-14-2014)
  2. http://amazingbibletimeline.com/blog/philistines/)
  3. https://churchpop.com/2016/01/17/the-number-of-christian-martyrs-tripled-in-2015/

 

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29 thoughts on “A New Goliath – Part 2

  1. Andy, though I don’t participate in organized religion, I enjoy and appreciate your enlightening and inspiring messages. Thank you!

    • It is not always about Religion. Organized religion will lead us astray. Our life is about our personal commitment to God. I am thankful so very much for you comment here. I am humbled by your words of kindness. I hope you will continue to follow. Blessings to you and your family.

  2. This is excellent, Andy…God is LOVE…there is no darkness in Him…NONE…the hatred of His followers is referenced by Jesus Himself…and is inspired by hell. We must pray and become through faith…the overcomers He’s called us to be. Jesus said we would know the signs of His return. (Matthew 24)…and, He urged us to watch and pray…I believe we are seeing those signs, including the persecutions on a global scale… And, as Daniel wrote long long ago, and as he also wrote with prophetic inspiration,,,those who love The Lord…will grow brighter and brighter, while those who love darkness will succumb to more darkness. Spiritually, there is no ‘neutral’ ground. Jesus said a person is either for Him or against Him… So, although darkness is fierce, as we stand with Jesus, we are shining brighter, the gates of hell won’t prevail, and the world will know Him…by our love…especially our love for our enemies, for He said on the cross, “Forgive them…they know not what they do…” Reality check: if people knew they were being ruled by principalities and powers of darkness to do evil…and that their evil deeds would ultimately completely destroy them…they would cry out to know Jesus…NOW.!! Finally, God gave us the prophetic word in Revelation…not to scare us, but to prepare us…to know these last days we live in…and to be victorious through these times…may we rejoice knowing that if God is ‘for’ us NONE can be against us! Andy, thank you for your compelling articles…

    • Your words have never been more true. I thank you for being the Christian woman you are and for all your support you have given me. Blessings to you!

  3. Amen! Well said. Someone once told me there were 365 “fear nots” in the bible, one for every day of the year. I have no idea if that’s true or not, I’ve never counted them, but I know there are many. Fear can be a powerful force and I suppose it can have a good side, but it’s also pretty much the opposite of faith. Fear can make us do dumb things too, so that’s another draw back.

    Sarah is kind of a softer example of the dangers of fear, but I suspect she was scared and failed to trust in God’s promise that Abraham would have plenty of descendants, so she took matters into her own hands. That’s the problem with fear, it”s the opposite of faith and tends to lead us to make bad choices.

    • You comment is so true. We are given direction in the Word on how to respond to the Goliath’s in our world. Fear keeps us from following that direction. Thanks so much for you comment and for following my blog. Part 3, the final part, in a couple of days. Blessings!

  4. This is an awesome post, Andy. I love what you said about building a hedge of protection around our families. We can do that. What worries though is our nation. Has our nation moved so far away from God that we have lost our national hedge of protection? I hope not. I’m praying for a revival as sweeping as the First and Second Great Awakenings. Blessings to you and yours.

    • Sorry I sent my reply before I was done, lol. The first step is for each of us to draw close to God. We need to share our faith more and bring others to our understanding and faith. Just remember our God is in control. Thanks for you your comment and for following my blog. Blessings!

  5. I love your work as always, Andy. I do need to say that I believe God will allow a bit of trial into almost everyone’s lives as a growing experience and to strengthen us against Satan. James and Hebrews 12 particularly talk about the disciplining process involved. Good work here, my friend.

    Steve

    • I agree with you on trials. In this case I’m addressing a front that seems to be coming against us all. We need to be the Church and stand together with God, even in death. Thanks Steve! Blessings!

      • Well I certainly agree with that point of view! Lord be with and bless you as well, Andy…

        Steve

  6. Great post, Andy!

    Like you said, we need to have a fearless heart and trust in the Lord.

    I am reminded of the words of Jim Elliot: He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

  7. Thanks Andy. Love your application of Scripture. I was speaking with my wife just yesterday on what a strange world we live in. I am amazed at so many things happening in our world that are direct threats to those who follow and love Christ. Looking forward to reading part 3

    • Thanks Ross! I gave this talk at church one week about a month ago. I think as Christians we need to prepare and remind our brothers and sisters to continue the commands of God. Our nature wants to fear this Goliath, but reminds us of His presence and that He is with us in life and in death. I appreciate you! Look forward to you comment on Part 3

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