Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Bear That Killed Goliath


Some of you this morning might say, “Pastor, I’ve read about Goliath and I don’t think you’ve got the story right …” – Well if so it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve messed up trying to tell a story. In fact, for one reason or another I’ve messed up and had to start over several times trying to tell this story.

Some years ago we had a contract with Trinity Broadcasting Network to produce 51 30 minute programs which were aired in 242 countries  three times each week. They contracted with me to go to the places where the Bible happened and tell the stories of the Bible from those places. We went to places like Asia Minor, Italy, Egypt, Israel, along the Syrian, Lebanese and Jordaian borders and throughout the Palestinian Territories.

Half the challenge was getting to some of these places and gaining permission or tolerance long enough for us to set up and create a program we could use. Each program had to pass 4 standards before it could be counted as potentially useable and we committed to get no less than 3 potentially useful programs before leaving any location hoping at least one of those 3 could be edited into a final product to be aired worldwide.

As you might imagine at times the equipment would glitch or the wind or weather just would not cooperate or people would come up and begin asking questions or crowds would get unruly … any number of interruptions could compromise the take and make us stop and do it over. Then, even when everything was working just right and everything was in focus – I’d mess up and say the wrong word, call the wrong name or forget to make a point. Then we’d stop and do it all over again.

Well over 100 locations were used to film these 51 programs, some of those locations were used multiple times. At times we would nail it with only a three or four takes and move on but at other times it could take as many as 20 to 25 tries to get 3 acceptable takes. I walked up and back down the same steps at Caesarea 21 times one day repeating the same words over and over before we achieved our goal for that scene. Either the audio, the video, the content or the presentation fell below the 80% mark of acceptability rating and we’d have to do it again Sam.

At any rate you can imagine the plethora of unusable and unedited file footage that we amassed filming those programs. Thursday I reviewed some of the ones we did about the defeat of Goliath that just didn’t make the cut because of wind distorting the microphone or cars in the distance or the way I said or didn’t say words or perhaps it just wasn’t good enough. This morning I want to show three of those short cuts that didn’t make it in raw form so you can at least see some of the geography and topography which surrounded Goliath on the battlefield that day. At the end of the service, after we dismiss, there may be a few more outtakes.

(Production Note: Show 3 clips from Valley of Elah)

1 Samuel 17 gives us the account of that day and reveals why this battle hardened giant of a Philistine warrior named Goliath was defeated. We are told Goliath stood 9 feet and 9 inches tall. He was a giant!

The Philistine army was camped on one side of that Valley of Elah while the Israelite army was camped on the other. Each day for 40 days the Philistine champion Goliath came out and challenged Israel to send a man to fight with him and whoever won the fight, the other side would serve.

King Saul and all of his soldiers, including David’s three oldest brothers, were gripped with fear and could not find anyone willing to face the giant. On the 40th day David, having been sent by his father Jesse to check on his brothers, arrived in the Israeli army camp just about the time Goliath came out to taunt and threaten King Saul and his army once again.  

The story accounts that Goliath came out; cried out,(let a man come down to me); and came up, (drew near), each step a progression of aggression.

David could not imagine why someone, anyone, did not respond and take Goliath out. When David said he would do it, David’s brothers began to fuss at him and make light of his heart. David answered:

1 Samuel 17
29  And David said, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?"

31 ¶  Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him.
32  Then David said to Saul, "Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine."
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."
34  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!"

David was fully prepared because he had:
·        killed the bear and the lion in the private time of his life
o   The Bear represents those enemies who stand up against us
o   The Lion represents the enemies who sneak up on us
o   Both formidable enemies in our personal and private moments
o   Those who face you and try to overpower you
o   Those who come up from behind and try to surprise you
o   The Bear announcing his threat on approach hoping to unsettle you, intimidate you and make you flee
o   The Lion is strong but crafty, he only wants to announce his victory
·        David had faced both in his private time, now he would face Goliath in public. God often prepares us in private before using us in public.

1 Samuel 17
42  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.
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!"
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.
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.
47  "Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’S, and He will give you into our hands."
48 ¶  So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hastened and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

David won the day because of his weapon of choice & because of the bear.
·        Goliath came at David with swords and spears
·        David came at Goliath with the name of the Lord (v.45)

What we do in our private times when we face the bear and the lion will determine our preparedness, our confidence and our courage to face the Goliaths of life. David faced the same kinds of tests we face. He had to decide whether to run and hide, stand and watch or advance and engage. What he did when he was alone, small and insignificant was what he would do in the bigger battles of life. We are who we are in private. Here are some private battles we face in life. What will we do when no one is watching?
·        Prayer Life; Time in the Word; Tithes and Offerings               
·        With Family; Friends; In the Work Place; Church
·        With our Blessings in Service to God and Others

We will all face a Goliath and some might imagine that as the defining moment in our lives. However, it’s not our Goliaths who define us but rather Goliath only reveals who we have become in those private times of life. It was the bear that helped David decide who he wanted to be – that’s why I believe it was the bear that defeated Goliath. Where’s the bear in your life? Is there some private moment you can to give to God this morning? Your greatest challenge is to be great in your everyday!