SERIES: Ridiculous Faith
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR APRIL 29–MAY 5, 2020
Chapter eleven of Hebrews gives a list of names of men and women who pleased God. They all had at least one thing in common with you and me – problems, and at times BIG problems. These people are listed in Hebrews 11 because in the midst of tremendous problems and crises they demonstrated faith in God’s promises, thereby pleasing God. Again, I ask. . .how did they please God? With their faith! Our faith determines what God can do in our lives. Jesus declared in Matthew 9:29, “. . . According to your faith be it unto you.” This means we choose how many blessings God can give us. Our faith succeeds in life because Jesus said everything is possible for him who believes (Mark 9:23). The Bible further says in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God. . .” Without faith it is not hard to please God, it is impossible to please Him. In our series we will look at men and women who exhibited not just faith, but ridiculous faith.
Is it reasonable, realistic or believable that a young boy would go out to meet a giant while the army of God stands on the sidelines afraid? But David exhibits ridiculous faith by doing just that! What about you – are you ready to face your giant(s)?
1 Samuel 17:19-24 (NLT)
19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.
20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts, as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries.
21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army.
22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers.
23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, came out from the Philistine ranks. Then David heard him shout his usual taunt to the army of Israel.
24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright.
Your Goliath doesn’t carry sword or shield; he brandishes blades of unemployment, abandonment, sexual abuse, or depression. Your giant doesn’t parade up and down the hills of Elah; he prances through your office, your bedroom. He brings bills you can’t pay, people you can’t please, whiskey you can’t resist, pornography you can’t refuse, a career you can’t escape, a past you can’t shake, and a future you can’t face! Goliath is no “jolly green” giant!
- Taunts you
- Trash talks you
- Terrifies you
The question is, is he all you see?
Are you. . .
- Goliath focused, or
- God focused
- Focus on giants – you stumble.
- Focus on God – your giants tumble.
1 Samuel 17:37-40 (NLT)
37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”
38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail.
39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again.
40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
How do you beat Goliath? You do what David did. You pick up five stones. . .
I. The Stone of The Past – While everyone else quivered, David remembered.
Point to Ponder: Remember God’s successes. Has he not brought you through your trials and tribulations? Proved to be faithful? Have you not known his provision?
Point to Ponder: In the past year, what success has God given you? Throughout your Christian life, what dangers has He not brought you through?
Point to Ponder: Think about the last month. What worries that occupied your time never materialized? Is He not taking care of you through this COVID-19 virus?
- Write today’s worries in sand. Chisel yesterday’s victories in stone.
II. The Stone of Prayer – Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare.
- David knew what prayer could do and he prayed!
Psalm 61:1-3 (NIV) – 1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
Psalm 57:1-3 (MSG)
1-3 Be good to me, God—and now! I’ve run to you for dear life. I’m hiding out under your wings until the hurricane blows over. I call out to High God, the God who holds me together. He sends orders from heaven and saves on his word.
Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) – You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
- Before you go out to meet your giant – go down in prayer.
1 Samuel 17:46-47 (NLT)
46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!
47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
III. The Stone of Priority – God’s reputation was David’s highest priority!
Point to Ponder: If God’s reputation were based solely on your behavior, what kind of reputation would God have?
Point to Ponder: If you were to live all of your life for God’s glory – including your family life, your work life, your recreational life, etc. – what would you need to change?
1 Samuel 17:48-49 (NLT)
48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.
49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
IV. The Stone of Passion – David ran, not away from, but toward his giant. Do the same!
- Listing hurts won’t heal them.
- Itemizing problems won’t solve them.
- Categorizing rejections won’t remove them. David lobotomized the giant because he emphasized the LORD.
Point to Ponder: What good has problem pondering gotten you? You’ve stared so long you can number the hairs on Goliath’s chest. . .has it helped?
Point to Ponder: What are you most passionate about? Would you say you are passionate about God?
Point to Ponder: How could you increase your passion for God? What could you do to move Him toward the top spot in your life?
V. The Stone of Persistence
Point to Ponder: Why five stones? Does this mean that David had a shortage of faith?
- David was persistent in his thinking. If he didn’t bring Goliath down with the first rock, then he would have another one. If he missed then – he would try and try again. Persistent!
- Imitate him. Never give up.
- One prayer might not be enough.
- One apology might not do it.
- One day or month of resolve might not suffice.
You may get knocked down a time or two. . .but don’t quit. Keep swinging! Show ridiculous faith in God and He will reward your faith!
Point to Ponder: How has a lack of persistence hurt you in the past? How has a commitment to persistence paid off so far?
Point to Ponder: Who is the most persistent person you know? What gives him/her this quality? What can you learn from this person to increase your own persistence?
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Pray that you remain persistent in the tasks that God has given you to defeat your Goliath.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: When you see others that have been defeated, always keep them lifted in prayer and provide assistance when you can.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Share with others that it was Christ’s persistence that sent Him to the cross to defeat the giant of death so that we would not have to eternal life.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Make giving a priority so that the work of the Gospel can be furthered throughout the Kingdom.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: Although you may get discouraged in your battle with your Goliath, remember it is prayer that will assist you in defeating this dastardly foe.
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: A Jar, A Jug and Jehovah
SERIES: Ridiculous Faith
NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT: 1 Kings 17:6-16; John 4:13-14; Matthew 4:4; John 6:35; Matthew 6:31-32; 2 Kings 6:16; Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 43:1-2