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David and the Dwarf
Scripture: Matthew 21:18-23; 1 Samuel 17:1-28; 1 Sa...
Track 4 of 19 in the David: A Man After God's Heart series
Running time: 51 minutes, 30 seconds.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

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There are just some situations that seem impossible to overcome. When you sit and contemplate it, you say to yourself, there is now way I can do that. I would love to do that or I wish I could overcome that but I am just not strong enough. I don't have what it takes to be that strong. So you either give up or don't even try. You allow the mountains in your life to hem you in and you only go to the edge but never beyond. You stay within your little existence, too afraid to change, too afraid to deal with anything hard.

Have you ever said that at one time in your life? Are there things that you fear or you know that there is some weakness you can't over come? No matter how hard you try or want to get over it, you know you are no match for the challenge?

Jesus talked about strength and having what it takes to do the impossible. We studied last week the hard heart. Basically the hard heart is one where someone's mind is already made up about something and no one is going to change your mind. Jesus dealt a lot with people who had hard hearts and most of them were the religious people of the day. Jesus demonstrated things that were impossible and encouraged his followers to think in ways that required things impossible. The Pharisees were too evil to listen and the disciples were too weak to comprehend. Jesus a couple times talked about mountains in their lives.

Matthew 21:18-22 Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. "How did the fig tree wither so quickly?" they asked. Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

I just want to ask you a very simple question, how many of you really believe what Jesus just said here? Is this really a true statement? What do you think the reaction was by the disciples when they heard Jesus say this? What would be the normal reaction if you told this to someone who didn't believe in Jesus? Does the average Christian really believe this? I think the real point to this verse has nothing to do with us moving mountains but just sets up the next event. Look what follows as Matthew writes on:

Matthew 21:23 Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. "By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you this authority?"

The issue wasn't that Jesus was performing great miracles; everyone saw them so they couldn't be disputed. The issue to the enemies of Jesus was where he was getting the authority to do what he was doing. He had power (authority) over the natural principles in the world. The Pharisees argument was it was not from God, but from the devil. The point is this, having God's power allows man to do anything, especially the impossible. Jesus tells us the power is found in prayer.

This leads us to David. Most of the time when we read about David and Goliath, we see titles like David and the Giant. But the title to this lesson is not that. I call Goliath a dwarf. In reality; in God's perspective which also was David's, Goliath was nothing when compared to God and his authority. But to Israel, they were terrified of him because he was a giant. Giants are only giants when we look at them through our weak, fearful eyes. They seem bigger than they really are. The same with mountains, there are really nothing, something to throw into the sea when looking at them through God's eyes.

On most cars, the right side mirror usually has a small warning on it, what does it say? Why is it there? What doesn't it want you to do? Don't be fooled. What Jesus is actually saying in Matthew 21 is the opposite; things are not as large as they appear. Don't be fooled. If you rely upon God and live in his authority, there is nothing too big.

In David's mind, that is how he thought. Israel saw a giant when Goliath came out against them. David saw a dwarf, not because he himself was a giant, but his God was a true giant and a God who could destroy Goliath with little effort.

When ever you go back and study the armies of Israel, as they became a people less faithful to God, they were content not to fight. By the time Samson comes in on the scene, they just let the Philistines take over without a fight. All during Samson's judgeship, not once did the armies of Israel fight with Samson against the Philistines; Samson by himself did the fighting and won. As David approached the battle in the valley of Elah, David finds the same situation. Goliath is challenging the army of Israel to send one out to fight him but no one would go out and defend Israel, not even Saul the king.

1 Samuel 17:1-3 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Socoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Socoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

As we look at this valley, Israel had their defenses set up on the left and the Philistines were in the hills on the right. Down in between both armies stood the giant Goliath. The distance between the two battle lines is just over 1 mile. In this battle, there are basically only two characters that count. There is a third set of characters we will focus on but in all reality, there are only two.


1 Samuel 17:4-7 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

9' 9" tall
Bronze amour weighted 175-200 lbs
The head of the spear weighted 25 lbs
A man had to carry his shield and went before Goliath

Goliath was an intimidating man. It was written that Goliath was not the only giant in the Philistine army. There were others. I don't know if Samson dealt with any of them but I bet Samson would have loved the opportunity to make sport of this guy. But Samson was dead and Israel only had Saul, who himself was tall, but not Goliath's size. But it wasn't his size that got David's attention; it was what Goliath was saying:

1 Samuel 17:8-11 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, "Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us." Then the Philistine said, "This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other." On hearing the Philistine's words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

Now Goliath didn't make this challenge just once, this went on for 40 days. I don't know what the army of Israel was waiting for; maybe they were hoping the Philistines would just go away. But they endured the humiliation everyday for 40 days. Think about this, all they had to do was just go out there and kill Goliath, and then they could go home. It was simple as that. Maybe someone didn't think of that or something. But they stayed out there for over a month listening to Goliath challenging them and laughing at their fear.

How many of us have a Goliath in our lives? What fears do we have that we just don't want to face. It laughs at us; it taunts us or even oppresses us. We would love to defeat it but it is too big and intimidating to deal with. We would rather hide and listen to it everyday mock us. Why not just go out there and knock the socks off it?


15 miles away in a little town called Bethlehem, there was a young man named David. He was taking care of his father's sheep. Oh, by the way, while the king was out fighting battles, the music player for the king went back home and tended sheep. David ends up at the battle scene not to fight, but to deliver food and refreshments from his father to his brothers who were there to fight. He arrives just in time to see the battle lines form for battle like they did 40 times before.

1 Samuel 17:22-24 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.

I love this scene. Have you ever been in a crowd and then all of a sudden the crowd left and you were the only one standing there wondering where everyone went? You basically have two choices; how many of you would have turn and ran with the army as they retreated from Goliath? The way I read these verses, I see David the only one standing there facing Goliath as he stands there yelling his defiling words. We have to remember, this is the 41st time the army encountered Goliath. This is the first time for David.

How accurate is hindsight? Have you ever made a 2nd decision based on hindsight? Did your first reaction match up with your hindsight view? Why doesn't your first reaction match your hindsight? What does that say about you?

David was much different. He had the character to see the present as though seeing the situation with hindsight and he wasn't impressed with Goliath. He wasn't intimidated; in fact he was insulted because God's army, God himself was being insulted.

1 Samuel 17:26 David asked the men standing near him, "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?"

What was the difference between David and Saul and the army of Israel? Do you remember what God told Samuel when he started to look for the next king of Israel? What were God's instructions and the qualities to look for? I love how the writer of 1 Samuel reminds us of this fact.

1 Samuel 17:28 When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle."

Why would he be so upset with David? Who was Eliab? Why is he important to remember?

1 Samuel 16:6-7 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed stands here before the LORD." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

We all know the story about David and Goliath and how David killed Goliath with a single shot from his sling. I don't want to go into all the details but there are some lessons about this event in David's life we can learn. The first main fact is this, David was the Giant and Goliath was the dwarf.

Giant Lessons Worth Remembering:

God doesn't waste victories: Winning victories is extremely significant. Today we are being fed a bunch of bologna about how winning is not important. To God, winning victories was very important and He encouraged us to remember them. If you are a person who passes over victories quickly, break yourself of the habit. If he pulls something off that only he can do, He says for us to never forget them… and we are to remember.

Facing Giants is an intimidating experience: I don't care what people say, it had to be scary even though David had courage. Facing Goliath had to make David a little nervous even though he said, "My God is greater than you". When we decide to go and face those things that are bigger than we are, it is okay to be a little nervous but we know God is bigger than our giants.

Doing battle is a lonely experience: No one else can fight for you. Whatever Goliath you have in your life, you have to face him. There are those who can encourage you but the real battle has been between you and Goliath. This is where in life you have to grow up. You have to do it. It's on the lonely battlefield in life you learn to trust God.

Trusting God is a stabilizing experience: What is fascinating to me, in spite of how intimidating Goliath was, David killed him with the first stone. He didn't miss. He might have been nervous but he didn't have the jitters. He was stabilized by his trust in God. If you try to tackle a Giant by using the flesh, you will lose. It is only when you have sufficient time with God on your knees do you get the remarkable stability to defeat Goliath

Winning victories is a memorable experience: We are to remember the victories of the past. You need to write them down to use to fight against future giants. To remind you that God does win. We are to pass on our lion and bear stories… our own Goliath stories so others can gain confidence to fight their giants.

Never forget it; the battle is the Lord's.