So, today we are talking Giants. We all have them. We all fight them. But some of us are not even sure what “giants” are, making it kind of difficult to fight these unknown monsters effectively.
Giants, back in the day of David, were really large people…giants (yep, that was helpful). Most of us are familiar with one specific giant…Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17, we see that Goliath was “six cubit and a span”or approximately 9 ft. six inches (yes, there is some debate on this…big surprise….just know Goliath was big, mean, and tall). Now, it doesn’t take a Biblical scholar to see there are not too many people walking around today at that height, so just like so many truths found in the Old Testament, our giants today are not physical, but spiritual.
When we try to live out our faith, there will be obstacles in our way. The trend today is to call these struggles “giants”. Personally, I do not believe every struggle we face is a giant, just like every “bad guy” in OT times was not a giant.
As I was studying up on giants, I, of course, found myself in the story of David and Goliath. You may recall from Sunday School class that Israel was at war with the Philistines. In the first verses of 1 Samuel 17 we see that the Philistine army were camped on one hill and Israel army were camped on another hill, with a valley of sorts in between (v. 1-3). The Philistines had picked one man, Goliath, to battle on behalf of the entire Philistine army. Goliath was a giant; way bigger than any of the Israelites (see above six cubits and a span). Each day Goliath (for 40 days) would challenge the Israelite army to send out someone to fight him and whoever won the battle their side would win the war . But, of course, all of the Israelite army was too afraid to take on this particular giants.
Who exactly were the Philistines? Well, I’m glad you asked.
The Philistines were a tribe from the Aegean Sea who had settled along the coast of Palestine, bringing with them the their Greek culture, which was given to worship many gods and goddesses. The Philistines entered the land of Canaan about the same time as the children of Israel did and placed great value on intelligence/philosophy and were prone to war; thus they were a thorn in the side of Israel. The Philistines were, at the time of David, enemies of God. Goliath stood as a symbol of those things that were against the teachings of God.
That is important. God pressed upon my heart that modern-day giants are people and things that are enemies of God. Giants are people/things that go against the teachings of God. But there is more.
Let us go back to 1 Samuel 17:8-11
And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array?…choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.”
“If he be able to fight with me, and kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.”
“And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.”
“And when Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.” (v. 8-11)
It is not so much what is said here, but the meaning behind it, that got my attention. You see here that the “giant” of David’s time stated the conditions of the battle: If he won, the Israelites would become slaves to the Philistines. If the Israelite challenger won, the Philistines would be slaves to the Israelites. Don’t skip over this, it is important. If Israel’s representative lost to the giant, they would become slaves and vise versa.
Is it too much of a stretch then to conclude that our modern-day giants are the things that would render us slaves if not conquered!
Think about it for a moment.
We all have struggles and temptations, but there are certain issues that have the ability that cause greater harm than others. For instance, I don’t have a problem with drinking. I could drink one class a wine a day and never have the desire for more (I don’t because it would cause issues for two people I love). On the other hand, you may not be able to handle a glass of wine a day because alcohol has the power to enslave you. You know it would lead to two, then three. In that case, alcohol would be or could be a giant for you.
Or how about any of these:
- “The Bible does not say Thou shall not smoke!”
- “That movie was so good, it only had a few bad parts, but the rest was great!”
- “To get ahead in school and life you have to climb over someone else. You snooze, you loose.”
- “Come on, no one waits till marriage anymore….after all, you got to tests the goods…right?”
Like I said we all have things that try to enslave us and interfere with our relationship with God. Remember, unrepented sin does build walls between us and God, thus making it essential we take on our giants.
Today I challenge you to determine what your giants are. After all, you can’t fight effectively if you don’t know who your enemy is.
And next time, I will help you gather your five stones in order to defeat your giants once and for all.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,