1 Samuel 17
One of the biggest burdens I feel as a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ is to get the church of God throughought these United States and beyond to grasp that Goliath has fallen. Christians live far too much like Goliath still bellows his blasphemies, when in reality he has been cut down. We are Israel quivering for forty days under the taunts of that Philistine giant. When what we should be doing is pressing the battle all the way up to the gates of Ekron (1 Samuel 17:52).
The Text: A Summary
1 Samuel 17 tells of David’s beheading of Goliath. The story beings with the Philistines and the Israelites drawn up for battle. There the giant Goliath of Gath defied the ranks of Israel. He called for a man to fight with him to settle the matter at hand. But, Saul and Israel hearing this, were greatly afraid (v. 1-11).
But, there is David. And he is sent to the battlefield to take provisions to his brothers. While there he hears Goliath, who has taunted Israel now for 40 days. David is not afraid. He says, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Eliab, David’s older brother, rebukes David for presuming that he can do something on the battle field. As a side note: How often faith and courage is looked upon as presumption and arrogance. “Oh, David . . . you have an overrealized eschatology,” says Eliab, “we have to live in the already, David, and not be too hasty with the not yet.” (v. 12-30)
Saul receives news of what David said and sends for him. David says he will fight the Philistine. But Saul says he cannot for he is but a youth and Goliath a trained warrior. David points to his experience protecting sheep and striking down lions and bears. Saul agrees to David fighting and gives David his armor. But David declines that armor since it had not been tested and gathers five stones for his sling, approaching Goliath (v. 31-40).
Goliath sees David and disdains him. He tells David he will feed his flesh to the birds and beasts. And he cursed David by his gods. David counters, saying that he will feed the carcases of the host of the Philistines to the birds, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel (v. 40-47).
David then ran toward the battle to meet the Philistine. He strikes Goliath in the head with a stone, which sinks into the giant’s forehead. David then takes the giant’s sword and cuts off Goliath’s head. The Philistines see their champion has fallen and they flee. Israel arises, shouts, and pursues the Philistines all the way to the gates of Ekron (v. 48-58).
To the Gates of Ekron
The church of God in America is under a spell. She has been convinced that she lives in the first half of the story just told. She is divided. She is afraid. And she has not reason or right to be. We have been told from the beginning that the seed of the woman is on the way to crush the head of the serpent. And here is a picture of that scaley snake: Goliath in his armor. There is a type of the the true Seed: the son of Jesse striking the head of the viper.
But, we have come to the fullfillment. We are members of a new covenant. We deal not in shadows, but in the fulfillment of the promise. The Greater David himself, no mere type, has come and struck down the serpent himself, no mere image. And the question is, “What shall you do Israel?” What must the true Israel of God do seeing Goliath has fallen? Well, we should do what the army of Israel did when Goliath of old fell: And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron” (1 Samuel 7:52).
Jesus has told us, “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Gates, of course, are defensive weapon and not an offensive one. So Christ did not say that he would hide his church as but an outpost that will not be leveled by the advancing enemy. He said that He would build his church and there will be no defense against.
So the application for Christians far and wide is this: You are a part of the Israel of God. Your life is for her wellfare. Everything you do is to be done unto her victorious conquest. Your prayers, your dealings, your home, your work, your children, your all is for the coming of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. And there is nothing that can stop this conquest on earth because Goliath has fallen. So, onward to the gates of Ekron.