A Man of Integrity
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” ― Corrie ten Boom
Verse: 1 Samuel 17:4-11, 16
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armour of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield-bearer went ahead of him.
8 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. 9 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.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
During the deepest, darkest days of apartheid when the government tried to shut down opposition by canceling a political rally, Archbishop Desmond Tutu declared that he would hold a church service instead.
St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa was filled with worshippers. Outside the cathedral hundreds of police gathered, a show of force intended to intimidate. As Tutu was preaching they entered the Cathedral, armed, and lined the walls. They took out notebooks and recorded Tutu’s words.
But Tutu would not be intimidated. He preached against the evils of apartheid, declaring it could not endure. At one extraordinary point he addressed the police directly.
“You are powerful. You are very powerful, but you are not gods and I serve a God who cannot be mocked. So, since you’ve already lost, since you’ve already lost, I invite you today to come and join the winning side!”
With that the congregation erupted in dance and song.
The police didn’t know what to do. Their attempts at intimidation had failed, overcome by the archbishop’s confidence that God and goodness would triumph over evil. It was but a matter of time.
The challenge isn’t just for a day or a week. The challenge from Goliath went on for forty days. Every morning and every evening for over a month, he strutted out there, flaunting his size and strength, daring someone to take him on.
That’s also how it is in real life. The giants of fear, worry, pressure. They don’t come just once; they come morning and evening, day after day, relentlessly trying to intimidate. They come in different forms; person, pressure, or worries. And some have fear or challenges that hammers on the heart every single day. And it’s very hard to fave this challenges in our own strength.
But we can’t do it on our own. Even if we think that we can, it’s impossible. We may have all the money, gadgets, things that we think that can help us win –but it’s not enough.
In 1 Samuel 16:7 said,”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 human beings are subject to that problem. We are so impressed with, or not impressed with, individual because we judge on the basis of their appearance. We look at externals and judge people and form opinions out of it.
And looking at Goliath, he had all the things that would normally impress and intimidate. And we can see it at the reaction in verse 11,”On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.” People are intimidated at Goliath because of his stature. But when we look at David, he had been given the ability to see as God always sees, and he was neither impressed nor intimidated. Because no matter how big the giant might be, GOD IS GREATER. And no matter how powerful he might be, GOD IS ALL-POWERFUL.