1 Samuel 17 … Consider Him, the Champion Incontestable

In ancient times, matters of war were sometimes decided by one battle; a battle fought between the two so-called champions representing each opposing army. In this place of proving, the reputation of each army’s god was at stake; each seeking the victor’s crown for his own god.

This could reasonably explain two armies facing off as anxious spectators, with the only semblance of battle occurring through Goliath’s taunting challenges during a stand off of forty days.

The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them. Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath… He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” 10 Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.”… 16 The Philistine came forward morning and evening for forty days and took his stand. [17:3-4, 8-10, 16]

And while the entire army of Israel flees in fear, there is one youth who accurately assess the situation.

When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid… 26 Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” [17:24, 26]

David, already convinced of the outcome, knew. This proving place would only serve to prove to both armies what David already knew. There was not one doubt in David’s mind; the God of Israel would prove Himself the Champion Incontestable.

Consider Him the Champion Incontestable

  • He is the Champion Incontestable; He is the Living God.
    • For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” [17:26]
  • He is the Champion Incontestable; He is the Deliverer
    • But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” [17:34-37]
  • He is the Champion Incontestable; He is the LORD of Hosts
    • Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. [17:45-46]
  • He is the Champion Incontestable; the battle is His
    • …and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.” [17:47]

How do we respond to Him, the Champion Incontestable?

We have much to learn from the young David. Rather than fixating on the situation, the size of Goliath and the fear and panic of his own people, he fixed his eyes on the truth of his God.

  • He recognized God as the one, true living God
    • For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” [17:26]
  • He recalled God’s protection in the past
    • Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear…” [17:36-37]
  • He relied on God’s power for the present
    • “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” [17:37]
  • He refused to trust in the provisions of man
    • Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39 David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” [17:38-39]
  • He regarded his God as the Champion Incontestable
    • Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. [17:45-46]

David prevailed, not by his own wits, strength or help from man. David prevailed by faith.

Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand. [17:50]

May we grow in faith, to become like David; may we realize our strength is in Him alone. May we grow to stand strong in the strength of our Champion Incontestable.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. [Ephesians 6:10-11]

Let’s Grow Together!

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