Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Taking on Goliath

Taking on Goliath
My name is Bob Davis, I worked for Elim Bible Institute for about 19 years.  Recently I have been on missionary trips to the Philippines, India, Mexico, and West Africa.  West Africa is called the “Missionary grave yard”.  Missionaries going there used to take a casket with them because that is usually how they returned home.  The company where I work offers life insurance. Their Life Insurance Company refused to cover me because I have been in West Africa.  My brother Fred has been a missionary to West Africa for over 10 years.

My encounter with a Demon
Back in February 2009 we were in Ghana West Africa on our way to the town of Tamale.  We were stopping along the way for the night and my brother Fred thought it would be a good idea to walk back to the place we were staying at.  It was around 9:30 PM and the street we were walking along had street lights lighting it.  There were people walking in the other direction on the opposite side of the road.  Fred was on my left and two African brothers were walking behind us.  Then someone appeared on our side of the road headed rapidly towards us.  The first problem with him was that the street lights were above us but he was lit up from behind.  This made his face and features impossible to see.  You could however clearly see the outline of his body.  As he got closer another problem happened, I could now see through him, the road was visible behind him.  I figured that if I took one step to the right I could avoid the imminent impact.

Two steps to the right there was an open storm drain.  So I was careful not to step too far to the right.  However when my feet came down my fight foot was on the far side of the storm drain and my left foot was in the storm drain.  Knowing that the storm drain was only 1 foot deep, I figured I would just stand on the bottom.  However my foot could not hold the weight so I fell to where my hands were next to stop the fall.  However my hands could not hold my weight and they slipped out from under me and I continued to fall until I was flat on my face with the wind knocked out of me. 
They chased down a taxi and picked me up and loaded me into it.  I could not even stand up on my own.  Back at our room I proceeded to wash my bleeding arms and remove the little rocks that had become embedded in them.  My brother Fred insisted that I had just tripped and fell.  I told him that something had attacked me but he did not believe me.  He went somewhere and got a wrap for my ankle that was now turning black and blue.

The next morning I limped down to breakfast.  As I was arriving for breakfast I overhead someone saying “Did you see what attacked brother Bob?”  After further questioning I was told that they saw someone attack me and then disappear into thin air.  My brother never saw anything; I saw it fading out so I could see through it just before impact. 

This episode troubled me for quite some time.  I even had another encounter with this demon, but I am not sure if the second encounter was ‘real’ or not as there was no witnesses.  Then I had a strange dream.  In this dream I was David and tomorrow I was to take on Goliath.  The king sent a counselor to my room to talk me out of the fight.  He was asking me questions like “How are you going to fight Goliath?” and “What makes you think you can win this time?”  In this dream the answer to all of his questions was “I have a smooth stone” and I would show him the stone.  After what seemed like hours of questioning the counselor said “There is no fear in you!” and he flew out of the window.  Could it be that this Demon, called Goliath was attacking me solely to make me afraid?

2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Did Paul say that he had “won the battle?”  Was he beheaded shortly after writing this?  Could it be that you do not have to win this battle, or every battle, you just need to “fight the good fight”.

Pick me!
I was the second from the smallest kid in my class in school.  Whenever they would pick teams Larry and I were usually left over because they did not want small kids to be on their team.  Once when I was left out of a football game I was watching from the sidelines.  Both teams were in the huddles, but they had left the football unguarded in the middle of the field.  So I saw my chance to run with the ball and I did it!  Then I was tackled by both teams!  I knew that I could not win but I did get to hold the ball!
Goliath was real
We now know that Goliath was a popular name in Gath.  They are excavating the area and have even found a stadium that appears to have been held up by two columns as in the story of Sampson. Goliath might of even had a close relative by the same name.

Goliath ties together many Old Testament stories.
Remember the story about the 12 spies?  They said that there were giants in the land and they were so big that the Israelites were like “Grasshoppers in their sight”.  They also said that “all the people” were big.
            Numbers 13:32-33  "There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."
            Deuteronomy 9:2  "a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’
These Giants were driven out of the land by Joshua - Joshua 15:13-14  Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak from there: Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.
Then David appears to be the first to kill one of the giants. 
            1 Samuel 17:4-11, 40-50  And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. (Eastons: 10 feet tall)

Why did David pick up 5 stones?
According to 2 Samuel chapter 21, Goliaths had 4 giant relatives
            2 Samuel 21:16-22  Then Ishbi–Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David.
2 Samuel 21:18  Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant.
            2 Samuel 21:19  Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare–Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
2 Samuel 21:20  Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty–four in number; and he also was born to the giant.
2 Samuel 21:22  These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

Conclusions from David and Goliath
          1.   Fight the fight – Not guaranteed the victory
          2.   Size of the weapon does not matter (sling versus spear – Spear thrower 10 bails of hey)
          3.   Whose side you are on (Example of girl on bridge in lion witch and wardrobe)

There are “Goliaths” in our lives today.  What Goliaths are you dealing with?

How to deal with the “Goliaths” in our lives
1.      Run away – Nightmares as a child, trying to run away, woke up with missing sheets
2.      Play with him – Many “Lines in the sand”
3.      Take him on – Face up to him, most of the time he backs down!

Lies of the devil
            You lost last time why try again?                      
            You can only go just so far, and will not make it any further.
            You cannot win, so why bother to fight?                       
            Ignore the problem and it will go away.

You do not have to win this battle. You just have to fight the good fight. God will win the war.

Challenge - Pick up a stone, and set it somewhere as a reminder to fight the good fight!

Conclusion from Tamale
 So we continued on to Tamale.  Once in Tamale there was a Video Bible School graduation service.  The church was packed to standing room with people watching outside the windows and doors.  The churches in Tamale had been very skeptical about us but now there were 36 pastors at the graduation service that wanted a Video Bible School in their church!           

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