14. I Know How This Story Ends

Reading Plan

One passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. 1 Samuel 16:1-13 (David anointed to be king)
  2. 1 Samuel 17 (David and Goliath)
  3. Hebrews 4 (especially verse 12)
  4. Isaiah 54 (especially verses 16-17)
  5. John 11:1-44 (especially verse 25)
  6. Joel 2:12-32 (especially verse 25)
  7. Hebrews 11:1-2, 39-40; 12:1-3 (and all of Ch. 11 if you have time)

eGroup Questions – Great for personal study, too!

I Know How This Story Ends

Pastor Steven’s message, based on the new song See A Victory, focuses on the story of David and Goliath, who admits that for those who have heard this story a thousand times, it may seem boring. But we know how this story ends, while David, in the midst of his Goliath, did not:

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

1 Samuel 17:50, NIV, emphasis mine

(The whole story happens in 1 Samuel 16 and 17.)

Illustration: Pastor Steven shares a story from his summer vacation: He starts off by sharing a photo of him and two of his boys, smiling, but then says this was at the end of the story. I want to know the ending first when it’s a bad/sad story. Wanting to know the ending when you’re in the middle of it.

They were caught on a sandbar that was eroding from the incoming tide; their kayak had drifted off and they lost an oar. They needed a man on a jet ski to retrieve the boat for them. His son Graham’s final thoughts on the situation: “It could’ve ended a whoooooooole lot different.” Pastor Steven uses this line to tie into our lives, in situation where the outcomes could have been a whole lot worse.

We know how the story of David and Goliath ends, but David never read 1 Samuel 17:50. He was trembling. You haven’t read the 1 Samuel 17:50 for the situation in your own life yet…

God is writing your story right now…
For your family right now…
For this season of your life right now…

David had to face three things: If any of these circumstances had gone differently, things could’ve been a whoooooooole lot different:

1. Jesse: David faced “the Ordinary”

In 1 Samuel 16, David is anointed to be the next king over Israel, but Saul is still king until he dies or abdicates the throne. So for now, David had to wait. He could have had a bad attitude, expecting to be treated like a king before he was a king.

17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”

1 Samuel 17:17, NIV

How old was David? Saul calls David “just a boy” (17:33) suggesting that he is a teenager around this time. Pastor Steven says he was only 17 but I can’t find a passage to confirm this. Numbers 1:3 suggests that you have to be 20 to serve in the military, so it’s probable that David is younger than 20, thus just a teenager. The Hebrew word “boy” simply means “youth” or “adolescent.”

This story could have ended with:

  • With David refusing to deliver the food
  • With David delivering it with a bad attitude
  • With David missing this opportunity

It could have be a whole lot different if David tripped over the ordinary. What a boring story that would have been.

But David has the attitude to see the opportunity!

Goliath = Anything that opposes the purposes of God.

2. Eliab: David Faced a Distraction from the Real Enemy

Some of us are fighting a preliminary battle and missing the real one. 

To them, Goliath sounds normal – you can get used to your dysfunction.
To David, Goliath was different.

“He’s too big to kill.”
“He’s too big to miss.”

The enemy will always introduce a new enemy to distract you from the real enemy. David arrives with the food delivery and is confronted by his eldest brother Eliab:

28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”

1 Samuel 17:28, NIV

If he stops here to argue with his brother he’ll miss the real enemy.

There’s a difference between fighting with someone and fighting for someone. David knew the bigger battle was not with his brother.

Some of us are defeated simply because we are distracted: Pastor Steven shares how sometimes he gets caught up scrolling through Instagram looking for that one negative comment and imagining how he would respond to that person.

Some of you are fighting Eliab and you’re missing your fight with Goliath, thinking your fight is with something on the outside when you should be fighting with yourself on the inside. For example, when you blame others for your problems.

Height v. Heart, from when Samuel goes to anoint the new king and he thinks it must be Eliab because he is tall. [Nick: Saul was also tall, see 1 Samuel 10:23-24, and this whole chapter is a comedy: Saul is chosen to be king but he doesn’t want to be, so he hides from the people, but he is easily found because of his height.]

7 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 people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7, NIV, emphasis mine

In Verse 30, David turns away from Eliab and it positions him to see Goliath.

Pastor Steven shares a story about his father’s funeral, where his mother has forgiven his dad for the things he had done and Steven had not yet done so. What if my mom had listened to me instead of god… what if it’s not over yet?

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.

the first half of Joel 2:25, NIV

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection.”

John 11:23-25 (the first half), NIV

3. Saul: David Faced “Only”

Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

1 Samuel 17:33, NIV, emphasis mine

Saul says “You’re only a boy.”

When God calls Jeremiah:

6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”

7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’

Jeremiah 1:6-7, NIV, emphasis mine

David knew who was with him: I brought the same God to this valley that I brought to the last valley. (Verses 34-37)

I killed the lion and the bear because they opposed my father’s business… I predict an upset victory for anything that opposes the purposes of God in your life.

I know who wrote my story… the author and perfecter of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2) It’s not over because I know who wrote it.

When I see Jesus on the cross, I know how the story ends… but the disciples didn’t.

I know your GPA — God’s Purpose Advances.

Spoiler Alert: Goliath goes down.
Plot Twist: Goliath goes down.

Finish Him

Verse 51, like from Mortal Kombat, David needs to “Finish him.”

David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

1 Samuel 17:51, NIV

David wasn’t the delivery boy… Goliath was. David didn’t go to the battle with a sword but he walked away with one: Goliath has your sword.

The giant’s down. His head is off. How much more savage can you be?
That’s not the end of the story… that’s just character development.

I’m leaving with a sword: a word, a praise, a lesson, a blessing.

God leads us from glory to glory… this is not your last victory. (2 Corinthians 3:18, KJV)

8 David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s mission was urgent.

9 The priest replied, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one.”

David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

1 Samuel 21:8-9

Goliath’s sword becomes David’s sword.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12, NIV, emphasis mine

When you read Isaiah 54:17:

No weapon forged against you will prevail.

the first half of Isaiah 54:17, NIV

Don’t forget to read the verse that comes before it:

See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc.

Isaiah 54:16, NIV

Even the Devil works for God!

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