And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” ~1 Samuel 17:37
Ever have one of those days where you’re looking at life and feel like you’re staring up into the face of a mighty warrior giant who is laughing at you and taunting everything about you? We all have giants that want to war against us; but there is one who stands far taller, far more fierce, and far more deadly than all the others.
His name is Sin and Death.
Sin and Death isn’t something that we simply just deal with. It’s not an annoyance and it’s not something standing in our way. It is a captor that enslaves. “The wages of sin is death,” Paul wrote (Romans 6:23). And Jesus said, “Everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34).
The Israelites faced a giant in the days of King Saul, a warrior of the Philistines named Goliath who stood much taller, much stronger, and much fiercer than any of their warriors. So long as Goliath stood, the hearts of Israel’s army fell faint and they ran scared. Fear ensnared them and without help the people would have fallen, enslaved to the Philistines.
No trained warrior wanted to face the giant head to head. Only David, still a young man at the time and a shepherd, vowed to take on the giant. “Let no man’s heart fail because of him,” David said to King Saul. “Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
First Saul questioned David’s ability; but David spoke to how he protected his father’s sheep from lions and bears. Then Saul tried to clothe David with his armor; but it proved too clunky and cumbersome so David threw it off. Instead, David chose his own weapons of war: five smooth stones and a sling; but more than that the greatest weapon of all: “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand.”
He hadn’t needed the four other stones because the first landed its blow, square against the giant’s forehead, and sent Goliath to the ground. The victory had been won.
After Saul, David became king over Israel—a king chosen by God and a king after the Lord’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). God later promised David a Son-King who would reign upon his throne forever, this Son-King being Jesus (Luke 1:32-33).
Against Sin and Death, we are not frightened warriors afraid to fight, we are enchained slaves unable to fight. We need a rescuer to take down our Goliath, one who does not fight with the strength and weapons of men but one who fights in the strength and power of God. We need someone to slay the giant and cut off the head of Sin and Death.
We need Jesus. He is the one who put himself between us and the giant. He is the one who took on our sin and death. He is the one who frees us from enslavement. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Free indeed. As Hebrews 2:14-15 says, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, [Jesus] himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
Our freedom is found not in trying to fight our own battle, but in standing behind the great Shepherd of God’s sheep who rushed headlong into battle and took down Goliath.
This post is part of our on going journey through the Bible as a church.