7. WINNING THE BATTLE WITHOUT HAVING TO FIGHT
Preacher: Felix Ngunjiri Gichuri
Reading: 1 Samuel 17:24-27
In the book of first Samuel chapter 17, we are told of a shepherd boy by the name David who dared to fight a champion called Goliath, a giant, “six cubits and a span” tall (1 Sam. 17: 4) which makes him almost ten feet tall. A giant whose path no one dared to cross. When Goliath of Gath came to the battlefront out of the armies of the Philistines, he dared all, almost to the point of taunting the Israelite army for forty days, spoiling for a fight telling them haughtily that “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together” (1 Samuel 17:10). He believed that there was no man in Israel who could fight him. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid. David moved around the army barracks asking the soldiers many questions about the huge Philistine who was defying the armies of the living God and causing the Israelite army to flee whenever he appeared. “And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And the men of Israel said, have you seen this man that is come up? Surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. And David spoke to the men that stood by him, saying, what shall be done to the man that kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? And the people answered him after this manner, saying, so shall it be done to the man that kills him” (1 Samuel 17:24-27).
David’s questions were passed on by the generals who passed them to the Commander in Chief King Saul who sent for the boy to come to the palace and explain how he could fight the Philistine. No one was able to discourage David the shepherd boy or water down his determination to fight the champion. “And King Saul said to David, you are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for you are but a youth, and he is a man of war from his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33). Even David’s brother Eliab rebuked him: “And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why did you come? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness with?” (1 Samuel 17:28). But David could not be discouraged. He convinced Saul that he was well able to fight the Philistine by talking of his track record: “And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, the LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee” (1 Samuel 17:34-37).
Going Down on Your Way to the Top
David then went down and collected five smooth stones out of the brook and put them in his bag. He then put one of those stones in his sling and drew near to the Philistine at the battlefront. When Goliath saw that he was being challenged by a small boy, he despised David. “When the Philistine looked and saw David, he despised him because he was just a youth, healthy and handsome. He said to David, “Am I a dog that you come against me with sticks?” Then he cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” the Philistine called to David, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts!” (1Sam 17:42-44 [HCSB])
As Goliath and David sized each other in battle, Goliath cursed David with his powerless gods but such a curse from a powerless god had no effect and could not do any harm to David because the Bible says that you cannot curse them whom God has blessed. God had ordered Balaam “not to curse the Israelites, for they have been blessed” (Numbers 22:12). (Num 24:9 [KJV]) Instead of cursing Israel as King Narak had paid him to do, Balaam pronounced about Israel that “Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.” According to Genesis 12:3 God says to Abram, “And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
The moment Goliath cursed Israel and her God, according to the covenant-keeping God, Goliath was pronouncing a curse upon himself. Biblically speaking, a dark cloud already hanged over the head of Goliath, the blasphemous Philistine and the curse was already upon him. “David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but 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 will the LORD deliver you into my hand; and I will smite you, and take your head from you; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day to the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47). Suddenly, David ran towards Goliath while swinging the sling with his hand to accelerate the stone to gather momentum. The whole Israelite army waited in bated breath as David ran towards the giant swinging the sling and then he threw the stone towards Goliath. The stone, guided by the Holy Spirit, flew towards the target. The stone was trained by the Holy Spirit to seek and hit Goliath’s forehead through the small opening on Goliath’s helmet and hit the target. It sunk into the giant’s forehead and Goliath fell onto the ground face down. David knew that the giant had been stunned by the stone and could somehow resurrect and he decided to show the whole world that he had killed Goliath. He needed to cut off Goliath’s head but he had no sword. David then climbed on top of Goliath’s body that was lying face down, drew out Goliath’s sword from its sheath and cutoff Goliath’s head. He had killed Goliath. You can imagine the celebration and the shouts of victory of the Israelite soldiers as they pursued the Philistine soldiers and plundered their camp. David went down to the brook to collect the five smooth stones so as to kill Goliath. He planned that after killing the giant, he would stand on his dead body so as to be on top. He had heard what the scriptures say about stepping on what you want to conquer or possess. “For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; Then will the LORD drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.” (Deut 11:22-25 [KJV])
“Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.” (Josh 1:3 [KJV]) The way to the top is from the bottom. Go down on your knees and pray if you want to go to the top.
The Trophy of Goliath’s Head
David took the head of Goliath, lifted the head high as a trophy of victory and walked with a spring around Jerusalem, as women sang praises to him for killing Goliath. Even when he was taken to see the king, he was still excitedly carrying the head trophy under his arm pit with pride, the blood dripping on his clothes and the smell notwithstanding. The same LORD who had delivered him out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear had delivered him out of the hand of the Philistine. And all the assembly of the whole army of Israel knew that “the LORD saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S” (1 Samuel 17:4).
As David continued to uplift the name of the Lord his God with passion and great faith, God uplifted his name in the whole of Israel and people started singing songs of praise to David. “And it came to pass as they came, when David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tablets, with joy, and with instruments of musick. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?” (1 Samuel 18:6-8). God promoted David and made his name to be above that of the king. David then confirmed that God had anointed him to be King of Israel and what was remaining was the day of his inauguration to be king. “And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, That the men of Jabeshgilead were they that buried Saul.” (2 Samuel 2:4) “So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel” (2 Samuel 5:3). When you proclaim that your battles belong to the Lord, He will always give you outright victory regardless of how mighty your enemy is or how weak or few you are. And if you walk worthy of God, He will “deliver you from the power of darkness, and translate you into the Kingdom of His dear Son Jesus” (Colossians 1:13). If you continue pleasing Him, He will anoint you to be king in His kingdom. And the greatest battle to be won is the one to destroy the devil who is already a defeated enemy to them who have a Saviour Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God. “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:13-15
A single angel will get hold of the devil, bind him for a thousand years to stop him from doing anything so that he deceives the nations no more and then cast him into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Rev 20:1-3 [KJV])
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Rev 20:1-10 [KJV])
We have already overcome him. We overcome him daily because we are blood marked and by the confession that we make daily that we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us and died our death that we may live. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Rom 8:37 [KJV])
“We overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of our testimony” (Revelation 12:11) We overcome the devil because we are bought back (redeemed) by the blood of Jesus Christ which He shed at the cross at Calvary and “the Holy Ghost has made us overseers (bishops, shephers), to feed the church of God, which He has purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28). “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
God Commands Everybody to Preach the Gospel that Christ Has Made Us Overcomers
“And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead” (Acts 10:42). “I have written unto you, fathers, because you have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:12-14). When you are bought by the precious blood of Jesus and testify that He is Lord of the living and the dead, then you have overcome the wicked one who is the devil. “For whoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). Our faith has helped us overcome mountains, demons and the world. And because you have conquered the world and the devil through your faith, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). “And in your pathway is life and there is no death” (Proverbs 12:28).
“And to the one who conquers and who continues in my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations,” (Rev 2:26 [NET2])
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev 3:5 [KJV])
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” (Rev 3:12 [KJV])
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev 3:21 [KJV])
We overcome the devil by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony the word of their testimony (the powerful preaching of the gospel is mighty, through God, to pull down strong holds).
They (the accused ones) overcome him, have overcome him, defeated him, triumphed over him, conquered him, we have won the victory over him already.
What power can the accusations of the adversary have when the Lamb of God hath taken away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and when we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus? (Hebrews 10:19.)
The Christian victory is a victory of dependence and of obedience: of dependence on Him without whom they can do nothing; and of obedience to Him: it is in keeping of His commandments there is great reward: and in bearing testimony that the testimony becomes a power and a treasure.
We do not need to fight the devil because he is a defeated foe. We have victory even before the fight. The devil’s fate is under out feet for us to crush him there. Psalm 91:13 says, “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder.” This verse uses lions and adders to represent forces that are strong and fierce. It is literally talking about Satan and his demonic host. If we’re treading on something, it means we’re walking on it. In this case, we are supposed to walk on devils and demons. God told Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you” (Joshua 1:3). God gave the Promised Land to Joshua, but Joshua didn’t possess the land until he took steps to take what was his.
“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet.” (Romans 16:20) God will not bruise the devil for you when he is standing against you. Only after you step on him shall God bruise him for you. When David hit Goliath on the head with a stone, the giant fell down and David had to climb on top of the giant so that the giant was under the soles of his feet. Goliath was not dead yet, he was just knocked out and could wake up if given some first aid. David had to finish him off by drawing out Goliath’s sword from its sheath and cutoff Goliath’s head. He had killed Goliath. God helped David bruise the enemy when David put the enemy under his feet.
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:19-20 [KJV])