18. PRIDE LEADS TO DESTRUCTION.
I Samuel 17:42-44 - "And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. So the Philistine said to David, 'Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?' And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, 'Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!'"
Goliath was a champion on the battle field. He was huge in every way--including pride. In a "normal" fight, he would have destroyed David, but this was no ordinary battle. God gave the victory to the man who was humble and who trusted in Him, not self. Goliath's arrogance was fatal. "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Prov. 16:18). Is this a lesson you have learned, friends?
19. THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD.
I Samuel 17:47 - "Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hands."
David knew who was in control of the battle. He knew who would give victory. Today the battle still belongs to the LORD and He gives victory to those with living faith! God can bring victory and success when defeat and loss seem unavoidable, but we must trust Him and do His will.
20. CONFIDENCE & FEAR ARE BOTH CONTAGIOUS.
I Samuel 17:51,52 - "Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell along the road to Shaaraim, even as far as Gath and Ekron."
For forty days, one man had terrified the entire army of Israel. However, once Goliath was slain by the young man David, suddenly Israel's confidence skyrocketed. They attack and have great success. In truth, Goliath was only one man and would not have made a significant difference in the outcome of the battle had Israel attacked the Philistines on the first day of taunting. But, because of one man they had allowed fear and lack of trust in God to paralyze them. Thankfully, David changed all of that. May we, like him, be a spreader of confidence in what is good and proper.
21. ENVY OFTEN LEADS TO EXTREME BEHAVIOR.
I Samuel 22:16-19:
"And the king said, 'You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father's house!' Then the king said to the guards who stood about him, 'Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled and did not tell it to me.' But the servants of the king would not lift their hands to strike the priests of the LORD. And the king said to Doeg, 'You turn and kill the priests!' So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck the priests, and killed on that day eighty-five men who wore a linen ephod. Also Nob, the city of the priests, he struck with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and donkey and sheep--with the edge of the sword."A bitter mind leads to bitter fruit. Saul had 85 priests (plus their families) executed because they gave some minor assistance to David when he fled away from Saul! Can you believe it? This is extreme behavior motivated by envy. May we guard our minds against envy today by learning contentment (cf. Phil. 4:6-13).