Christian Life 

David and Goliath: an end-time view

As the return of Jesus Christ draws ever-nearer so will the powers of darkness muster all that they can muster to defeat the purpose of God. The Bible tells us that these attempts will fail, but the conflict will be immense.

extracts by Hadyn Olsen

davidgoliathRecently, after reading the account of this historic meeting between David and Goliath, I was struck by the significance of it's message concerning the end time period that we are entering into.

Far more than a children's story, this account speaks of the collision of two kingdoms. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.

There are a number of times in the Scriptures that we witness such a dramatic encounter between these two kingdoms. We may think of the time of Moses and the exodus from Egypt, the plagues and the Red Sea. We may think of Joshua and Jericho - or Elijah on Mt. Carmel. Then of course there is the Lord Jesus Himself and the many occasions of His demonstrating the kingdom.

We are coming to a time when we shall witness another great collison between God's kingdom and Satan's. No doubt it shall be as great, if not greater than all the others that have preceded it. And it shall be a time when once again, God displays His all-surpassing greatness and dominion over Satan.

To this end our spirit's cry, 'Come Lord Jesus'.

As we read in 1 Sam. 17 of the battle between David and Goliath we can first of all see that there are three principal characters which may represent three different peoples.

Firstly there is Goliath and the Philistines. They represent the world, or more specifically unredeemed, rebellious man. There is something about them which may be encompassed by the term, 'The spirit of this age'.
There they stand, full of defiance and mockery. Wilfully and arrogantly railing accusations upon God and His people. They represent man, in the fullness of self power and self glory.

We may notice in the description of Goliath that there is reference to the number six. The number of man. He was six cubits in height, he had six pieces of armour, and his spearhead weighed six hundred shekels.
We could say that he represents everything that the term 'anti-christ' may speak of, as he stands there mocking all that is of God and calling God's people into battle.

As we look out out upon the world today we can see Goliath readying himself again. We can hear the challenges ringing out saying, 'Where is your God' and the accusations pouring forth to belittle the church and call her to war. This has always been the very essence of that antichrist spirit.

The second character in this story is King Saul and his army. This group represent the people of God, but they are the people of God under the dominion of the flesh.

They are a defeated company. They stand there facing Goliath, fearful, intimidated and without anointing or strength from God. We may ask, 'Why is this?.. How can it be?'

How can the people of God find themselves in this kind of a situation and such a condition? The answer is, that although they are the people of God they are still ruled and controlled by the spirit of this world. They are under the dominion of King Saul - the flesh.

Let us take a look at them.

They stand there in all their wordly armour. They are fitted out with everything that the world counts for something. They have their horses and chariots and weapons of flesh - and of course they have their king who stands so tall above the rest. They look just like all the other nations in so many ways.

I cannot help wondering how many of our denominations and church organisations are just like the armies of Saul. They are full of the ways of the world and their strength comes from money, organisation, and the power of the flesh. We see in them the same spirit of this world that promotes itself with gimmicks, sales techniques and all manner of human ability.

There is also another characteristic that is common to the Saul church. That is, disobedience to the word of the Lord.

King Saul cared more for the outward appearances of success and power than for obedience to God's word. He would obey God as long as it suited him and as long as it didn't threaten his own ambitions and desires to be successful in the eyes of the people.

It is the same today in the denominations. Success power and outward appearances are the most important considerations. God's will and His purposes are often compromised for the sake of human interest and human traditions.

For that reason they will stand alone on that day that Goliath confronts them. They will discover that Goliath is far stronger in terms of this world than they are themselves, and they will realise that they are no match for him.
How frightening it will be on that day... although today they are so full of their own strength and hypnotised by their own praises and positive confessions.

Thank God there is a third group in this story. It is the group that is characterised by David.

Yes, David was one of the people of God. But he wasn't a part of Saul's army. In the same way today there is a third group. Tbey are scattered around. They have no special organisation or place to call their own. Yet they have two distinguishing characteristics that set them apart; They have a heart after God and... they are not of King Saul.

This David company, like David of old, is small, insignificant, unimpressive and unimportant. Yet God's hand is upon them.
David was out in the wilderness tending his sheep when the call came to enter into the battle lines. He was doing that which God has placed in his care - even though it was insignificant and outwardly of little importance.

David knew nothing of Saul's ways. He hadn't been in any of Saul's training schools. He didn't know how to even polish his armour let alone wear it into battle...

But this is God's way. He always takes the lowly things, the foolish things, and the things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.

Likewise God is preparing a people today. They are nothing now. Some have left denominations, some are still amongst them wondering why it is that they no longer feel a part of it all any more. They can no longer get excited by the latest seminar or out-reach. Instead they sigh and groan at the lack of God's presence in the church, and they are grieved by the way human power has filled the gap.

When David arrived on the scene, he had no organisation backing him. There were no credentials or any such thing. There was only the anointing. God knew where He wanted David to be. God brought things together as He always does.... in the fullness of time.

David could stand before Goliath because God was with him. Nothing more and nothing less. His spirit was stirred against this monster. David was not afraid. He knew that there was one far greater who was standing with him.

When David spoke to Goliath to challenge him, it was not so much David speaking as God Himself speaking. When David took the stone and placed it in his sling, again it was God choosing and preparing.

When David sent his stone flying toward it's mark.. it was God guiding it to just the right place. Such is the way with all true ministry. It is God in man doing the work and bringing forth the fruit.

God desires a people who are dead to man's ways... He is preparing a people who will wait for Him, and move as He moves them, and who will work according to His power that works in them mightily.
It may take Him a long time to get a man or woman to that place... yet God has time.

That day is coming when that great conflict will arrive. Which company will we be a part of? Will it be Goliath's? or King Saul's?... or will it be David's? It may be hard to say right now, but the day will declare it. Nothing is surer... That day will declare it... For then we shall find ourselves in the place that our hearts have chosen.

Let us call upon the Lord today, while it is still today... asking Him to change our hearts and take us into that David company. May we seek to learn to walk with God and be faithful unto all that He may call us to do. May we learn the ways of humility and be satisfied with simply living before Him each day. May we also be careful to remain free from the ways of King Saul.

Praise God for His all-surpassing greatness and glory.

Hadyn Olsen, 26/10/2010

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(Guest) 30/10/2010 20:59
Hi gents!
I have appreciated reading the comments from each of you. Part of my summer holiday reading was the excellent volume: Sounds from Heaven - the revival on the Isle of Lewis, 1949-52. There are a number of things that have impacted me from the book - and that are, I suspect, essential to any significant move of God the Holy Spirit in our midst, and in our day.
The first of these is, unsurprisingly, prayer! I was preaching on the subject before a local Fellowship a couple of weeks ago, and quoted from the book - "Many of us pray just enough to ease the conscience, but not enough to win any decided victory. We are playing at praying." (p.129) The gospel of a broken heart, demands the ministry of bleeding hearts. True intercession is sacrifice." (p.131) I fear that it is a fact that the prayer meeting has rarely been the best-attended meeting of any congregation/fellowship. Sadly, it is now the case that there seem to be few congregations/fellowships where such an opportunity is even in the church calendar!
The second thing that appears to be essential is a desire for personal holiness. In Lewis, as a group of men were waiting on God in "the barn", one rose, opened his Bible to Ps.24 and read "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart." "He then said, 'It seems to be worthless to be gathered here night after night seeking God as we are doing, if our hands are not clean and our hearts are not pure. O God, are my my hands clean? Is my heart pure?' At that moment the presence of God flooded the place ..." (p.112)
The third thing is an acceptance of the sovereignty of God! Not in any 'fatalistic' manner. Duncan Campbell, as quoted in the book, put it succinctly and, I believe, very accurately, when he said "I believe in the sovereignty of God, but I do not believe in a sovereignty that nullifies man's responsibility." (p.102) God will move in His own perfect timing - but we are called to pursue personal holiness, and to pray fervently (James 5:16b - remembering that we, who are His, are covered with the righteousness of the Lord Jesus!).
Didn't mean to go on as long as that - but perhaps even that has some significance!!!
Brian Ross 30/10/2010 21:02
Sorry for having posted as a guest. I was logged in, but forgot to type the code when I submitted the post! It would appear that I was then logged out! Sorry!
RF (Guest) 30/10/2010 22:19
Where is the convincing evidence for Satan gentlemen/women? What is this Satan? When did you last see, hear or perceive Satan in a way that would convince a rational person to take 'Satan' even half seriously?
Satan does not exist as far as I can see, or hear, or touch, or smell or imagine. And I read science fiction. I dream and wonder but the concept of Satan will not come without first laughter then sorrow for those that believe in such a thing. Then comes anger towards those people that have made it up or enouraged the tale.

If Satan does exist then that puts God between a rock and a hard place.It would supply evidence that God is either cruel, for permitting such a creation, or less powerful than claimed because of a lack of ability to prevent the existence of this Satan.Cue roll out of human free will to tackle 'Satan' maybe? How convenient.
Penny Lee 30/10/2010 22:38

You don't even need to look any further than to an article on this website. Type the name Laura Maxwell into the search box at the top of the page and the first item is the one to which I refer.

One point I would make though is that if you can't accept the existence of God then you are guaranteed to also reject the existence of satan.
Brian Ross 31/10/2010 21:19
Why do people who appear not to believe in anything that is supernatural bother with web-sites such as this? Is it merely to provide you with an opportunity to propagate your own lack of spiritual awareness?

Where do you get this idea that only that which is tangible can exist? What a sad world you must inhabit with no love; no beauty; no justice; no compassion; etc., etc. When did you ever see the wind? Have you ever touched a x-ray? And if I were to go down the line of quantum physics - well, you would be hard-pressed to introduce me to a scientist who has seen, heard, touched, or smelled a quark.

You do add an interesting word to your own list of 'requirements' - the word "imagine"! Are you not hoisting yourself on your own petard? How can that which is merely imagined have any tangible qualities and/or characteristics?

Shakespeare's character, Hamlet, makes the valid point that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Hamlet, Act 1 scene 5).

Naive, or arrogant? You have a better knowledge of you than I am ever likely to have, so I'll leave it to you to decide! Meanwhile, we can pray for you that you will be moved from the kingdom of darkness, to the glorious Kingdom of Light.
RF (Guest) 31/10/2010 22:40
Thank you Brian for a good response. I will answer your questions:
[1] Why do I appear...Just as the church preaches to the unbelievers in the hope of converts I attempt the reverse effect whilst at the sametime am fascinated by the existence of faith without evidence. I am also aghast at the representation, and therefore influence/power, religion has in the House of Lords

[2]Where do you get the idea that only tangible...I don't. But I do expect some reasonable evidence for something as 'immense' as the concept of Satan. I think that somethings demand proof or at least a grain of credibility; not that it was always the case, afterall I believed in Santa Claus until I was six years old.

[3] You do add an interesting word... Yes indeed perhaps I should have used the word perceive or some such instead of imagine.
[4] Shakespeare...I am very sure that there are lots of things we do not know and nothing I have said really suggests that I think otherwise. Indeed as a general point I think it fair to say that the more we learn the more we realise how much we do not know; in my view at least none of that negates what I have said within my piece. The world is a mixture of chaos and order, beauty and ugliness; it is an exciting and challenging place to be. I am striving to make the best of my one shot at it, in the here and now, with little fear of what is down the line unless it is intense physical pain beyond the help of a medical doctor, rather than a peaceful end.

Penny Lee 31/10/2010 23:41

You sound like an intelligent man who thinks deeply about things. Can you honestly say that you don't ever think about what might happen to you after death? And if you firmly believe that death is the end, then what evidence have you to back up that 'faith'?

You say, "I am striving to make the best of my one shot at it, in the here and now". What is the point of striving if it is only for the here and now? How depressing a thought! I would imagine that that would lead many to a purely selfish aim to get for themselves as much as they can as that is all there is to aim for. Some people are born into misery, live their life in misery and die in misery. What is the point of that? In these cases, would you rather not have been born at all or just end your life as you can see no other way to end that misery?

I have had a pretty good life so far, but not without problems beyond my control - poor health, permanent severe pain, a mentally-retarded brother and, worst of all, lost a brother to a roadside bomb in Iraq four years ago. Should I be angry with the God that says he loves me? No! I love him all the more because I know this is not the end and, because my brother loved God (and the army is not an easy place to be a Christian), I know I will see him again in a place where there is no more pain, emotional or physical. If I had believed that this world is all there is, I think I'd have taken my own life too in the last few difficult years. I'm glad to say, though, that I had another source of comfort beyond description or human understanding. One which carried me through days when I thought I would die from grief - but I didn't - I live on and see God everywhere. How I wish that others like yourself could have that joy too. It's not until you accept God into your life that you get all the evidence that you will ever need. It's 'accept and see' not 'see and accept'. That's what faith is and it satisfies like nothing else can.
Brian Ross 06/11/2010 00:51
I haven't been into the site for a few days, and I don't want you to think that you are the object of everyone's opprobrium!! However, in your last post, you state that you are "... fascinated by the existence of faith without evidence." May I respectfully point out that 'faith' that comes WITH evidence is not 'faith'! Whether, or not, you accept the supernatural inspiration of the written Word of God (the Bible), I think that you will agree that the writer of the Letter to Hebrew disciples of Jesus got it right when he said that "... faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Heb 11:1; RSV)

RF (Guest) 10/11/2010 08:39
Thank you Brian.Yes let us differ in peace and leave the endless problems associated with Christianity on a back burner. One final point [yes, I can be irritating]Christians are not feminists are they? Look at Timothy; I did so over my porridge and it stuck to my throat along with a coating of brown sugar. You may prefer salt.

I am not trying to be 'funny' in that last paragraph it is just that Christianity disturbes me, as do all the other 'great' faiths of the world,and it results in personal uneasiness,frustration and bewilderment at their 21st century [!} take on things.
Peter Carr 10/11/2010 11:09

Christianity is not about our take on things in this century, or any other. It is about God's revealed will to us through Jesus Christ His Son the only Saviour to all who come to Him in true repentance, seeking and receiving forgiveness with our Creator in His name alone. (Forgiveness for our sin and rebellion).

When this is done the individual adopts an entirely different world view (God's), and only then does the Holy Bible become relevant as God's Spirit reveals God's truth, which crosses all the centuries, and every other barrier that you can imagine!!

Acts 2:38 (New International Version)

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

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