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

Feedback:
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Penny Lee 10/11/2010 12:53
RF,

Christianity does not disturb me - religion does! Because religion can be a fixed idea about anything, even those whose atheism is their religion and they are aggressive in their need to put down others who believe in God. People use religion as an excuse to force their will on others because what else could they use as an excuse? There isn't anything. They try to justify what they are doing by claiming it is from a higher source - but there is only one higher source and that is God. And He certainly doesn't fill people with aggression and hatred. Only one other culprit for that, satan.

I am disturbed by other faiths, particularly Islam, because there is nothing about love in it anywhere. Other faiths may not be troublesome but they take people away from God towards worshipping false gods. It is all about power. Jesus had all the power of God at his disposal but he didn't use it to hurt people or force his will on them. Neither did he say they were to extract themselves from the world and live in distant communes. That is the whole point of Christianity - it can't be forced on anyone as it requires a change of heart brought about by personal conviction. You cannot be a Christian just by believing the Bible to be true, believing in the existence of God, giving generously to church and charities or just by saying you are a Christian to fit in with that section of society. God is not fooled, even if we often are. He knows the motives of our hearts and knows every child that belongs to him. On the outside, one Christian may look the same as another but one may be truly a child of God while the other is one day revealed not to be. Compare that to Islam - you are accepted as a Muslim simply by saying you are one. In more oppressive countries, you may need to dress like one and have to forcibly adhere to other 'rules and restrictions'. Nothing there about a genuine change of heart. It's all about doing what the clerics demand.

Just remember that all true Christians had to, at some point in their lives, make a definite and personal decision to follow Christ. They had a previous non-Christian life to compare to their new one and could see for themselves the incredible difference experienced when they turned to God. I was very happy as a child and young adult but I'd never, never, never go back because my life was transformed when I accepted God and no-one can even begin to understand in what ways until they experience it for themselves.
Martin Lisemore 10/11/2010 18:58
Exactly, Andrea.

I can only add, non-believers see only the church and not the Body. The believe the Bishop whom I told to raze his cathedral to the ground, sell of the land and begin again in the market place, had nothing to offer people, no Gospel and no Jesus. Just church.
RF (Guest) 10/11/2010 19:53
Peter surely an intelligent person evaluates all the relevant facts available and then makes a decision. Evaluation in the 21st century has the benefit of facts and information not available to those in much earlier centuries, hence my comment about 'take'.

Let us agree to disagree about the relevance of religion; my conclusions regarding it have been made after much deliberation and whether I am right or wrong I have to stand up for what I believe.If fresh information, rather than wishful thinking, forces a rethink I will duly reconsider matters.

Andrea it is fashionable to describe atheists as aggressive but there is no credible basis for that view other than perhaps there might be a few out of the many that could be described as such. Am I aggressive? Is Richard Dawkins aggressive in your experience? RD is a gentleman although not all Christians with vested interests will agree.


Penny Lee 10/11/2010 20:35
RF,

I am not for a minute saying all atheists are aggressive but these are the ones who get into the media and so are the ones we tend to hear the most from. You do not come across to me as aggressive either but I can't say the same for RD. He is aggressive and at times condescending or downright insulting. I would never call an atheist 'stupid' 'woolly-minded' 'brain-washed' or any of the other comments frequently thrown at us. Bland statements such as "religion causes all the wars in the world" are completely ridiculous. Power-hungry people cause wars and whether or not they attach a 'religious' aspect to it is irrelevant. Countries such as China and North Korea have horrendous human rights issues yet are as secular as it gets. What's to blame there? Yes - egomaniacs who want to control the masses.

If controlling the masses was part of Christianity, then Jesus would have been a religious and political leader of his day, putting others down by oppression and cruelty. Neither would He have let himself be crucified because he certainly had the power to stop it. No, he allowed it to happen because - guess what - he loved us! Enough to let unimaginable torture be carried out on Him so that I could be free today to accept His love and one day go to be with Him forever. That's the God I want to follow - not one who tells me to kill, oppress or control others for his gratification. I don't see this in any other religion or cultural way of thinking.
RF (Guest) 10/11/2010 21:44
I am not aware that RD has stated that religion has caused ALL the wars in the world. Is that what you are saying? Perhaps he did.Have you a reference for that? Certainly religion has caused many aggressive acts and still does. It does little for women and they are about half of the world's population; that's aggressive. I think you are in some deep water regarding the history and causes of aggressive acts in the world and citing China and North Korea does not really help your cause too much.

I note that you would note call atheists wooly - minded and brain washed. Let me tell you that some of them are but that does not help the Christian case too much!

Penny Lee 10/11/2010 23:33
No, I'm not saying that RD has made that particular statement (although it wouldn't surprise me in the least). All I'm saying is that it is probably the most common accusation made against religion of any sort. Religions are very different from each other. Some are inherently evil, others are relatively passive, some are downright weird and everything inbetween. As I said, I loathe 'religion' which, to me, is empty, pointless and an attempt to fill a void which exists in the human soul, which only God can fill.

I stand by what I said about what causes wars - people - nothing more, nothing less. And it happens in 'religious' countries and secular ones, China and N. Korea simply being two examples. I'm sure you've also heard of others saying that if there was no religion there would be no wars - if only that was true! There have been, are, and will be many countries around the world enduring the most awful atrocities which are not linked to any religion, even the most troublesome ones.

I agree with you that many horrors are conducted under the banner of religion because that is the excuse given by those perpetrating the evil. Make no mistake - they don't do it in God's name and they will have to stand before Him like the rest of us and I wouldn't like to be them. They will get the recompense their evil deserves. Christianity, though, is not a religion - it is a personal relationship with God and should, in every case, lead to a gentleness and peace in those who embrace it. However, we are still human and flawed and let both ourselves and God down many times. And yes - some of us are no doubt wooly-minded too - but God loves wooly-minded people as well. Maybe churches are the only place where some strange or unattractive people find acceptance resulting in us perhaps having more than our fair share of them. But the church is for everyone, intellectual or otherwise, magnetic personality or a loner. Jesus accepted them all and so should we.

I enjoy communicating with you RF because you are respectful and I only wish that all atheists (and Christians too) were as able to debate politely without resorting to personal insults or labelling the 'other side' idiots or dangerous.
Peter Carr 11/11/2010 08:31
RF,

The following words are not mine, but God's;


Titus 1:15 (New International Version)

"To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted."




RF (Guest) 11/11/2010 10:18
Although we have just two lines from Peter this time they are loaded with challenge. If I chose to do so I could take it as a personal insult. In reality I do not feel personally insulted. Neither do I feel that the Titus quote is straight from a god and even if it was it is a daft one. When I think of all of the illustrious non believers and contrast them with Peter's line of thinking [he ought to be humble, together with me, during such an exercise]I feel sadness that religion has got such an emotional grip on his mind.
Peter Carr 11/11/2010 10:37
RF,

I am glad that you decided not to be insulted, as they are not my words, but God's. Can I kindly remind you that true Christians are not born that way, but at some point in their lives take a decision to follow Jesus. I did so at the age of 37, and have never looked back. My reality now is very different to one that I used to have.

To quote Andrea above, "Just remember that all true Christians had to, at some point in their lives, make a definite and personal decision to follow Christ."

Andrea and I, along with about 2 billion others throughout the world are in that happy position today,and the wonderful truth is that 1000's are joining us every single day, despite the persecution that Christianity has, and continues to suffer today.
RF (Guest) 11/11/2010 14:00
Thank you Peter. Loath as I am to play a numbers game may I remind you that significant numbers of the educated classes in the developed world have rejected the notion, however comforting, of a caring supernatural being.

I am not patronising you when I say that I admire you, to some extent, in that at least you made a decision and have stuck with it.
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