By Phillip G. Kayser at DCC on 1-9-2011
When you looked at your bulletins, you may have wondered a little bit about the title to this sermon – "The Violent Take it By Force"? Well, that title is a quotation taken from Matthew 11:52. And admittedly it is a very controversial passage. Should Christianity really be violent? Well, it depends on what you mean by that. I certainly do not mean the kind of violence that has happened in the news this past week. That is evil. I certainly don't mean domestic violence, or violent tempers. But there is a kind of violence that Jesus calls us to. We must be violent in our resistance to our own sin nature. Hebrews 12:4 rebukes some by saying, "You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin." It is a metaphorical striving, but the point is that we must be violent in our resistance to our sins. We must be violent in our hatred for Satan. We must be violent in metaphorically burning and destroying anything that hinders us from running the race, or possessing the kingdom. In fact, the great preacher Charles Spurgeon said that without some violence, you are not even a Christian. And the reason he said that was because the parallel passage in Luke 16:16 says that everyone who enters the kingdom does so forcefully [and it is the same Greek word for violent] - everyone. So before we look at 1Samuel 17 again, let me give a brief exposition of why this title must be one that you embrace, and why every one of us needs to imitate David in our spiritual warfare.
In Matthew 11:12 Jesus said, "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it." That's a watered down NIV version, but it is accurate. The NKJV uses a bit more aggressive translation when it speaks of both the kingdom and those who enter the kingdom as being violent – the violent lay hold of it. One other translation says, "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been breaking forth, and those who break forth are seizing it." But it doesn't matter which way you translate that – being forceful, breaking forth, or being violent, it is a call to war with all our might, and to not be passive.
In fact, that's exactly what Jesus goes on to confront: passivity. The next verses talk about others who claimed to be in the kingdom but who weren't willing to be forceful or violent; weren't willing to break things up, or to press forward. Instead, here is Christ's description of those people:
But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: "We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not lament.'
These children are saying, "How come you aren't playing with us and pretending?" Jesus is indicating that whereas the kingdom is characterized by visionary aggressiveness, these others who pretend to be in the kingdom are only play-acting. They are not getting out there and doing anything.
And that, brothers and sisters, is the contrast that I see in 1Samuel 17. For forty days the army has been playing soldier; they have lined up; they have blown the trumpet; they have yelled; but no one has gone out to fight. And when David shows up, he is bothered by that fact. Now Eliab his brother is not bothered by it. He is bothered that David is bothered. But there were those who found themselves saying "Yes!" to David. Chapter 18:1 says that even before David went onto the battlefield, his words of faith rekindled a fire in Jonathan's breast, and he loved him. He could see that David had a kindred spirit.
And you might say, "If Jonathan was a kindred spirit, why didn't he go out and fight?" You may remember that some years back in chapter 14 Jonathan had the same spirit David did, when he and his armor bearer took on a whole garrison of Philistines – just the two of them. It's a remarkable story of faith. When he knew God was guiding him to do it, he was bold. And he won. But over the years, even Jonathan had this spirit sucked out of him by the attitudes of his father. It's so easy for this to happen. We can start off with a Matthew 11:52 zeal, and over time become passive.
But what is encouraging to me is that all it took to rekindle that flame in Jonathan and make him want to sign up was David's passionate expression of faith. And as we will see in coming weeks, David's faith made an ever-growing contingent of Jews yearn for God's glory and to begin to exhibit the same visionary aggressiveness that David did. Just like any one of you can spread discouragement and disaffection in this church, any one of you can rekindle those old attitudes of faith in the congregation as well. Faith spreads. That's why the New Testament speaks of growing from faith to faith. Your faith helps to kindle faith in others. Well, enough by way of introduction.
Deal with feelings of intimidation through affirmations of faith (v. 48a with vv. 45-47)
There are just going to be four points in this sermon that teach us how to have a Matthew 11:52 faith. First, there are those feelings of intimidation that we can easily experience. Think of the intimidation in verse 48 – "So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David…" The fact that he arose and came means that he was sitting down waiting to see if anyone else would come. Earlier he didn't even bother to stand up when he was arguing with David. He didn't take David seriously. He was insulted. But when it looked like David was not going to run away, he stands up. And David got a full view of Goliath's glory and power. Goliath was almost ten feet tall (and that's on the short cubit). He was almost twice as tall as David and more than twice as broad. He's wearing over two hundred pounds of armor. His sword is massive. His spear is like a weaver's beam. This guy is intimidating.
And what happens when we get intimidated? Our mouth goes dry, we get tongue-tied, our thoughts get confused, and we start focusing on how much in trouble we really are. That is natural. And the moment our focus goes there, our faith begins to dwindle. It's like Peter walking on the water. He did fine as long as he focused on Christ, but as soon as he started focusing on how terrifying the waves were, he lost his faith and began to sink. (And parenthetically, let me just throw in here that it wouldn't have been faith for Peter to try to walk on water if Jesus had not commanded him to. That's why Peter said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." Without Christ's command it would have been presumption. And it wouldn't have been faith for David to face this giant if God had not called him to do so. Faith is always founded on Scripture. And in a previous sermon we looked at the Scriptures that gave him faith to fight Goliath. We won't get into that this morning.)
But here's the point - even when God has commanded you to do something, it is still easy to get fearful and intimidated. Why was David able to come with faith and not be intimidated by the odds that were stacked against him? It was because of what he had been doing in verses 45-47. We already covered those verses in a previous sermon, so I won't dwell on them too long. But David had been making affirmations of faith. And I believe David made them with emotion. He was concentrating his faith with every fiber of his being. He had vehemence in his voice. He was taking the kingdom with violence. "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied." OK? He is reminding Himself of the power of God's name, the presence of God's angelic armies, and the glory of God's causes. David did this as much for his own benefit as he did for the benefit of those who were listening. He continues in verse 46 to remind himself and anyone who will listen that God had already promised (through previous revelation) to deliver David. "This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 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." That got Goliath on his feet. But David reminded himself of God's greatness, God's covenant, God's promises, and God's commands. And instead of rehearsing in his mind all the reasons why he could lose (which kills our faith), he affirms and reaffirms his victory.
How do you face intimidation in your war against Satan? The same way David did – you affirm the Scriptures. How do you keep from getting intimidated by the enormity of the fight against your besetting sins? You affirm the Scriptures. And I encourage you to do it with real emotion. When tempted to sin say, "No! No! I am not going to do that because God says, "This is the will of God for you, even your sanctification." Don't be polite in your interactions with sin – be vehement. When you are tempted to give up, grab yourself and say, "What's the matter with you? You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin" (Heb. 12:4). When you are tempted to feel lonely and overwhelmed and to give up, you tell yourself, "Snap out of it, self! God has promised, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.' There is no reason for you to be depressed!" Sometimes in the Psalms David told himself to cut it out when he would get depressed. He shook himself by the collar and said, "Why are you cast down O my soul. Hope in God." That's taking the kingdom with violence. It's refusing to give in.
When Satan tells you, "No one else has gone through what you are going through – go ahead and feel sorry for yourself," tell him, "Get behind me Satan. You are slandering God who said, "No trial has overtaken me except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I am able, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that I may be able to bear it." These giants are defying God and slandering God's name just as surely today as Goliath did back then. When your flesh tempts you to say, "Give it up. It's impossible," tell your flesh to shut up, and make affirmations that you will conquer that sin because, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13), and "with God nothing will be impossible" (Luke 1:37). I think you get the point. Intimidation can easily kill our faith and deflect us from obeying God. But when you feel it coming on, start quoting God's commands, His promises, and His character. Start reminding yourself that God is within you. And do it with violence. Hudson Taylor once said, "All God's giants have been weak men, who did great things for God because they believed that God would be with them." I love the words of C.T. Studd:
Too long have we been waiting for one another to begin! The time of waiting is past! The hour of God has struck! War is declared! In God's Holy Name let us arise and build! ‘The God of Heaven, He will fight for us', as we for Him. We will not build on the sand, but on the bedrock of the sayings of Christ, and the gates and minions of hell shall not prevail against us. Should such men as we fear? Before the world, aye, before the sleepy, lukewarm, faithless, namby-pamby Christian world, we will dare to trust our God, we will venture our all for Him, we will live and we will die for Him, and we will do it with His joy unspeakable singing aloud in our hearts.
Don't be half-hearted to obey God's call (v. 48b-49)
David ran (v. 48b) – no procrastination
Point II – don't be half-hearted when you fight your battles. In these verses we see three ways that David illustrates this second point. First, David did not put things off – he ran. Verse 48 says, "So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine." When we drag our feet in slaying lust, we give it a chance to conquer us. What led David into sin with Bathsheba later on in his life? It wasn't his first sight of her. It was his refusal to instantly slam the door of his mind on lust. It was his failure to label it an enemy and destroy it immediately. If you have struggles with impulse purchases, don't peruse catalogues; don't go window-shopping in the stores. Kill the covetousness before it gets the better of you. If the world, the flesh, or the devil find that you have a tendency to wait, to dawdle, to negotiate, to play around the edges of sin, or to procrastinate in your warfare, they know that you will never get the victory.
The problem with many people who keep falling into sin is that they really don't hate their sin. Think of it this way - when a bumblebee flies in through the open window of your car, you're probably not going to be nonchalant about it. (At least I wouldn't. I don't like bees flying around in the car.) You're going to try to get that thing out of the car or kill it. Are you a person who procrastinates in dealing with your problems, or do you instantly battle them?
David engaged (v. 49a) – didn't pit trust (vv. 46-47) against the use of means (v. 49)
Secondly, David engaged the enemy with the tools he had at hand. Verse 49 says, "Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead…" In a previous sermon we already saw that a sling was a deadly weapon. He didn't go in unarmed.
And this brings up an interesting point – trust is never passive. Throughout this passage it is clear that David's trust is not in his sling. His trust is in the Lord. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't use his sling and later use Goliath's sword. Trust in the Scripture is never pitted against the use of means.
So if you have a financial giant that you are facing, don't passive wait for God to bail you out. Run at the problem and use all the means at your disposal. Get out your calculator, figure out what expenses you can cut, what extra jobs you can work, what refinancing might do. Get financial counseling from the deacons. You engage the problem, not ignore it. Too many people are passive when it comes to their giants. They fail to actually engage the enemy.
As another side note, it is important to realize that there is more than one way to engage sin. There are times when you hold your ground. But when a temptation is particularly powerful, Scripture calls for a tactical retreat until you can get reinforcements. 1Corinthians 6:18 says, "flee sexual immorality." 2Timothy 2:22 says, "Flee also youthful lusts." 1Corinthians 10:14 says, "flee from idolatry." There are times when you flee and only come back in the presence of friends or accountability partners. I don't think David would have taken on Goliath if the Israelite army had not been behind him. Crazy is different than stupid. It may seem crazy to take on Goliath, but it would have been stupid to take on twenty thousand soldiers. So fleeing doesn't mean you ignore the problem. Recognizing the enemy, you start strategizing on how to engage the enemy with more resources and how to take him out.
David put everything into it (v. 49b) – didn't hold back
The third subpoint that shows that David was not half-hearted is that he put everything he had into this battle. He didn't hold back. Verse 49 continues: he "struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth." Notice how he struck him. It was "so that the stone sank into his forehead." Some people think that an angel had to have given that stone such force. No. No. No. A person who is skilled with a sling could throw a smooth stone the size of a tennis ball more than 1500 feet at speeds exceeding 250 miles per hour. It takes practice to throw the stone this hard. And David had been putting practice into throwing stones effectively, as we discovered with his encounters with bears and lions. There was a lot of work that went into making him successful on this day.
Practice is preventive medicine in our fight against sin as well. And too many Christians don't practice. They sin, then confess, then sin, then confess, then sin, then confess, ad infinitum. They never put effort into preventive medicine. They never put effort into the disciplines of fasting, memorizing, meditation, prayer, putting up hedges, getting accountability partners, etc. In other words, they aren't serious about fighting their sin. They are not the violent ones who take the kingdom of God with force. They just keep living in this cycle of sin and regret.
Now I admit that sometimes it's not fun to do the practice of spiritual slinging. D.L. Moody once said, "Obedience means marching right on whether we feel like it or not. Many times we go against our feelings. Faith is one thing, feeling is another." God didn't say practice if you feel like it.
Of course, once the giant was before David, he put everything into his throw as well. His previous practice and provision enabled him now to throw with all his might and make that first rock count. He had four backup rocks in case the first one didn't take, but he gave it his all, and saw God come through for him.
Don't stop before the battle is done (vv. 50-52)
He hit him (v. 50a)
So point one was to overcome the feelings of intimidation by affirmations of faith. Point two was to actually engage the enemy and put your all into the battle. Point three is: "don't stop before the battle is done." Don't stop prematurely.
David first of all hit the giant. Verse 50 says, "So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him." We will see in verse 51 that the phrase "and killed him" was done with the sword. But here I just want to comment on the fact that David hit him with a stone. When you fight against your anger, or your bitterness, or your pride, or some other besetting sin, do you actually hit it? Praying against it is not hitting your giant. Telling yourself to quit it is not hitting your giant. For every sin there is a stone that must connect with the flesh.
For example, if you've got pride, then you need to give yourself homework that will crucify your pride. When I started taking on the giant of pride in my life, I would sling stones at my pride by deliberately humbling myself before others. For example, one stone was that I confessed my sins to a prayer partner. I did embarrassing things, like telling lots of people when I did poorly on an exam, and saying nothing when I did well. I would give gifts anonymously so that my pride would not get puffed up. I tried to make every rock connect. And when those things hurt, you know the rock has connected, but you also know that the giant of pride is still alive. Yeah you've hit him with a rock, but he is still alive if he's hurting.
When you have a giant of selfishness that God has exposed and told you to conquer, pick up five rocks of homework (as it were), and if the first rock doesn't help, keep at the giant with the other rocks. One rock might be to deliberately put others first when it comes to food. Let them take the big cookie. Let everyone else choose their favorite chocolate before the box of chocolates gets passed to you. When it's time to line up at the food table, go last. Those are smooth stones to crucify selfishness. And there are many similar stones that you can use. When there is a toy that you can't bear the thought of anyone else touching, realize that's selfishness and deliberately share it for a day with someone else. Make your rocks connect. Too many Christians are only play actors in their wars. They never actually hit Goliath.
He struck off his head (v. 50b-51)
The second thing that David did was to cut off Goliath's head. He wasn't taking any chances that this giant might get up again. Starting in the last part of verse 50: "But there was no sword in the hand of David. 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." Hitting Goliath with the stone was not enough; David wanted Goliath dead.
Have you cut off the heads of the monsters within you or are you content to throw stones from afar? Sometimes this issue of sanctification is messy. It involves confessing things to people that will be humiliating. It involves restitution. It involves commitments. It involves doing things in a way where you can't go back. It involves burning your bridges. How serious are you in your battles? Are you just trying to weaken the giants but hope that they will stick around for a while?
I remember many years ago counseling a couple where the woman had committed adultery and had been caught. She confessed with tears. It's easy to confess when you've already been caught. But when I insisted that if she was serious in conquering this, she would need to burn her bridges, she got nervous. And when I told her that she had to reveal the name of the man she had committed adultery with, turn over her keys to his apartment, sign a letter right then and there that would cut off the relationship and reveal to him what was going on, she absolutely refused. And actually, I followed that up by saying that we ought to call him up right now and tell him that we know, and that we are planning to build hedges so that this won't happen again. She didn't want to cut the head off the giant. She was just going to be more careful in the future. And as could be guaranteed, she was right back into the adultery.
Contrast that with another couple that I counseled (and by the way, there is no point in trying to guess – you don't know who these are). The guilty party from this couple was not only willing to do those kinds of things, but was willing to have me meet with all four of them – the offended parties and the offenders to strategize how to make sure that there would be hedges in place so that this would never happen again. And it was an awkward, tense meeting. The offended husband wanted to beat the offending man up, and I don't blame him. But the Christian I was counseling really wanted this behind him. He was going for the jugular vein; he was cutting off the head of this giant of lust no matter how uncomfortable it might be; he was seizing the kingdom with violence; he was casting off every weight that beset him. And the result was predictable - success. His quick action killed his Goliath.
He chased the rest of the army (vv. 51b-52)
Point C - David didn't just go after Goliath. He joined with the people of God in chasing the rest of the army. While there are some battles that we must do by ourselves, and they are lonely battles, on most battles we have the encouragement of the body of Christ to stand behind us. Why battle alone when you have the body to help? When you joined DCC you signed a membership covenant that committed you to the one-anothering passages of Scripture. Those passages show that God intended most battles to be shared with others. Starting in the last part of verse 51: "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." These Israelites pushed the Philistines back as far as their capital cities, which were fortresses. They went into the enemy territory. They had finally picked up the philosophy of General Douglas McArthur who said, "War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war there is no substitute for victory." Well, the president didn't like him too well for that. If you think you are never going to conquer your sins, you will never conquer your sins. But what does 1John 5:4-5 say? It says,
1John 5:4 "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith."
1John 5:5 "Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"
He says that everyone who is truly a Christian will overcome the world. If you take those verses as your motto, you will have the faith to push your threefold enemies back to the gates of Ekron and Gath where they won't do you so much damage. But we cannot have a peace treaty with sin. We cannot even hold the line like America did in Korea and Vietnam. General Douglas MacArthur said about that stupid political position:
We could hold in Korea by constant maneuver and in an approximate area where our supply line advantages were in balance with the supply line disadvantages of the enemy, but we could hope at best for only an indecisive campaign with its terrible and constant attrition upon our forces if the enemy utilized its full military potential. I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution. Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said, in effect, that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes. ... But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.
Brothers and sisters, that must be our philosophy in our war against the world, the flesh, and the devil. We cannot embrace pluralism. Instead, we must say "All for Jesus." We cannot make a peace treaty with our flesh. Instead we must be those violent who discipline (or the King James says, who "buffet") our bodies as Paul did in 1Corinthians 9:27, and who bring our bodies into submission to King Jesus. We cannot be apathetic about evil in society. We cannot give up on the worldliness of the church. We must press for reformation. Leonard Ravenhill once said,
The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil.
The man of God does not stop fighting until the battle is done. Which means that every one of you needs to keep fighting against the flesh and strategizing for victory.
Prepare for the future - inherit God's blessings, dare to make new goals, and make memorials of your victories (v. 53-54)
The last point is that David prepared for the future. He knew how to value God's blessings, make new goals, and make memorials to the past. Verses 53-54 say, "Then the children of Israel returned from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their tents." God knows how to provide for his people. The very things that Satan uses to rob us are often the means of enriching us. God gave them restitution. That's why Joseph said to his brothers, "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive" (Gen. 50:20). God can make every battle be a battle that enriches you spiritually, and sometimes even enriches you financially.
It goes on: "And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent." We'll talk more in a later sermon about the confiscation of David's weapons. But here I am primarily wanting to make applications to our spiritual battles. David kept this armor to remind himself and others for years to come that the impossible is possible with God. F. B. Meyer said, "We never test the resources of God until we attempt the IMPOSSIBLE." When new impossibilities came up, David could look at Goliath's shield and sword and scoff at impossibilities. Memorials when rightly done are great encouragers of faith.
And by the way, that is one of the purposes for the Providential History Festival. It is to encourage our faith for the future by looking at God's marvelous provisions in the past. When you, like Jonathan, begin to lose confidence that God's call can be achieved, looking at the faith of a David of the past can reenergize your faith. But David wanted to keep this memory alive so that he would not be tempted to doubt God again. We must learn from history. Part of the problem with our apostate generation is that it has forgotten history. It's even forgotten American history. Most Americans don't even know much about their grandparents' generation. Set up memorials; set up events by which to remind yourself of history. Make an entry in the Providential History Festival. I have found those things to be faith builders.
But there is a fascinating little tidbit that most people skip right over – why did David take the head of Goliath to Jerusalem? Wasn't that a macabre thing to do? That's gross. Well, it's not so gross when you understand who lived in Jerusalem. This was not yet the capital of Israel. Jerusalem was in Jebusite hands and wasn't conquered and occupied by Israel until 2Samuel 5. What is David doing by taking this head to a pagan city? He is anticipating future battles. He brought the head to Jerusalem and deposited it there to let the Jebusites know that their days were numbered too. They might think they had an impregnable city, but they were going to be conquered just as surely as Goliath was. In effect he was saying, "The war is not stopped. We will not rest until every square inch of Canaan belongs to God." It was his declaration of war. And that too is an act of faith.
And this is a great place to end. Never give up. Some people love collecting memorials of what they have accomplished in their life, and they just live in the past. Instead of letting those memorials stir them up to further conquests, they simply admire the memorials and talk about them a lot. But this too violates the spirit of Matthew 11:52. God's blessings and plunder are given for the purpose of advancing Christ's kingdom further. We never stop praying and living the Lord's Prayer – Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
If you have chopped off the head of some major sin problem, or financial problem, or social problem, take that Goliath's head and plop it in front of the next giant that God is calling you to conquer and let that sin or obstacle know that it's days are numbered. Put the enemy on notice that you are one of the forceful ones who will forcefully enter into more and more of God's kingdom – a kingdom that Christ says must eventually be as extensive as the world. In Matthew 13:38 Jesus said that the field of the kingdom is the whole world, and the seed filling the field are the sons of the kingdom.
Let me end by returning to our first discussion of Matthew 11:52. Recently a scholar by the name of Professor David Flusser stumbled onto a Jewish Midrashic interpretation of Micah 2:12-13 that completely opens up this passage. That Jewish interpretation said that God would hem up His sheep in a fenced-in area until Elijah came. That describes the way it was in the Old Testament. The earthly manifestation of the kingdom was tiny. It was restricted to the tiny nation of Israel, and sometimes a tiny remnant of that tiny nation. But this Jewish interpretation of Micah said that at the time of the coming of the Messiah, Elijah would come and forcibly break open a small opening in the pen to let the sheep out of that pen. That's what John the Baptist did. As the sheep, hungry to take over the pastures, rush through the new breach, they start breaking off even more of the fence (same Greek word for violent or forceful – they break off) more and more portions of the fence in their zeal to seize the field.
Are you consumed with such a holy passion? More and more of those kinds of men gathered around David in upcoming chapters. And that army of those who were willing to attempt great things for the kingdom would continue to grow until the army of David became a great army. That is the picture of the growth of the new covenant kingdom. And the question I leave with you is this: Will you be one of the violent ones who will advance the kingdom with everything that is in you? Or will you be like the generation who only wants to play at Christianity? May God raise up more determined Christians like David. Amen.
!(./1Samuel 17_48-54/media/image2.jpeg)!(./1Samuel 17_48-54/media/image3.jpeg)!(./1Samuel 17_48-54/media/image4.png)!(./1Samuel 17_48-54/media/image5.jpeg)The Violent Take It By Force