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Standing Confident in the Midst of Giants

By James F. Gentry Jr.

Standing confident in the midst of giants. It's not the best title for a Father's Day sermon — if you want to call this a Father's Day sermon. The Pianist may not be the best movie to accentuate the joy of fatherhood and the importance of dad's presence in the lives of his children while they are at home in their most formative years. Certainly the story of David and Goliath has nothing to do with Father's Day.

The truth be known the sermon title, the movie, and the ancient story of a little guy whipping a big guy against all odds do have something to do with Father's Day — and life for that fact of the matter. It is Father's Day — yes. But first and foremost it is "The Lord's Day." So is there a word from Him about standing confident in the midst of giants as we parent and live life? Of course there is and I'm glad because fathers and mothers and aunts and uncles and cousins and brothers and sisters face a few giants — every family does. Even the family of faith faces giants. That's right. The church struggles to survive in a world of giants. So how can we, how do we stand confident in the midst of giants and survive like a Polish pianist did?

Enter a young man named David who faced off with a giant of a man named Goliath. It's a remarkable story about a guy who had remarkable faith in a remarkable God. It's the best known of the stories about David. This saga has inspired painters, sculptors, musicians, and poets throughout the ages. This story has served as a metaphor for the possibilities that lie in the underdog. The victory of the USA Women's Gymnastics team at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta was praised by the media as a "David over Goliath" victory. You can think of other examples, can't you? I saw this in the movie I watched with Jackie Friday night.

What I want us to observe today, however, is that 1 Samuel 17 embodies a story that is much more than a matter of cheering for the one who is perceived as a potential loser. What I want us to see is that the David and Goliath drama personifies the hopes of everybody when they stand in the midst of giants that represent such devastating and evil power. And I want us to realize through this story that there really is a way to stand confident and overcome that evil force and prevail as the journey into the future is made.

David was able to stand confident in the midst of a giant named Goliath who stood 9 feet 9 inches tall because of his faith in the Lord God of hosts. He told the Philistine as indicated in 1 Samuel 17:45: "You come to me with sword and spear and 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."

The fellow, described as a man after the heart of God, stood confident because he came with the right stuff. He simply, yet profoundly, came in the name of the Lord God. That was enough. Yes King Saul offered David his armor and weapons and David quickly discovered he couldn't carry all that stuff, so he said, "With all due respect, your majesty, I have to do this my way." His way was the way of faith.

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