Monday, February 15, 2010

Have You Slain Your Giant Today?

Giants, dragons, griffins, satyrs, gods and demi-gods . . . the very stuff of myths and folklore, and not to be taken seriously; or are they?

Well probably not the griffins and satyrs (...maybe) but what about dragons? Or giants?
Is there any substantiation that these could have been real?
Those of us who know our Bibles (and take the Word of God seriously) know that it speaks of giants, AND dragons, but is there any corroboration in history, any documented evidence?

There certainly seems to be for dragons in the way of 'dinosaurs', a term actually created in the mid 19th century, in 1842 by Sir Richard Owen and derives from Greek δεινός (deinos) "terrible, powerful, wondrous" + σαῦρος (sauros) "lizard".

Prior to that point, people simply called them dragons.
In scripture there are two primary passages that speak of such creatures:

JOB 40:15-24; and JOB 41:1-34 (note particularly vs. 18-19. Apparently this beast was fire-breathing!) So what about giants? Is there any factual information that would support the idea of huge man-like beings of monstrous proportions as described in the Bible? You might just be surprised . . .

Of course GENESIS 6 speaks of giants, or in the Hebrew, the "Nephilim" meaning, "the fallen ones" who were "mighty men of renown", that is to say, men, who were not merely men but a hybrid of human and angel kind of incredible prowess and gifted warriors.

After the Flood of Noah, these giants re-emerged, particularly in such passages as NUM 13 during the time when Israel was delivered from bondage in Egypt and found their way (eventually) into Canaan land. To their dismay, they found giants in the land and in whose presence them felt like "grasshoppers in their sight". One such giant was King Og whose bed was nearly fifteen feet in length! See DEUT 3:11.

Later, in 1 SAMUEL 17:1-54 David the son of Jesse, is sent by his father to deliver food for his other sons who were encountering the Philistines in a time of war, and when he came upon the battle scene, he witnessed a warrior of huge proportions who mocked the men of Israel and the God they served with blasphemous words.

David challenged the giant named Goliath, who stood at 9 feet high or higher, but he didn't stop there! If you read the passage, David gathered five stones for his sling, and one must wonder whether or not the lad was a poor shot, and wanted extra ammunition just in case he missed on his first try.
Such was not the case however; if you do the reading, you will discover that Goliath had some brothers! This boy who would be king was ready to take on not just Goliath but all of the sons of Anak!

These stories of giants however to you and I may seem academic at best, for there are no such things as giants in today's world -- not according to the mythic proportions of days gone by at any rate (unless you believe those video clips that have been posted in this article).
Its interesting to note that there is a subtle hint in scripture about our future, and such so-called giants that might just be seen once again before the end of the world.

Note in DANIEL 2:43 it states:
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle* themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

Can you identify the "they" in that passage? They can't be human, for its with the human race "they" are mingling with! The word "mingle*" can mean "intertwine" and that makes me think about the double helix of the genetic code. Could this be in fact a repeat of GEN 6, and the deeds of diabolical angels thereafter? 

For more interesting reading on this subject, you might find the following article useful, by Zachary Garris!

Bizarre notion I know, but then if one reads the book of Revelation and what's to transpire on this Earth at that time, this idea doesn't seem so bizarre after all.
What is this all about? Where am I going with all of this? you might ask.

This article actually deals with some relevant issues, struggles and challenges we as Christians are facing today. These are about giants of a different sort; events, problems, occurrences of calamity that loom over us, as tall as mountains and cause us to tremble and fear.

Bankruptcy, foreclosures, the loss of a job; a doctor's visit in which cancer is brought up, or some other dire medical situations like viral epidemics or sorrowful diagnosis that involves your child of four years of age, an impending divorce. Perhaps your giant is manic depression, or anxiety attacks, or a worrying nature, or maybe its a nightmarish drug (or other) addiction, etc.
Giants of these sort come in all shapes and sizes, but they are all bigger than what we can handle; though we may try, in the power of our own might, determination, and intelligence, too often we fail.

Let's get back to the situation David found himself in when he arrived on the battle field:
There he was, bag in hand full of cheese sent by his father, and he hears the jibes and ridicule of this terrifying giant - -

1 SAMUEL 17:10-11
And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

King Saul was head and shoulders above all the men of Israel, and he was himself a gifted warrior. Why didn't he challenge this giant? Or any of his mighty men of valor? They were keenly observant of this giant's size, his armor, and the greatness of his weapons.

Yet when David saw the giant and heard his words, he grew hot with offense, for this "uncircumcised Philistine" was not merely mocking the armies of Israel, but defaming the God Who was represented by such!
He saw past the insults and mockery and became offended on God's behalf!
More than this, he realized that if God was with him, what could a giant do to him? Even one as ferocious as Goliath?!

1 SAMUEL 17:23-24, 26
And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

David approaches King Saul and declares that he will go fight the giant, and one could almost see the smirk on the King's face as he told David, "you're just a kid, David, and this is a warrior who has been trained since he was a kid himself!" Yet after David rehearses the various events wherein he himself slew a bear, and a lion that was preying on his sheep, Saul attempts to place his armor on David, but the lad wasn't prepared to do battle with such weaponry (for as Saul pointed out, David was no warrior - - yet!).

Such weapons of the world would be unnecessary, as David had a weapon far, far greater than anything that could have been provided for him out of the arsenals of Saul's army!
Look at this encounter between the warrior and the lad:

1 SAMUEL 17:42-45
And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 
And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field. Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

OK let's stop right there. . .
Goliath ends up cursing David by his gods, and furthermore refers to him as a "stick" (. . . of a boy no doubt).
What's David's response? Does he spell out the doom of the giant by bragging how he took out a bear and a lion; and how good he is with a sling shot, and all its going to take is a single stone to take him down?

No! David says no such thing! He proclaims that Goliath comes to him with sword, spear and shield - - powerful weapons of course, but in defiance of such worldly weapons, David trumps the giant by saying:

"I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied."

The name of the LORD is a strong tower scripture says (PROV 18:10).

Names are important in the Bible for they reveal things about the persons so named: their character, their abilities, their nature. The LORD is a God of justice (DEUT 32:4) who will not tolerate the blasphemy of His Name (REV 16:9), nor will He relinquish His children who walk in righteousness to be trampled down and oppressed by the enemy (PSALM 5:12). He is a faithful Shepherd who will protect His flock (PSALM 23), provide for them, and see to it that they will conquer in His Name (JOSH 1:9), IF ONLY THEY WILL PLACE THEIR TRUST IN HIM, REGARDLESS of circumstances and situations (PROV 3:5-6)!

Both armies probably looked on this scene and thought, "That poor boy, he doesn't know what he's gotten himself into!" But David approached this challenge full of faith in His God, and jealous for His Name, not tolerating it to be blasphemed and ridiculed, and saw things from a different perspective:

He looked at this giant as before the Living God of all creation, and thought, "That poor giant, he doesn't know what he's gotten himself into!"
Hear his words:

1 SAMUEL 17:46-48
This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.

David proclaimed that not only was Goliath doomed, but the entire Philistine army! He knew that this battle wasn't really his, but the LORD's! He counted on God, that He would deliver him from peril, and also grant him victory - - he trusted in God.

He witnessed the giant arising and going into the offensive, but David didn't merely stand his ground, he hasted to meet him and ran towards the army to confront this giant!
In our challenges in life, do we do that? I don't know about you, but I try to worm my way out of difficulties, and avoid trouble any way I can. When confronted with problems and predicaments, I ponder at length and try to come up with a viable solution.

Our first and foremost resort should be to take such things before the LORD, and acknowledge that ANY TRIAL, ANY CRISIS has been allowed by Him for a REASON!

What would that reason be? The LORD in His infinite wisdom and understanding knows precisely why we face what we face in this life; its there for the purpose of His own glorification in our lives, just as God was glorified that day on the field of battle, when David let loose that sling, and that stone sailed through the air and sunk into Goliath's skull, right between the eyes!

One gets the impression that had David misfired, and the stone went whizzing off in the opposite direction, the Spirit of the LORD would have re-directed that missile, doing a 180 and slam into the giant's head anyway!
David then turned the very weapon that would have spelled his doom, and its own bearer, having slain Goliath with his own sword!

Isn't it just like God to use the power of the enemy against him, and establishing the victory for His children who only have to show up for the battle, "stand still and see the salvation of the LORD"?! Just as Moses admonished the children of Israel when they were backed up against the Red Sea with no route of escape, and the armies of Pharaoh charging in on racing chariots, bristling with weapons, with a blood lust on the Egyptian soldiers!
Presumably, none of those soldiers were very good swimmers!

There's an expression I've heard a few times in the past couple of weeks:
"If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!" The Bible says it another way:

PSALM 107:6-28 Is a passage that has this expression four times!
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.

Again this is stated in:
PSALM 143:11
Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name's sake: for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble.

Trials and crisis are a way in which the LORD poses a question of us, His children:

"Do you trust Me?" He, the GOD of TRUTH, and HOLINESS is by far, beyond any comparison, unequalled by any and all, the most TRUSTWORTHY Person there is!

In our lives, He will prove this to us, to you, and to me! Such methods used by our King is to bring along some giants that would cause us to break out in a cold sweat and steal our breath away.
In such times as these, remember what we read and pondered in this article and say with David to your own personal giant:

"I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel . . . (and of the church of the LORD Jesus Christ no less!)The purpose of giants is to slay them! So, have you slain your giant today?

May the LORD bless you in the Power of HIS MIGHT this day!

brother James FIRE

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