Of all the episodes in the life of David, his encounter with Goliath is the most famous, it’s the most dramatic, it’s the most often told, and it’s probably the one that deals with the most fundamental question of all … How do you deal with fear? How do you have the courage to face life?
The ordinary way this text is read to answer that question is kind of like this. Goliath represents your fears. Look at them. They’re intimidating, but David is your inspiring example to show you how to handle those fears, which is to go right at them. Banish the fears. Face your fears, and the bigger they are the harder they will fall.
I’m here to say that’s a shallow understanding, even a deceptive understanding of how to read the text, and it has a lot more in here to answer that question if we read it a little differently, so let’s, first of all, ask the question, “What is this telling us?” I think it’s going to give us two answers. It’s going to show us the problems of counterfeit courage, but it will also show us the way to true courage.
This sermon was preached by Rev. Timothy Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church on May 3, 2015. Series “David: The Man of Prayer”. Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:32-50.
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