Title: The Giant of Shame
Series: Facing the Giants (1/5)
Reference: 1 Samuel 17
If you have a Bible, I want to invite you to open up to the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. 1 Samuel 17 is where we’re going to be this morning. As you’re finding your way there, we’ll take a moment and dismiss the kids to Children’s Worship. So all the little boys & girls, you can make your way to the back of the Sanctuary, and from there you’ll be escorted off to another great Bible adventure.
We are beginning a new series this morning called, “Facing the Giants”! We’re going to get started in 1 Samuel 17. The title of today’s message is “The Giant of Shame”. I’ll begin reading with verse 40, and I’m going to ask if you’re physically able, let’s all stand in honor & reverence, for the reading of God’s Holy Word.
The Word of God says in 1 Samuel 17, beginning with verse 40:
He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. Then the Philistine came on and approached David with a shield barer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him for he was but a youth and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. The Philistine said to David, Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, Come to me and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field. Then David said to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and 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 taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands and I will strike you down and will remove your head from you, and I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear for the battle is the Lords and He will give you into our hands.
Father, would you add your blessings upon the proclamation of your Word and it is in Jesus’s name we pray, Amen. You can be seated.
As I mentioned before, we’re beginning a new series this morning called “Facing the Giants.” There’s an old movie by that same title. How many of you have seen the movie, “Facing the Giants!”
It’s a great movie about an underdog football team (the Shiloh Eagles) that manages to put together a successful season and make it to the state playoffs. And it was in the playoffs, despite all odds, despite facing the biggest, and the toughest, and the strongest team (the Giants, headed up by ruthless Bobby Lee Duke). The Eagles (that small, seemingly insignificant team) go on to defeat the Giants and win the state championship!
“Facing the Giants” is a great movie that resonates in our hearts because we all know the feeling of facing giants in our life. Not physical “giants” or football giants, but giants that are just as real and just as intimidating! The movie, “Facing the Giants” reminds us that (by God’s grace) we do not have to accept defeat–but we can rise up and be victorious over the biggest obstacles in our life.
And that’s a message we need to hear because the truth is, most of us are not even fighting anymore. We’re like the man in a story I heard about. This older gentleman was walking in a neighborhood one day. As he was going down the street, he saw a little boy who was trying to ring the doorbell at a house.
The boy was just a short little guy. The doorbell seemed to be so high, and so out of reach! The little boy reached and reached. He jumped, and jumped, and stretched out his little arm, but he just couldn’t reach the doorbell.
The man thought he would help the little fellow out. He comes up behind the boy. He puts his hand on his shoulders and says, “Let me help ya, son!” He pushes in the doorbell. He bends down and says, “What are we going to do now, little guy!” The boy says, “Now we run!”
That’s a funny little story that illustrates what we often do when the giants show up. We run! When the giants show up! When the giants come and cast their long shadow over our lives, taunting that we will never be more, or do better, or rise above– The vast majority of the time we run for it!
But God calls us to be strong and courageous. God calls us to (by His grace, through His Spirit, equipped with His truth) face the giants–and that’s going to be goal of our time together over the next few weeks.
We’re going to kick everything off this morning by thinking about the giant of shame.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “shame”? What thoughts, or maybe images, come to mind? If we took the time to survey the room, I’m sure we would come up with a variety of responses, but I believe the common thread in those responses would be a feeling of dishonor, disgrace, and guilt. Maybe you do something (say something, give your heart to something) you know isn’t God’s desire for your life? Or maybe you fail to do the good that you know should be done, and what happens? Shame… A sense of dishonor, disgrace, and guilt that overwhelms our heart with feelings of condemnation & worthlessness.
So how can we defeat the giant of shame? How can we stand against this intimidating and towering giant that Satan will often send our way? I believe this familiar story of David & Goliath can give some good principles.
If you’re taking notes, let’s start here with this statement. GOLIATH REPRESENTS THE GIANT OF SHAME.
3 The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them. 4 Then a champion came out from the armies of the Philistines named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clothed with scale-armor which weighed five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 He also had bronze greaves on his legs and a bronze javelin slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and the head of his spear weighed six hundred shekels of iron; his shield-carrier also walked before him.
8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel and said to them, “Why do you come out to draw up in battle array? Am I not the Philistine and you servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will become your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall become our servants and serve us.” 10 Again the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
Now clearly this was not a good time for Israel. This guy named Goliath is a big, bad, dude! Verse 4 says he’s about 9ft, 9inces! He’s wearing this impressive armor, verse 5, that weights about 125lbs! He carries a spear, and the tip of that spear alone weights 15lbs! This is big strong guy, and what is he doing? He is oppressing God’s people!
So Goliath represents the giant of shame! Both are big. Both are intimidating. Both seek to oppress, to keep you from stepping out / stepping up & engaging with God the way He would really desire you to.
It’s interesting that the Hebrew root of “Goliath” means “to uncover / to remove.” It carries a very negative connotation. One author captured it by saying the name Goliath means “to disgracefully strip naked.”
Now that’s really interesting because, it just seems as though (both in the Bible, and even in our own experience) shame and nakedness go together. For example, how many people have ever had that dream where (maybe you’re going to school or maybe you’re going to work)—and somehow, someway, you forgot to put your pants on!
Anybody ever had a dream like that? (That’s not exactly the dream you want to be proud of)!
I remember when I was in High School and I had a dream like that– And in my dream I crammed myself in my locker, thinking “I can’t believe I forgot my pants! I can’t believe I did that. I can’t go out there like this!” Why? Because nakedness and shame go together!
Now that’s not the way it’s always been. Turn in your Bibles all the way back to Genesis 2 and let me show you this.
Genesis 2:24 is what I want you to see. In the context here we’re in the creation narrative. By this point God has created Adam (the first man) and Eve (the first women), and He has brought the two together.
24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
So when God first created man, He created them in such a way that they did not experience shame. That’s why they would run around without any clothes on (because there was no shame there), which helps explain why babies are cool with being naked to (they don’t experience shame), but clearly as you grow older something happens, right!
Now in the creation narrative, what happened? Well, the short answer is that man sinned, and shame followed sin! In Genesis 3 sin enters the world, and just as soon as that happens, just as soon as sin enters the world (that happens in verse 6). Look at the very next verse.
Genesis 3:7 – Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked… (now they have this self-consciousness that they didn’t have before! They realize they are naked, and what’s the response?)…and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. What’s the response? They tried to cover their shame!
They knew they were naked, and what does it do to you when you know you’re exposed and vulnerable to others? You want to hide! You want to cover up! That’s why when you have a dream that you’ve forgotten your pants, you stuff yourself in the locker, you want to run and hide, and not be exposed.
That’s what Adam & Eve did. They tried to cover up (not just their nakedness, but the sinful emotion behind that nakedness of shame)!
8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves (they’re ashamed, and that feeling of shame is keeping them from God– It’s making them feel like they can’t be seen by God! I mean, not like this! They are thinking, “There’s no way God would commune with us now”, and so the Bible says they hid themselves) … from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?”
God says, “Where is this coming from? Where did you get this sense of shame, because that’s not how I made you!” God says, “I did not make you to cower in shame! I didn’t make you to feel like you can’t commune with me– I didn’t make you to experience this emotion that would drive you away from Me! Where is this coming from?”
11b …Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat.” God says have you given yourself over to sin! Adam & Eve did, and shame follows sin, and shame makes us want to run & hide. Shame makes us feel like we cannot stand up and identify ourselves with God!
Now go back to 1 Samuel 17…and with all that in mind (knowing that shame causes us to cower in fear– Shame causes us to run & hide & cover up, lest we be exposed)! Look at what King Saul and all the men of Israel do
1 Samuel 17:11 – When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Jump down to verse 24: When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid.
It’s the same response that we saw back in Genesis 3! It’s the response of, “I’ve got to get out of here! I can’t be here! This is shameful– This is exposing me!” In fact, the Bible says Goliath came out for forty days (both morning and evening), and he said the same thing:
10 …the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day…” Over & over, for forty days,
Goliath comes out and says, “I defy you! You can’t! And you won’t! And you’ll never! I defy you! You’ll never be strong enough, smart enough, brave enough– I defy you!”
That word “defy’ means “to expose” or “to strip.” That’s what this giant did! He exposed their lack of faith. He exposed their lack of courage. He exposed their lack of confidence in God. He exposed their sin (because God told them to drive out the Philistines)! And then he stripped them of their dignity and will to fight, and all they wanted to do was run and hide!
Listen beloved, this is what shame does to us!
It exposes those areas where we do sin (which isn’t a bad thing in & of itself; Our sin needs to be brought to the light so we can confess & repent of that sin), but rather than exposing to confession & repentance– Shame exposes and strips us to the point that we don’t feel like we can’t stand up and identify ourselves as a follower of Jesus!
We think, “I’ve sinned too much! I’ve fallen too far! The offense is too great! I’m a failure! I’m a nobody! I’ll never win. I can’t win because I can’t do anything right”—and our heart becomes filled with hopelessness and despair!
Goliath represents the giant of shame, but notice here number two: SHAME MUST BE FACED WITH TRUTH.
1 Samuel 17, and with verse 12 the narrative leaves the battlefield, and it turns to a young man (who wasn’t even old enough to fight with the army) named David.
17 Then Jesse said to David his son, “Take now for your brothers an ephah (bushel) of this roasted grain and these ten loaves and run to the camp to your brothers. 18 Bring also these ten cuts of cheese to the commander of their thousand, and look into the welfare of your brothers, and bring back news of them.”
His father says, “Here’s some sandwiches for your brothers, and here’s some cheese for the commander. Go and check it out and let me know how everyone is doing.” David starts the journey. Once he gets close the camp, he hears all this yelling!
22 Then David left his baggage in the care of the baggage keeper, and ran to the battle line and entered in order to greet his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine from Gath named Goliath, was coming up from the army of the Philistines, and he spoke these same words…(the same words found in verse 10– “I defy the ranks of Israel”— The same words he had been saying for forty days)…and David heard them.
24 When all the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him and were greatly afraid. 26
Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”
Now remember, Goliath had been coming out every morning and evening for forty days, saying “I defy the ranks of Israel.” David hears that, and he has a different perspective.
King Saul and all the other people are thinking, “We’re just the armies of Israel; what can we do!” David hears the taunt of this guy, and he’s like, “Wait a minute! Who does this uncircumcised (separated from God) Philistine think he is! We’re not the armies of Israel; we’re the armies of the living God!”
Do you see that, beloved! Do you see how David steps forward, armed with truth!
David says, “Hey guys, listen up! We are not the armies of Israel. We are not of the ranks of Israel. This guy is speaking lies! We are the armies of the Living God!” David knew who he was, and he wasn’t going to accept the lies of the enemy. The same lies that made others cower in shame– David hears the same thing and he says, “That’s not true! That is not who we are, and that’s certainly not who I am!”
The giant of shame will lie to you! The giant of shame will tell you, “You’re a bum! You’re a loser! You’ve crossed the line. You’ve sinned too much. You’ve fallen too far. You can’t! You won’t! You’ll never! God will never use you!”
The giant of shame will lie to you, but you have to face shame with the truth! Let me give you three truths you need to remember and believe, as you face the giant of shame.
Number one: You need to believe the truth of who you are in Jesus.
I heard about this one Christian counselor, and he was working with this guy for the very first time! The guy came in (and it was obvious he had some problems and he was on a lot of medicine)! The guy comes in and sits down. The counselor says, “Tell me a little about yourself?” The guy says, “My name is Jimmy. I’m 19yrs old, and I’m a paranoid, manic, depressive, schizophrenic!”
The counselor says, “Wow! Who put that label on you?” The young man said, “I’ve been to a lot of doctors, and that’s what they say?” The counselor says, “Are you a believer in Jesus?” The young man said, “Yes.” The counselor said, “Do you believe God thinks of you like that?
Hey, let me ask you: Do you really believe God thinks of you like that?
You can’t believe the lies of the enemy! You are not a bum. You haven’t sinned too much. You haven’t fallen too far. You are not a failure. You are not defined by your failures or bad choices! You are defined by what God says about you and what Jesus has done for you!
God says you are His child (John 1:12). God says you are His friend (John 15:15). God says you are a channel of His life (John 15:1-5). God says you are not a slave of sin (Romans 6:6). You are not under condemnation (Romans 8:1). You are holy (Ephesians 4:24), righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21), set free (Galatians 5:1), forgiven (Ephesians 1:10-11), sealed with the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) and blameless before the Father in Heaven (Ephesians 1:4). And to top it all off– Jesus says you are worth dying for (Romans 5:8)!
You need to believe the truth of who you are in Jesus. Here’s another one: You need to believe the truth of what you have in Jesus.
What do you have in Jesus? You have the anointing! You have the Holy Spirit who lives in you! The same Holy Spirit, of which 1 John 4:4 says: Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
The giant of shame may be loud and intimidating, but it’s the Holy Spirit inside of you, who can help you to recognize those lies for what they are. It’s the Holy Spirit inside of you, who can empower you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and set your face (once more) toward a passionate pursuit of Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 24:16 – though a righteous man falls seven times, yet will He rise again! And you know why? Because God has got a hold of you, and the Bible says (the truth says) nothing– Not no one, and not anything, can separate you from His love (Romans 8:38-39)!
You need to believe the truth of who you are in Jesus. You need to believe the truth of what you have in Jesus. Here’s the last one: You need to believe the truth of what you can do in Jesus.
What can you do in Jesus? You can do anything He calls you to do! You can do anything He calls you to do (that’s the promise of Philippians 4:13).
I believe David knew he could do this! I believe David knew this was his moment! He knows he’s going to be king. Back in 1 Samuel 16 the prophet of God had already anointed David as the next king. And I just believe as David approached the battlefield on that day! He knew this was the moment that God was going to work through him, and it would be the catalyst that would propel him to the throne!
32 David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
Saul says you can’t do it (v.33)! David says God has prepared me for this (verses 34-36). He says I’ve fought a lion and I’ve fought a bear! I’ve rescued sheep from their clutches, so I’m ready, and God is going to give me the victory!
And guys, the fight must have looked so lopsided. Here comes David (just a young man with peach fuzz on his face)! And there stood Goliath! So tall! So strong & massive. He towered over David!
How did David do it? Two actions steps, real quick! Number one: He took steps of faith.
40 He (David) took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.
He took steps of faith. This giant of shame caused others to step back. This giant caused others to run and hide, and do whatever they could to get out of his presence, but not David. David took steps of faith. When others were running back, David was stepping forward!
And guess what the giant did? He did the same thing the devil does when we try and take steps of faith. What did he do? He turned up the intimidation!
42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”
That’s how the devil will use shame. He wants to intimidate us. He wants us to feel small and insignificant, so we’ll run & hide and stop moving forward in faith. That’s exactly what the enemy wants you to do: to stop moving forward in faith!
David beat the giant by taking steps of faith, and then notice (I think this one is important): He also spoke words of faith.
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and 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 taunted. 46 This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth my know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”
48 Then it happened when the Philistine rose and came and drew near to meet David, that
David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand into his bag and took from it a stone and slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead. And the stone sank into his forehead, so that he fell on his face to the ground. 50 Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone…
David took steps of faith, and he spoke words of faith, and the giant fell. Listen beloved– That’s what you & I have to do when the devil turns up the intimidation! When the shame comes & the darkness settles over your heart, you need to take steps of faith and speak words of faith.
You are not a loser. You are not a failure. You are not hopeless. You are not some second-class citizen. You are a highly favored, and greatly blessed child of God, whose worth, value, identity, and significance is wrapped up (not in what the enemy says, and ultimately not even in what others think or say)–but it’s found in what God says about you, and what Jesus has done for you!
Let me pray for us…
Father, thank You for this time together around Your Word…
Thank You Father that Jesus has taken our shame and our sin upon Himself. Jesus has died for us, and through Him every sin that we might ever commit has been forgiven.
God help us not to live in shame. Help us not to run and hide when we fall & stumble & get tripped up in sin! But help us to come clean, Father, knowing that we are accepted! Totally, completely, 100% accepted because of what Jesus has done on our behalf.
So give us courage to be honest, and give us grace to be clean. Wash us of our iniquities and restore unto us the joy of Your salvation so that we might teach others Your ways. And give us a hunger, Father. Give us a desire to know Your truth. The truth of what You say about us, so that we might fully understand who we are in Jesus, what we have in Jesus, and what we can do in Jesus.
Work in our hearts to this end, Father. For we ask it according to the mighty name of Jesus, amen.