David & Goliath Q&A ~2/19/2019

kid-raising-his-hand-classroom_1150-3863There were two question/statements that didn’t get to me in time to answer on Sunday before the benediction.

The first was a response to a statement I made that we don’t know from where Eliab’s anger in 1 Samuel 17:28 came.  The texter said, “Sure we do, see: 1 Samuel 16:6-7.”   Those verses record God directing Samuel to pass over Eliab, Jesse’s eldest son on His way to David the “baby.”  I agree with the texter that the root of Eliab’s bitterness can be found there, I was just struck by how combustible it was.

The second question/statement wondered if David’s gathering of 5 stones demonstrated a lack of faith.   Which is not only a great question pertaining to this text, but a great question pertaining to our everyday life.   The question goes to preparation and faith.  David had a shepherd’s bag/pouch which, presumably, held five stones.  So in my view, he was preparing for battle by filling his pouch.  Just like a modern day soldier would fill his/her clip.  If he hadn’t would he have been presuming on God (Matt 4:7)?  On the one hand “faith” says I can hit the giant with one stone.  Just like faith might say, I can pass that test without studying, I can preach that message without preparing, or I can build that house without planning.  BUT if I God gives me time to study or plan (or load my quiver); wouldn’t He expect me to use it (2 Timothy 2:15)?  This question is near and dear to my heart, because on more occasions then I can count I’ve had to rely on my gift to preach/or teach with a moment’s notice.   In those times not only has God come through, but it seems that often in those times that I get to see people respond in dramatic and fulfilling ways.   Given that, I sometimes wonder why I feel compelled to do “due diligence” in my studies every week.   I think it’s the same reason David chose 5 stones; to do any less would be to do less than his best.

That said, there is a more traditional and a much more fun answer!  At camp and revival meetings across America whenever the preacher gets to 1 Samuel 17:40 – five smooth stones –  he looks up at the audience, grins and say, “Because, Goliath had 4 brothers!” (2 Samuel 21:22)



Valentine’s Day 365 – February 15, 2019

I typically write Friday’s blog on Thursday and this Thursday happens to be Valentine’s day!  My social media pages, that aren’t filled with posts bemoaning the weather or the state of politics, are filled with John 3:16 acrostics!


John 3:16, of course, comes from a discussion that Jesus was having with Nicodemus about why He came and my eyes are always drawn to the beginning of this thought in verse 14 where Jesus makes reference to an OT story.   Jesus could have referenced the complicated procedure of Yom Kippur, in Leviticus 16, with the multiple blood washings and the scapegoats that illustrate the high cost of sin. He could have cited the exacting incense formula in Exodus 30 to illustrate His holiness. Instead He simply said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” Interesting that he picked that one with so many other examples to pick from….

The Bronze Snake

4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. (Numbers 31)

Did you see how non-complex God made it for the people?  “Look and Live!” (OT) “Believe in Him!” (NT) In both Testaments life is a free gift; not because it was cheap, but because its worth is an expense beyond what any human could bear.   It is an act of the Almighty God and He does not share His glory! So this day after Valentine’s day look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, for your salvation, for your peace, and for your daily power to live the life He created you to live!  Just LOOK and BELIEVE!

Lord, I believe!  Help my unbelief!

Pastor Scott

Is Anyone Up There? – February 6, 2019

I tend to waste a lot of paper printing out sermon illustrations and then forgetting to read them.  Here’s one from a couple of weeks ago, enjoy:

A man named Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day when he accidentally got too close to the edge and fell. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked down and to his horror saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than a thousand feet. He couldn’t hang onto the branch forever, and there was no way for him to climb up the steep wall of the cliff. So Jack began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would hear him and lower a rope or something. “HELP! HELP! Is anyone up there? HELP!

He yelled for hours, but no one heard him. He was about to give up when he heard a voice.

“Jack, Jack. Can you hear me?”

“Yes, yes! I can hear you. I’m down here!”

“I can see you, Jack. Are you all right?”

“Yes, but . . . Who are you, and where are you?”

“I am the Lord, Jack. I’m everywhere.”

“The Lord? You mean, GOD?”

“That’s Me.”

“God, please help me! I promise if You’ll get me down from here, I’ll stop sinning. I’ll be a really good person. I’ll serve You for the rest of my life.”

“Easy on the promises, Jack. Let’s just get you down from there; then we can talk. Now, here’s what I want you to do. Listen carefully.”

“I’ll do anything, Lord. Just tell me what to do.”

“Okay. Let go of the branch.”


“I said, let go of the branch. Just trust Me. Let go.”

There was a long silence. Finally Jack yelled, “HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?”

Have you ever felt like Jack? We say that we want to know the will of God, but when we find out what it is, we can’t handle it. It sounds too scary, too difficult. We decide to look elsewhere. When He says, “Let go of the things that stand between you and Me, and trust Me with your life,” it sounds pretty scary. But when we let go, we find freedom and safety in His hands.”

Source unknown

cliff hanger