Thursday, September 20, 2012


Inspired by a sermon preached by my pastor, Howard Bass

Goliath was a giant of the Philistine army. He is the same giant that defied and mocked God and the armies of God’s people. Although this happened centuries ago, we are instructed in the New Testament to apply certain principles learned in the Old Testament as examples for our own lives.  

The Philistine armies came with their camp and threatened the armies of Israel. All of Israel was paralyzed and in fear of what this Philistine army would do to them.  David came to the camp site where the Philistines were on one side and the Israeli army on the other, from his home, simply to bring food to his brothers for their refreshment and having heard the threats of the enemy, 

David of all the strong men of Israel was the only one with boldness to confront the giant.  He didn’t care about the size of the camp or the size of the giant.  The ones in the Philistine camp would always be a part of that camp and the camps would not change size. He wasn’t concerned with the threats of the giant because until the actual confrontation, the giants threats were mere words. 

What he did do was say, “Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. (1Sam 17:32)” 

Then he said,

34 “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine (1Sam 17:34-37.)”

He proceeded to choose 5 small stones. Based on his prior experience in using his slingshot and stones, he knew just which ones he needed to create the trajectory that would be required to take down this giant.  

When he slung his carefully chosen stones, the giant came tumbling down and Israel was once again delivered from an enemy- not by the current king but by the future king.  He then proclaimed,

“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with 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 defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” (1 Sam 17:45-57)

When you’re faced with a giant, you too can take what you’ve learned in the prayer closet and your experiences in life & apply it in the valley where you face giants that threaten you. You too will see your giants fall and they’ll fall by your hand with God’s help, all in the name of the Lord! Amen!

(Things I’ve learned in my time with the Lord and from inspiration from a sermon preached by my pastor, Howard Bass.)


Saturday, September 1, 2012


Joshua- the man called of God to replace Moses and the leader of the nation of Israel.  He was to be the leader that would actually take the children of Israel across the Jordan River and into the promised land, the land that was promised to their ancestors over 400 years prior!  It was a position he didn’t strive for or even hunger after.  He loved God. He loved God’s presence. He believed God and he obeyed.  He lived only to serve and never resisted, even when his own life was at stake.  That, while being a description of  the person of Joshua who was called upon to lead the nation of Israel fits perfectly the description of Jesus who would give his life so that men everywhere in every age could be led into the true promised land!  The true promised land is life in Christ that is eternal – never ending.  It begins with acceptance and following and never ends throughout all time.  We will never cease to live life fully in the blessing of God, yet on earth there are many promises God gives that many Christians never fully realize.  Those too can be realized and fulfilled as we follow our Joshua, Jesus, fully into the plan he has for us!  Joshua- the 2nd leader of the nation of Israel and a type of ChristJoshua- called upon to lead a people into the promised land!

Moses Forbidden to Enter the Land

Many may wonder why Moses was called upon to lead the nation of Israel through the wilderness for forty years yet forbidden to enter the promised land.  Although Moses was meek and strong at the same time, and the greatest leader there ever was, even he had become angry at God, striking a rock that he was told to speak to.  This would be the rock that would bring forth water, allowing the thirst of the nation to be quenched.  Moses was called upon to speak that rock, not strike it. The bible calls Jesus our rock and because of the sin of man, he was stricken when all that was needed was to speak.  The obedience of leaders is a requirement if they are ever to see God’s promised land and anger at God in front of the flock you’re leading is serious in God’s eyes.  Disobedience can keep you from coming fully into God’s promises yet Moses disobeyed at such a simple command.  Yet, there is still grace in God’s eyes and although he could not lead them in, God showed him the promised land and glory to God, after his death he was able to see the true promised land.  Moses’ disobedience did not stop the plan of God and a person that had obediently followed Moses without complaint for forty years was able to lead the nation into the promised land Moses was forbidden to see.  Let leaders everywhere learn that disobedience will lead to lost opportunities even though grace is given to continue on.  Let leaders everywhere take seriously the need to talk to God rather than strike God and to obey God rather than doubt!

Deuteronomy 4:21  Furthermore the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and swore that I would not cross over the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance. 22 But I must die in this land, I must not cross over the Jordan; but you shall cross over and possess that good land. 23 Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Why Not Caleb?

Only Joshua and Caleb and children under 20 at the time God made this decision were allowed to enter the land.  This was because of the unbelief of the adults, even when evidence was shown that what God said was true.  Twelve spies had entered the promised land to find a thriving fertile land- a land that had been promised to them by its’ rightful owner, God!  This land was promised to Abraham over 400 years earlier and this was the generation God had chosen to fulfill his promise through and this is the generation that doubted God! Only Joshua and Caleb believed God. Moses also believed God but was kept back for disobedience as a leader.  Even though Caleb was full of faith and was allowed to enter, he was not chosen as the leader to replace Moses.  The bible doesn’t tell us why Caleb wasn’t chosen to lead.  Caleb is mentioned throughout the journeys but when mentioned, he is mentioned because of his faith to see God fulfill his promise. He is mentioned as claiming “his mountain,” and actually receiving the mountain he claimed.  There is greatness in Caleb to receive God’s promises but there was never mentioned of him the qualities needed to lead the nation.  On the contrary much was said about Joshua obediently following Moses and God, craving God’s presence and being quick to fight on behalf of Moses and the nation!  God is outspoken in his Word about Joshua’s qualities well before the call to lead comes.  Caleb was never mentioned as being inferior. Caleb did what he was called upon to do. He was called upon to believe, to fight and to take his mountain. He was called to follow Joshua, to lead his family and to fight for his promise. Caleb was rewarded with the plan God had for him.  Joshua was called to lead the nation!
What we can learn from the call upon these three individuals is that God has a place for each one of us.  We should never strive to be something we are not. We should always strive to trust, obey and delight in God.  We will then see our desires fulfilled.