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1 Samuel 17:31-40

Let Faith Arise

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • June 11, 2017

Fear is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the enemy, but fear is not invincible. When faith rises in the hearts of believers, fear is defeated. Before the epic battle between David and Goliath, God's Word reveals important principles through the example of David to encourage the rise of faith in our hearts.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Let Faith Arise

1 Samuel 17:31-40


ILLUS – The devil goes to church…

1.Fear is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the enemy.

2.But fear is not invincible.

3.When faith rises in the hearts of believers, fear is defeated.

4.I believe that’s why we are here today, studying God’s Word, that faith may arise in our hearts so that we may overcome any trial, any fear, any giant!

5.We’re going to study a passage that is familiar to us all – the epic battle between David and Goliath.

6.But we’re not going to look at David’s actual defeat of Goliath.

7.Rather, we’re going to look at the example of David’s faith before he ever put the stone into his sling and discover important biblical principles to encourage the rise of faith in our hearts!

1 Samuel 17:31-40


1. Saul, Israel’s first king, has been rejected by God. God searched throughout Israel and found David, “a man after His own heart”.

2. The prophet Samuel has anointed David as king but David didn’t begin his reign immediately because he was too young.

3. God allowed Saul to remain on the throne to reveal that:

a. Saul was disqualified and rejected as king.

b. David was qualified and anointed to be the next king.

4. At this point, the Philistines have barged into Judah, occupied the land, and added the intimidation factor by sending out their champion warrior, Goliath, with a “winner takes all” challenge.

5. Day and night, for 40 days the challenge went out with no takers.

6. Then David arrives and his heart was stirred by what he saw.

Trans – The first biblical principle to help us when trials come is…

I. Let Not Your Heart Fail (31-37) 

A. God won’t fail you (31-32)

1. When David heard the taunts of Goliath and saw the fear in Israel’s soldiers something rose up within him – a righteous indignation. (v. 26)

a. Who will rise up and defend God’s honor?

b. Who will remove this reproach from Israel?

2. David’s words made it back to King Saul because it was the first-time words of faith had been spoken Israel’s camp in 40 days. (v. 31)

3. David, a teenager, meets King Saul and declares, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (v. 32)

4. How could David be so bold, so confident? Because David trusted God and knew that His God never fails! 

5. Simply put, David had faith in God.

a. Faith wasn’t just another word in his vocabulary.

b. David’s faith was real, living, and active.

6. David viewed life and trials through the eyes of faith.

a. David saw the problem and knew the answer!

b. David wasn’t looking to start a fight but when the challenge came, he answered the call!

c. David lived this way his entire life!

1 Chronicles 28:20, “Then David said to his son Solomon, ‘Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.’”

APPL – When trials come, how do you respond?

Are you like David, “Let no man’s heart fail!”

Or like Eeyore, “Woe is me… I probably deserve that!”

ILLUS – My first meeting with Pastor Rich at Elmer’s Restaurant

B. God has been training you for this trial (33-37)

1. King Saul’s words were far from encouraging (v. 33)

2. King Saul was basically telling David,

a. “Look at you and look at Goliath!

b. You’re a punk teenager and he has been a champion-warrior since he was a teenager.

c. There’s no way on God’s green earth that I’m going to put Israel’s fate into your hands. If you think I will, you’re crazy!”

APPL – Notice the tactic of Satan here…

Satan will use others to extinguish our faith and see trials without the hope of God’s presence or promises!

ILLUS – Launching a new church in Dallas, Texas

Remember – not all counsel is good counsel.

Remember – not all counsel is godly counsel.

What does godly counsel look like?

Psalm 12:6, “The words of the Lord are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.”

3. David’s rebuttal reveals that he believes God has been training him for such a time as this.

a. David didn’t receive official warrior training from Israel’s elite soldiers.

b. David’s training was far superior because his trainer and mentor was God! (v. 37)

i. David defeated a lion and a bear.

ii. God delivered him from both.

4. When David looked at his past, he saw God’s hand guiding him, instructing him, and protecting him!

APPL – When you look at your past, how has the Lord been preparing you for such a time as this?

Don’t underestimate or devalue what God has been doing in your life.

See God’s hand and know He is creating something in you that is far more precious and valuable than gold…

1 Peter 1:6-7, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

Trans – The second biblical principle to help us when trials come is…

II. Put on the Full Armor of God (38-40)

Ephesians 6:10-11, “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

A. Don’t settle for cheap imitations (38-39)

1. Maybe it was motivated by guilt or a desire to get some credit. Either way, Saul’s attempt to clothe David with his armor was not motivated by faith!

2. David wisely walked around with the armor on and it didn’t take long for him to realize it wasn’t going to work!

a. King Saul was a tall man.

b. David looked like a boy wearing daddy’s coat.

3. David knew he needed to be agile to defeat Goliath.

4. Saul’s armor would slow David down and make him an easy target.

APPL – Another tactic of the enemy is to lure us into fighting trials the world’s way, which guarantees our defeat. What does that look like?

Anger or Intimidation

James 1:19-20, “But let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.”

Apathy or Depression

Drugs, Alcohol, Promiscuity, and the like

Many of us fight this way because we forget God

is for us!

APPL – Trials are won God’s way… through faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Zechariah 4:6, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

B. God will fight for you (40)

1. David wisely and boldly took off Saul’s armor.

2. David picked up his stick, selected 5 smooth stones from the brook, put them into his shepherd’s bag and with sling in hand approached Goliath.

3. I believe David received divine wisdom and knew there was only one place for that one stone to be effective… Goliath’s forehead. He knew God would direct it all.

APPL – There is a boldness, a confidence, a strength which comes over a person when their faith is more than just words, more than just a theory… it’s a reality.

Proverbs 28:1, “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

David didn’t need armor… God was his protector.

David didn’t need a shield… God was his shield.

Why was this true for David? David had made the Lord his Shepherd and he completely trusted His leading even when it meant facing Goliath!

Psalm 23:1, 4, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”


ILLUS – The African Impala…

APPL – I believe the Lord wants us to hear a word that will encourage our faith to rise up and be strengthened!

Let faith arise… God won’t fail you!

Let faith arise… God has been preparing you!

Let faith arise… The battle belongs to the Lord!

Let faith arise… The Lord is your shepherd!

1 Samuel 17:31-40   NASB 

31 When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them to Saul, and he sent for him. 32 David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." 33 Then Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth." 34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant was tending his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God." 37 And 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." And Saul said to David, "Go, and may the Lord be with you." 38 Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor. 39 David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, "I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them." And David took them off. 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.


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