“Why Have You Come Down?”
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“Why Have You Come Down?”

1 Samuel 17:12–30  (ID: 3395)

After forty days of Goliath’s taunting, David was dismayed to find Saul and his army still paralyzed by fear. He had no concern for the king’s reward or his brother’s approval. Instead, emboldened by a zeal for God’s glory, he asked the important question: Who can defy God? As Alistair Begg teaches, God would soon use the hands that delivered food to his brothers to deliver something far greater. No one is too great to be defeated by the Almighty, nor too small to be used for His glory.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in 1 and 2 Samuel, Volume 3

David, a Man after God’s Heart 1 Samuel 16:1–20:42 Series ID: 109013

Sermon Transcript: Print

First Samuel 17 is the source of our Scripture reading this morning and the passage for our study. First Samuel 17 and beginning at verse 12:

“Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. In the days of Saul the man was already old and advanced in years. The three oldest sons of Jesse had followed Saul to the battle. And the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.

“And Jesse said to David his son, ‘Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp [of] your brothers. Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.’

“Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.

“All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. And the men of Israel said, ‘Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.’ And David said to the men who stood by him, ‘What shall 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 defy the armies of the living God?’ And the people answered him in the same way, ‘So shall it be done to the man who kills him.’

“Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, ‘Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.’ And David said, ‘What have I done now? Was it not but a word?’ And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.”

Thanks be to God for his Word.

Gracious God, grant to us the help of the Holy Spirit to teach and hear and understand and believe your Word. We are desperately in need, and so we cry to you, as children to a father, for your help. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Well, we are picking up the story at the twelfth verse. My plan, if I can follow it through, is to help us reach the thirtieth verse by the end of the study this morning, and then to get us to the fortieth verse by the end of our study this evening, and then to get us to the end of the chapter by our study next Lord’s Day morning so that we then are in a position to move directly into a focus on the Advent season. Every so often, I give you my notes when I’m speaking to you; I will do this morning. I’m never sure whether these fit with the way you are responding to the text, but it gives you an idea of how I have approached the passage as I seek to teach it.

So Far, Not So Good

As I came back to it, we dealt with the text that took us up to the end of verse 11 with the Israel army and Saul in somewhat of disarray. So the first thing that I wrote down by way of a heading was just a phrase, “So Far, Not So Good.” “So Far, Not So Good.” Because that really is the situation.

Saul and the army are there, as it were, on the hillside, paralyzed by the defiant taunts of this big giant of the Philistines by the name of Goliath. And he has now by this time developed his party speech, if you like, and he comes out on a routine basis and challenges them, asking them, “Why have you come out? Why do you even get up in the morning and array yourselves in this way?”[1] And, of course, the reaction to that—it’s a rhetorical question—and the reaction is that they just remain stationary. Interestingly, before we finish our study this morning, that same taunt is actually going to be heard on the lips of Eliab, the elder brother of David.

Now, the reason that they are in such a predicament is—particularly in terms of Saul himself—is because what we read in 16:14: that “the Spirit of the Lord” had “departed from Saul.” So this big, tall, handsome people’s choice of a king now finds himself with nothing to offer. And those of us who have followed the pattern of his kingship know that even some of his best moments were overshadowed by his partial disobedience, which, we mentioned in passing, were nothing other than an indication of disobedience itself.

And so, so far, not so good. The army is there encamped in confrontation with the forces of the Philistine army, and there is no one who is prepared to step forward and take up the challenge. “Choose a man,” says Goliath, “and come down,”[2] but no one comes down.

When you look at that and think about the nature of affairs—people are involved in warfare—we might be tempted to think that surely somebody big, someone strong, someone brave enough to take on this Philistine would step forward. But actually, what we’re about to discover is that although we may be tempted to think in matching strength with strength, as Paul later on says in his letter to the Corinthians, God’s strength is made perfect in weakness.[3] And it is that principle, which we have already had an inkling of, that we’re about to see unfold.

Meanwhile, in Bethlehem…

So, “So Far, Not So Good.” And then secondly, “Meanwhile, in Bethlehem…” “Meanwhile, in Bethlehem…”

You’ll notice that here in verse 12, we are no longer in the Valley of Elah, but the writer has taken us back to Bethlehem. Verse 12 doesn’t exactly jump off the page, does it, giving us an indication that things are about to take a dramatic turn? Nobody would guess from the twelfth verse that we are actually at a pivotal moment in the story.

Incidentally, if I can just say this, and it may prove helpful to you: the longer I’m studying this 1 Samuel, the more I’m helped by thinking of it—and this may sound strange—in terms of a movie. And by that, I mean this: we’ve already noticed that there are challenges here in terms of the chronology, in terms of the sequence of things. The big sequence from beginning to end is clear, but significant episodes are given to us in a way that makes it hard for us to understand how all the pieces fit in the puzzle. If you think in terms of a movie, you might find this helpful, in that when you watch a film, you are taken into the story, and you are able then to allow your mind to process movement where scenes are cut from one place to another. And sometimes they take you back, and sometimes they pitch you forward. But we understand what is being done in the way in which the film is being presented to us. The sequential order of things may be interrupted in order to make a point. And without belaboring it, I want to suggest to you that that is part of the answer to the potential difficulties that are to be found in this section that is before us now.

Suffice it to say that the camera now has focused back on “Bethlehem in Judah,” where “David was the son of an Ephrathite.” If we are diligent students, we may find ourselves sitting for a moment and thinking about that and saying, “‘Son of an Ephrathite,’ what does that remind me of?” And you will find yourselves saying, “I think that’s exactly how the book begins.” And then you’ll go back to check and see, and you’ll turn back to 1:1. And how did the book begin? “There was a certain man…” Remember when we began this study, I said, “It’s not a particularly dramatic beginning, is it? ‘There was a certain man…’” And then it goes on and says who the father was and the father was, and he was the “son of Tohu,” who was the “son of Zuph,” who was “an Ephrathite.” And we mentioned at the time, it’s interesting that this is part of the clan of Judah, and we should probably make note of that.

And we noted at the time that the social structure into which we are brought in this narrative was disintegrating. Leadership was failing. The judges had come, and they had gone. The people were making up their own rules as to how they would live their lives. The book of Judges ends “And everybody did what was right in their own eyes.”[4] And in that chaotic milieu, this story begins, and the story of this son of an Ephrathite comes into play.

Well, here we are once again, and the camera has switched from the valley back into Bethlehem, and the writer is reminding us of the relationship of David to the tribe of Judah: “Now David was the son of an Ephrathite.”

Incidentally, this may cause you to do what I did, and that is to go back and reread the wonderful story of the book of Ruth and realize that nestled, again, as the camera moves away from the story of the judges and takes us into the domestic situation of one tiny family, a man who was an Ephrathite and his wife Naomi and how they left Bethlehem, “the city of bread,” because of a famine, in order that they might go and find bread.[5] It’s wonderful.

And then the drama of the triple bereavement of Naomi: Naomi doesn’t only lose her husband, but she loses both of her sons.[6] And then that great moment when she says to her daughters-in-law, “You should just go back. Because I’m old, and there’s no future for you if you come with me.” And then that amazing moment where Ruth declares, you know, “No, I’m coming. Don’t ask me to leave you. Entreat me to not leave thee, nor to turn from following after thee, for where thou goest, I will go, and where thou dwellest, I will dwell. And where you die, I will die. And your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.”[7] And when you read that there, you say, “Wow! This surely is significant. This is a drama. A great drama.” And then big Boaz, and then the floor and—oh, it’s a great story! If you haven’t read it, you must read it again. And then the wonder of it all: that they are married.

And what a wonderful drama unfolds when we realize the way in which the book wonderfully ends, teasing us, moving us, pushing us forward. The generations: “Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.”[8] “Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse.”

Well, here we have it. Here we have it. David now is the focus of the scene. We no longer have the full frame of big Goliath looking at us, but now we’re looking into the face of David. Interestingly, we have already met him. It’s interesting the way in which he’s introduced: “Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah.” And you say to yourself, “But we already know that, because we already read that.” Of course. But you see what I’m saying? The way in which the story is being introduced to us is such that the writer is conveying specific instances.

What is quite remarkable is the fact that the hands of David that will now bear the loaves and the cheese from Jesse to the camp—an ordinary task—will also be the hands that wield the sword that chops off Goliath’s head.

And I’ve suggested to you before—and remember, we said that this was for the honors course and not a main and a plain thing—that the introduction of David in verse 12 is startling, surprising, if the events of chapter 16:14–23 happened before 17:12. But in actual fact, if chapter 17 happened before the end of chapter 16, then it’s simply one of the places where the significance of what is taking place in the way in which the writer puts the material together takes precedence over the sequence. So it is put together in this way in order that we might understand. Essentially, what we’ve had at the beginning of chapter 16 is the private disclosure of David’s role in the nation of Israel. We already have that. We were there for that. Here in 17, you have, if you like, the public disclosure of David’s part. These two events are set side by side. And the overall sequence of the events, although it is unfolding in chronological order, is put together in such a way that it makes it difficult for us to know where we are.

That’s the point. If you read 1 Samuel, and 2 Samuel too—it’s one of the reasons I didn’t want to do 1 Samuel. Because they’ve said to me a number of times, “Why don’t you do 1 Samuel?” I said, “Because I don’t know how the chronology works.” They said, “Well, figure it out.” And when I say “they,” I’m talking about the members of my pastoral team. They said, “Yeah, go ahead, you can figure it out.” Well, I’ve struggled to figure it out, and I acknowledge it quite freely. But I want you to understand that it is something that needs to be considered.

Back to the text itself. There we have Jesse, “advanced in years,” and the three oldest boys who have gone off to join the battle. You’ll notice that they were stationary, and David was going back and forth: in verse 15, he “went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” And again, I’ll just pause for a minute here. Verse 15 provides an explanation for David’s absence, having already been made an armor-bearer in chapter 16, right?[9] So, people say when you read the text, they say, “Now, wait a minute. He became an armor-bearer for Saul in chapter 16, and now we’re here in chapter 17, and apparently, nobody knows what’s going on. Oh, well, the answer must be in 15: he ‘went back and forth.’ So he must have been back rather than forth at this point.” I don’t get that. I’m not buying that program. If, however, David is appointed to Saul’s staff, becomes his armor-bearer, after the events of chapter 17, as I’m suggesting, then no explanation is necessary. You understand it? So what you’ve got is, you’ve got, in 14–23, you’ve got a little glimpse into a future event which is set in such a way as to enable us to realize that the significance of both his private and his public declaration is there.

Now, with this stated, then—sorry to have started this movie thing—but the camera then cuts again to the valley, doesn’t it? And “David was the youngest” of the three, “David went back and forth,” and then, once again, it cuts to verse 16, and “for forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening.” Okay?

So, we’ve got the picture. They’re all there; they’re doing nothing. Cut to Bethlehem. Bethlehem gives to us, now, the record of the three boys, which we already know about, having read the first half of chapter 16. And David is now simply going back and forth; he’s the shepherd boy. And then we know, according to verse 16, that while we’ve had this little moment or two in Bethlehem, through all of that time, the same stuff has been going on as we’ve seen before, and “for forty days …, morning and evening,” the big giant is saying his speech. All right.

The Sandwich Delivery

Now we come to the “Sandwich Delivery.” And the sandwich delivery is an ordinary task. If he is the boy of charge, if he is the one who by his youthfulness and his agility and his willing spirit is prepared to do the bidding of his father, then it’s no surprise that, as on previous occasions, he would be dispatched in this way. And what is quite remarkable about it, of course, is the fact that the hands that will now bear the loaves and the cheese to the camp—an ordinary task—will also be the hands that wield the sword that chops off Goliath’s head. The same hands that deliver the cheese are the same hands that will deliver the head to the dwellers in Jerusalem. Who would have imagined that this would be the case?

And so he is dispatched. “Take off,” says Jesse. “Go to your brothers, and deliver these things, and let me know what’s happening.” Verse 19: because “Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.” Hardly. Hardly. They were there with the Philistines, but as far as we know, there wasn’t a lot of fighting going on.

David, who’s the kind of boy you might expect—up “early in the morning,” verse 20—leaves the sheep with the keeper, in the same way that you, when you go on vacation, you have to leave your dog with somebody. And he has his sheep; someone needs to look after them. He makes provision for them. He takes the provision. He goes as his dad has commanded him.

And he arrives at the scene of the battle, at the encampment—verse 20—as they were “going out to the battle line,” and they were “shouting the war cry.” So, he arrives where there’s a lot of shouting going on. But that was really all that was going on. If you’re going to be soldiers, you have to have to have a battle cry. I know that here in America, they have that thing where you have a cry. Ohio State has a cry. There’s some screaming that goes on down in Alabama or something like that; they have a cry. And it’s understandable, you know. They say, “Hey! Here we come!” you know.

I don’t know if I’ve told you before of the first time I saw an American football game, and it was in Bushey in Hertfordshire in England. The United States Air Force team was playing some other group—I don’t know the other group—and a number of things stood out to me. One was the cheerleaders. As a sixteen-year-old boy, I was immediately interested to discover this unique sensation. But I don’t remember what any of them looked like, but I do remember what they said. And they had a chant. They had pom-poms, and they waved them, and they would say, I remember vividly they said—before the game started, before the team started—they said, “You can do it, you can do it! You can, you can! You can do it, you can do it! You can, you can!” So, I figured, “Okay. Let’s see how they do!” And, you know, cutting a long story short: they couldn’t. And so the cry seemed more ridiculous as the time went on. I mean, somebody should tell them, “Change it!”

So you have this picture, and he arrives, and they’re all saying, “Here we go! Here we go! Here we go!” They’re going nowhere! And David walks into the middle of all of that. And he went to greet his brothers, and “as he talked with them,” out he comes—the giant, “Goliath by name”—and “spoke the same words as before.” In other words, he did his party speech.

And look at that little sentence at the end of 23: “And David heard him.” “Oh,” you say, “of course he heard him. He was shouting.” Yes, it’s striking in its simplicity, isn’t it? You say, “Well, everybody heard him.” Well, no, I don’t think the army of Israel heard him. I don’t think they’d heard him for a while. They were listening without hearing. They were like people at Parkside Church on a Sunday morning in the second service: listening without hearing. Able to hear what is being said and yet not understand. But David heard. It was just the sight, we’re told, of the man that caused them to flee, verse 24: “When they saw the man,” they “fled from him and were [very] much afraid.” That was enough just to trigger their pathetic retreat—a retreat that we’ve seen before, back in chapter 13. You can find that for your homework.

The Word on the Street and an Important Question

So, “So Far, Not So Good,” “Meanwhile, in Bethlehem…” and whatever the next one was—I can’t remember—“Sandwich Delivery.” And then I wrote down, “David Verifies the Word on the Street and Asks the Important Question.” “David Verifies the Word on the Street and Asks the Important Question.”

Now, I was explaining to my wife just last night that when I read verses 25 and 26, I hear them essentially with a Scottish accent, and I hear them like the word on the street. I would have to take you back to my home city, and take you on the subway or take you on the bus, and listen to the interchange of people remarking on what is going on. Because when you read this, “And the men of Israel said…” Now let’s do it with an English accent, okay? “And the men of Israel said, ‘Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel.’” They say, “There’s nothing like stating the obvious, is there? What do you mean, have we seen him?” Now, if you do it as on the bus in Glasgow, it goes like this: “See that big giant?” Of course they see it. “See the big giant? D’you know what? If you fight him and you kill ’im, you get a big load of cash, you get the king’s daughter, and you get free taxes for the rest of your life!” “You’re kiddin’ me!”

That’s what is happening. That’s the conversation. “See the big giant?” “Of course we see the big giant!” But if we say [English accent], “Oh, do you see the big giant?” No. “See the big giant?” “Yes!” That’s what’s happening. And into the middle of that, David comes. And that’s why I read it the way I read it. And David said to the men who stood by him [English accent], “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine?” No, I tried not to read it like that. And David said to the men who said “You see the big giant?”—David said, “What did you say you get?” That’s what he’s saying. “What’d you say you get? Are you kidding me?”

It’s not that he didn’t hear. He’s incredulous. I think he’s probably incredulous because he’s saying to himself, “If that is on offer, it’s amazing to me that nobody’s had a crack at this fellow.” Because the incentive is significant. Of course, David is a man. And as you know, if you read forward, he actually ended up with the king’s daughter—which didn’t actually work out particularly well, but nevertheless, there you have it.

The people were focused on the goods they could get. David was focused on God’s glory.

So, he tunes in to the word on the street, but then he asks the question. He asks the question. There are two questions, I take it—you know, “What will be done?” But the real question is in the second half of the verse: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” See what he’s saying? “Who does this character think he is? Who does this worshiper of non-gods think he is to stand out here and shout every morning and every night to you who are the professed children of the living God? Who does he think he is? Don’t you remember chapter 5?” He didn’t say that. Don’t you remember chapter 5, Dagon? And he keeps falling on his face, and his head falls off.[10] He’s the epitome of the pagan non-gods. They had to set him up in case he toppled. They had to carry him around. They had to take him places. You don’t do that with the living God!

No, what has happened, you see, is that David, an unlikely character, has entered into the middle of the fray, and he has asked the question. He has asked the uncomfortable question, he’s asked the vital question: “What in the world is going on here?” These people were focused on the goods: “You know, this is what you get.” David is interested in God’s glory. A poet who one day will write, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”[11] is there to say, “This should not be happening.”

Now, interestingly, you will notice that the people answer his first question in verse 27, but they don’t answer his second question. “What shall be done for the man? What are they gonna do for the man?” And then he says, “But who is this chap?” Verse 27: “And the people answered him in the same way, ‘So shall it be done to the man who kills him.’” They never even address the question with him.

That’s the challenge of the prophet, incidentally. That’s the role of the prophet, who steps into a situation and says, “Do you realize what’s really going on here?” The people, by their testimony, say, “No, we don’t know what’s going on here.” It takes this unlikely character—the smallest, the youngest, the anointed one, as we know—to step forward in this way.

This Is More than Sibling Rivalry

The last thing I wrote in my notes was “This Is More than Sibling Rivalry.” Verse 28 to the end of our passage: “This Is More than Sibling Rivalry.”

“Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men,” and it really ticked him off. His “anger was kindled against David, and he said, ‘Why have you come down?’” Wait a minute. Isn’t that Goliath’s line? You mean Eliab is now gonna line up with Goliath?

When I read this, it reminded me of a quote from D. E. Hoste, who was the successor to Hudson Taylor as the director of the China Inland Mission. And D. E. Hoste on one occasion, when he was asked about how they established people’s credentials for being involved as missionaries with the China Inland Mission, he said, “I would never appoint a man or a woman to the task of world mission until first they had learned to wrestle with the Enemy. For if they have not learned to wrestle with the Enemy, they will wrestle with their fellow missionaries.”[12] That’s exactly it. Eliab and the rest of them are paralyzed by the enemy. David shows up and challenges their preoccupations, and they start to take him on.

It’s a mixture, isn’t it, of jealousy, of hostility? It should bring to mind for some of us, at least, the reaction, the animosity, of the brothers of Joseph way back in Genesis. There’s little doubt that Eliab is still stinging from the fact that he was passed over in the events of the first half of chapter 16. Nobody likes being overlooked—when Samuel arrives to anoint a new king and he makes the mistaken judgment that Eliab, being the biggest and the firstborn is probably the right person, and God says, “No, he’s not the right person,” and so Samuel has to say, “Sorry, it’s not you. And it’s not you. And it’s not you. And it’s not you. And it’s not you.” “Well, who in the world is it?” And then the older brothers have got to stand there and watch while the little guy, the most unlikely one, is anointed as the king.[13]

May our feet be ready to go with the good news that there is one who stands in our place and accomplishes on our behalf what we could never achieve by ourselves.

And so he accuses David of the presumption of which he himself is guilty. “I know your presumption,” he says. “[I know] the evil of your heart”—only God knows—“for you have come down to see the battle.” I love that. I wish there was just a little other bit in the text, which it isn’t, and you’re not allowed to add to the text. It sounds silly to say, but if I was writing this, it would have said, “‘And for you have come down to see the battle,’ and David said, ‘What battle?’” ’Cause there’s no battle! “You just came to see the fighting.” “Yeah? I don’t see any fighting.”

But no, then he replies. It’s just like brothers and sisters. And David said, “Well, what have I done now? Goodness gracious, I came here, I brought sandwiches for you, and we’re in the middle of this? Can’t I even speak?”

“No, you’ve just come to watch.”

“There’s nothing to watch!”

And so he turns away. Turns away, finds another little cluster of individuals, spoke to them “in the same way.” Presumably he said, “You know, what is it with this big uncircumcised Philistine, that he would challenge the army of the living God?” “And the people answered him again as before.” In other words, they said, “Well, you know what? You get…” David must have said, “That’s not what I’m asking you.”

But here’s the fascinating thing. Because what we need to wonder about is: If this news gets to Saul, what will happen then?—which is our study this evening. But I want to end by just reading two verses from the Gospel record in relationship to another shepherd, the Good Shepherd:

And [Jesus] coming to his hometown … taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is[n’t] his mother called Mary? … Are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”[14]

It’s quite striking, isn’t it, that the pushback on David for making the declaration that he does doesn’t come from unknown warriors parked up on the side of the hill but comes from his very own family? Despised by his own brothers. Who would have thought then that this little man would be the champion of Israel? Who would have thought—who would have thought—who does think that all of the massive problems of the world—all of the massive problems of the world—all of the issues and problems and challenges of our individual lives, find their ultimate solution in the death of a Galilean carpenter on a Judean hillside, AD 33?

If you think that the people looked down and said, “There’s no way in the world that that wee guy is gonna really matter for much in this great conflict,” that is nothing compared to the reaction of the defiant forces of the non-gods of our world, who look and pontificate and speculate and pronounce and dismiss out of hand the story of the good news that in Jesus there is a champion—the champion who calls out to those who find themselves weary in the battle of life, “Hey, come to me. Come to me.” I guess it raises the question: Whose side are we on?

God, grant that our hearts may be soft to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as a Savior, Lord, and King. May our eyes be open to see the affairs of our world in light of the revelation of Scripture, and may our feet be ready to go with the good news that there is one who stands in our place and accomplishes on our behalf what we could never achieve by ourselves.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with each one who believes, today and forevermore. Amen.

[1] 1 Samuel 17:8 (paraphrased).

[2] 1 Samuel 17:8 (paraphrased).

[3] See 2 Corinthians 12:9.

[4] Judges 21:25 (paraphrased).

[5] See Ruth 1:1–2.

[6] See Ruth 1:3–5.

[7] Ruth 1:11–13, 16–17 (paraphrased).

[8] Ruth 4:21–22 (ESV).

[9] See 1 Samuel 16:21.

[10] See 1 Samuel 5:1–5.

[11] Psalm 8:1 (ESV).

[12] D. E. Hoste, If I Am to Lead (1968; repr., Singapore: Overseas Missionary Fellowship, 1987), 8. Paraphrased.

[13] See 1 Samuel 16:6–13.

[14] Matthew 13:54–57 (ESV).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.