2913. David’s First Victory

by on
Share:
David’s First Victory

No. 2913-50:589. A Sermon Delivered By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, December 8, 1904.

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine, and killed him, but there was no sword in the hand of David. {1Sa 17:50}

1. A careful perusal of the whole chapter will well repay your pains. I have selected a verse for convenience, but I need the entire narrative for a text. If you are well versed in the history, we shall have no need of any preface or introduction. So we shall proceed at once to regard David, in his conflict with Goliath, and his victory over him, first, as a type of our Lord Jesus Christ, and, secondly, as an example for ourselves. Since what is a type of the head always bears a relationship to the members, and since the members of Christ’s mystical body now are, and shall yet more fully be like himself, it is only one thought, after all, that we shall be following, in the meditation that lies before us.

2. I. Let us begin by calling your attention to the fact that David in this matter was A TYPE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

3. The early fathers of the Church were very great in opening up typical analogies. So full, indeed, were they in their expositions, and so minute in their details, that at length they went too far, and degenerated into trifling. Origen, for example, very notably exceeded what can be regarded as wise interpretation in giving spiritual meanings to literal records. And others who tried to go even farther than that great master of mysticism, very soon did much damage to the Church of God, bringing precious truths into serious discredit. The study of the types of the Old Testament has scarcely regained its proper place in the Christian Church since the days in which those gracious men, by their imprudent zeal, perverted it. We cannot, however, bring ourselves to think that a good thing ceases to be good because it has at some time been turned to a bad account. We think it can still be used properly and profitably. Within certain limits, then — limits, we suppose, which there is little danger of transgressing in these mechanical, unpoetic times — the types and the allegories of Holy Scripture may be used as a handbook of instruction — a vade mecum {channel for me} of sound doctrine.

4. By the common consent of Evangelical Christians, David is seen to be an eminent type of the Lord Jesus Christ. With regard to this particular transaction let us note, at the outset, that before he fought with Goliath, David was anointed by God. Samuel had gone down to Bethlehem and poured a horn of oil on his head. The parallel will readily occur to you. So the Lord has found for himself one whom he has chosen out of the people. With his holy oil he has anointed him. On Saul’s head a vial of oil was poured — on David’s head a full horn of oil. This may perhaps be designed to contrast the brevity and scant renown of Saul’s reign, with the length, and power, and excellence of the reign of David. Or, being interpreted spiritually, it may denote that the law, the old Judaism of which Saul is the type, had only a limited measure of blessing, while that of the gospel, which David represents, is characterized by its abounding fulness. Jesus, the antitype of David, is anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. The Spirit was not given by measure to him. David was anointed several times; he was anointed, as you read in the chapter preceding our text, “in the midst of his brothers”; — anointed, as you find in 2Sa 2:4, by his brethren, the men of Judah; — and anointed again, as you will observe in 2Sa 5:3, by all the elders of Israel. We will not go into that now, but it will suffice us to note that our Lord was anointed by God, is anointed by his saints, and shall be anointed by the whole Church. The Spirit of the Lord was on him, and it was in the power of that Spirit with which he was anointed by the Father, that he went out to fight the great battles of his Church. At his baptism, coming up out of the Jordan, he was anointed by the Spirit as the Spirit rested on him, descending out of heaven like a dove; and immediately he went, since he was driven, into the wilderness, and held that notable forty-days’ conflict with the arch-fiend, the great adversary of souls. His battles were in the spirit and power of the Highest, for the might and majesty of the Eternal Spirit rested on him.

5. See how the correspondence goes on. Our Lord was sent by his Father to his brethren. As David was sent by Jesse to his brothers with suitable presents and comforting words, in order to commune with them, even so in the fulness of time our Lord was commissioned to visit his brethren. He remained concealed for a while in the house of his reputed father, but afterwards he came out, and was distinctly recognised as the sent One from God, bearing countless gifts in his hands, coming on an embassy of mercy and of love from God to those whom he was not ashamed to call his brethren. We have read how David was treated. His brothers did not receive him lovingly. They answered his genuine kindness with unprovoked rudeness: they laid bitter things to his charge. How truly does this correspond to the ways in which our Lord, the Son of David, was abused. He came to his own, and his own did not receive him. Though he came to them with words of tenderness, they replied to him with words of scorn. For his blessings they gave him curses; for the bread of heaven they gave him stones; and for the blessings of heaven they gave him the spite of earth, the curses of hell! Never was a brother, “the firstborn among many brethren,” so badly used by the rest of the household. Surely that parable of the wicked husbandmen was fulfilled in him. We know it is written that the owner of the vineyard said, “They will reverence my son”; but, on the contrary, they said, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.” Jesus was roughly handled by his brethren, whom he came to bless. David, you will remember, answered his brothers with great gentleness. He did not return railing for railing, but with much gentleness he endured their churlishness. In this he supplied us with only a faint picture of our beloved Master, who, when he was reviled, did not revile again. “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners against himself.” His only reply, even to the strokes which were to accomplish his death, was, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” “We hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we did not esteem him.” Yet for all that, no word of anger dropped from his lips. He might have said, “Is there not a reason?” He said little, however, in his own defence; he rather went about his life-work as zealously as if all who saw him had approved him. So David, being rejected by his brethren like this, became a type of Christ.

6. We pass on to observe that David was moved by an intense love for his people. He saw them defied by the Philistine. As he noted how they were crushed in spirit before their formidable enemies, a fervent indignation stirred his soul; but when he heard the terms of defiance, he felt that the God of Israel himself was compromised in this quarrel. The name of Jehovah was dishonoured! That braggart giant who stalked before the hosts defied the armies of the living God! No wonder that the warm and devout heart of the brave young shepherd was moved with a mighty heaving. The passion of a warrior kindled in his heart at the sound of that profane voice of the uncircumcised Philistine, who could trifle with the honour of Jehovah, the God of heaven and of earth! A further motive was present to stimulate his patriotic ambition. How could David’s heart fail to glow with strong emotion when he was told that the man who should vanquish and kill that Philistine should be married to the king’s daughter? Such a prize might well quicken his ardour. But with all these motives acting on him, his determination to go out and do battle with the champion of Philistia was prompt and resolute. Now in all this he plainly foreshadowed our Lord Jesus Christ. He loved his own: he was always ready to lay down his life for the sheep. But he loved his Father: “Did you not know,” he had said of old, “that I must be about my Father’s business?” “The zeal of your house has eaten me up.” And then there was the joy that was set before him that he should have the Church for his spouse; that at the peril, not to say the price of his life, he should obtain her; that he should see the labour of his soul in her, and should be satisfied. She was to be lifted up to his royalties, and to share his crown and throne. The new Jerusalem, the mother of us all, was to be for Jesus the gift of God as his reward; and this inspired him, so he went out and entered into the battle for our sakes. Let us pause and bless his name that he ever should have loved the people, and that the saints should have been in his hands. Let us bless him that the zeal of God’s house did eat him up, — that he consecrated himself so fully to the great enterprise. Above all, let us humbly and gratefully bless him that he loved us and gave himself for us. As a part of his Church whom he had betrothed to himself for ever, we are partakers in all that he did. It was for us that he fought the fight, for us he won the victory, for us he has gone into glory. And he will come, eventually, to take us up to behold that glory, and be with him where he is. While we see the type in David, let us take care not to forget to adore Jesus himself, who is mirrored here in our minds in the achievement of our salvation.

7. I might, indeed, give many further details in which David yet further became a type of our Lord. The whole narrative being full of minute details, supplies us copiously with points of analogy. But there is one thing I would have you especially observe.

8. Goliath is called, in the Hebrew, not “champion,” as we read it in the English, but the middle man, the mediator. If you put the whole case fairly before your own minds, you will readily see the fitness of the word that is used. There is the host of the Philistines on the one side, and there is the host of Israel on the other side. A valley lies between them. Goliath says, “I will represent Philistia. I stand as the middleman. Instead of all the rank and file coming out personally to the fight, I appear as the representative of my nation — the mediator. Choose a mediator who will come and contend with me. Instead of the battle being between the individuals of which the respective armies are composed, let two representative men decide in dread duel the question in debate.” Now, it is exactly on that premise that the Lord Jesus Christ fought the battles of his people. We fell representatively in the first Adam, and our salvation now is by another representative — the second Adam. He is the Middleman, the “one Mediator between God and men.” In his love for us, and his zeal for the glory of God, we may view him as stepping forward into the midst of the arena which divides the camps of good and of evil, of God and of the devil, and there facing the defiant adversary, he stands to contend in our name and on our behalf, if we are indeed his people, so that he may decide the quarrel for us which never could have been decided by us. Personally, we should, beyond a doubt, have been put to the rout. But his one single arm is enough to win the victory for us, and to end the conflicts between heaven and hell for ever.

9. Note well our warrior chief as he goes out to the fight. The son of Jesse rejected the weapons with which Saul sought to arm him; — he put the helmet on his head, the mail around his body, and was about to gird the sword on his loins, but he said, “I cannot go with these, for I have not proved them.” In the same way the Son of David renounced all earthly armour. They would have taken our Lord by force, and made him a king, but he said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Swords enough would have leaped from their scabbards at his bidding. It was not only Peter, whose sword too hastily struck the ear of Malchus, but there were many zealots who would have been all too glad to have followed the star of Jesus of Nazareth as in former days; and yet more frequently, in later days, the Jews followed impostors, who declared themselves to be commissioned by the Most High for their deliverance. But Jesus said, “Put your sword into its place again: for all those who take the sword shall perish with the sword.” One of the temptations of the desert was not only that he should have the kingdoms of the world, but that he should have them by the use of such means as Satan would suggest. He must fall down and worship Satan: he must use the carnal weapon, which would be tantamount to worshipping him. Jesus would not have it. To this day the great fight of Jesus Christ with the powers of darkness is not with sword and helmet, but with the smooth stones of the brook. The simple preaching of the gospel, with the shepherd’s crook of the great Head of the Church held in our midst — it is this that lays Goliath low, and shall lay him low to the last day. It is vain for the church even to think that she shall win the victory by wealth, or by rank, or by civil authority. No government will assist her. She must only look to the power of God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord of hosts. It will be good for the Church when she learns that lesson. The preaching of the cross, which is “to those who perish foolishness,” is, nevertheless, to us who believe Christ, “the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

10. See, then, our glorious champion going forward to the fray with weapons of his own choosing, and those such as human wisdom despises, because they do not appear to be adapted to the work. With great strength and power, nevertheless, he did go out, for he went in the name of God. “You come to me,” said David, “with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts.” Such, too, is the predominating influence which renders the gospel omnipotent. Christ is God’s propitiation. God has “presented him to be a propitiation for sin.” Christ is appointed by God, anointed by God, sent by God. And the gospel is God’s message, attended by God’s Spirit. If it is not, then it is as weak as water — it must fail. But since the Lord has sent it, and he has promised to bless it, we may rest assured it will accomplish the purpose for which it was ordained. “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts!” These words might serve as a motto for all those who are sent by Christ, and represent him in the dread battle for precious souls. This was Christ’s watchword, when for our sakes, and on our behalf, he came to wrestle with sin, to bear the wrath of God, and to vanquish death and hell! He came in the name of God.

11. Note well that David struck Goliath, and he struck him effectively not in the loins, or on the hand, or on the foot — but in a vital point he delivered the stroke that laid him low. He struck him on the brow of his presumption, on the forehead of his pride. I suppose he had lifted up his vizor to take a look at his contemptible adversary, when the stone sank in, which let out for ever the boastful soul. So, when our Lord stood up to contend with sin, he projected his atoning sacrifice as a stone that has struck sin and all its powers on the forehead. So, glory be to God, sin is slain. It is not merely wounded, but it is slain by the power of Jesus Christ.

12. And remember that David cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword. Augustine, in his comment on this passage, very well brings out the thought that the triumph of our Saviour Jesus Christ is shown here in the history of David. He, “through death, destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” “He death by dying slew” — cut off the giant’s head with his own sword. The cross that was meant to be the death of the Saviour was the death of sin. The crucifixion of Jesus, which was the consummation of the victory of Satan, was the consummation of his victory over Satan. Lo, today, I see, in our conquering Hero’s hand, the grizzly head of the monster sin, all dripping with gouts of gore. Look at it, you who once were under its tyranny. Look at the terrible lineaments of that hideous and gigantic tyrant. Your Lord has slain your foe. Your sins are dead; he has destroyed them. His own arm, single-handed and alone, has destroyed your gigantic enemy. “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Blessed and magnified be his holy name. And when David had achieved the death of Goliath like this, he was met by the maidens of Israel, who came out and sang in responsive verse, accompanied with the music of their tambourines and joyful dancings, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” So he had his triumph. Meanwhile, the hosts of Israel, seeing that the Philistine giant was dead, took heart and dashed on the adversary. The Philistines were frightened and they fled, and every Israelite that day became a victor through the victory of David. They were more than conquerors, through him who had loved them and won the victory for them. So let us now consider ourselves to be victors. Our Lord has won the victory. He is gone to his glory. The angels have met him on the way. They have said, “Lift up your heads, oh you gates; even lift them up, you everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.” And those who have been with him have answered the question, “Who is this King of glory?” They have said, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.” And, today, the feeblest believer triumphs in Christ. Though we should have been beaten, nor could we have hoped for victory — yet, now, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we chase our enemies; we trample sin under our feet; and we go from strength to strength through his completed victory. There is much room for you to think here. Will you think this over for yourselves? It is better I should not do all the thinking for you. You will find the analogy capable of much amplification. I have given you only just as it were a kind of charcoal outline — a rough draft. Make a picture of it at your leisure, and it may prove a beneficial study and a profitable meditation.

13. II. With much brevity let us now revert to David as AN EXAMPLE FOR EVERY BELIEVER IN CHRIST.

14. Above all things, it behoves us, dear brothers and sisters, to consider that if we are ever to do anything for God and for his Church we must be anointed with holy oil. Oh, how vain it would be for us to grow zealous with a kind of creature carnal fanaticism, and to attempt great things, in sheer presumption, which can only issue in utter failure! Unless the Spirit of God is on us, we have no might from within and no means from without to rely on. Wait on the Lord, beloved, and seek for strength from him alone. There cannot come out of you what has not been put into you. You must receive and then give out. Remember how the Lord Jesus describes it: — “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” And again, in another place, “He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

15. You cannot do David’s work if you do not have David’s anointing. When you remember that your divine Master waited for the heavenly anointing, you can hardly expect to do without it. Do not be so foolish. Christ did not enter into his public ministry until the Spirit of God rested on him. The apostles waited at Jerusalem, and did not go out to preach until power was given to them from on high. The very essential point, the prerequisite with us, is to have that power. Oh, to preach in that power — to pray in that power — to look after wandering souls in that power! Your Sunday School work, your home missionary work, your evening form of ministry for Christ, must be done in that power. Go to your knees. Go to the cross. Go to your Master’s feet. Sit still in faith and hope, until he shall have given you the strength that shall qualify you to do the Master’s work, in the Master’s way, to the Master’s praise.

16. David, too, stands before us as an example of the fact that our opportunity will come, if our efficiency has been bestowed, without our being very particular to seek it. David fell into position. The place he was fitted to occupy, he was providentially called to fill as a great man in Israel. Little did he guess, when he went with the load of bread, and grain, and cheese, that he was, before long, to be distinguished beyond all other men in Palestine. Yes it was so. Beloved, do not be in a hurry to look out for your sphere. Be ready for your sphere; your sphere will come to you. I speak to many dear young brethren who are studying for the ministry. Be prepared for any work rather than be looking out for some particular work. God has his niche for you. You will happen for you, depend on that. Be ready. Your business is to be ready. Have your tools well sharpened, and know how to handle them. The place will come to you, the best place for you, if you are not so much looking after what meets your taste, as after what proves you to be a vessel fit for the Master’s use. David finds his occasion. He has received the Spirit first, which is the main thing, and then he has found the occasion which calls for his credentials.

17. I gather from David’s example that, when we feel a call to do something for God, and for his Church, we need not wait until those whom we hold in respect agreed with us as for the propriety of entering into the service. Had David said, “Well, I shall wait until Eliab, and Abinadab, and Shammah, my older brothers, are all perfectly agreed that I am the man to fight Goliath,” I suspect he would never have fought with Goliath at all. Great deference is due to the judgment of our seniors, but greater respect is due to the motions of the Spirit of God within our heart. I wish there were more regard shown for those inward stirrings among Christians than there is accustomed to be in these times. If you have a thought put into your heart, or a charge laid on your conscience, obey it, man; act on it, though no one else perceives it or encourages you. If God has shown you his counsel, at your peril hide the portent or shrink from the performance. What! With the fear of God in our hearts, and a commission from God in our hands, shall we halt and hesitate and become the servants of men? I would rather die than have to come into this pulpit to ask for your permission, or to get any man’s consent, concerning what I shall preach. God speaks, by his Spirit, what he has to say to me; and, by the help of his good Spirit, I will deliver it to you as I hear it from him. May this tongue be silent before it ever becomes the servant of man. David was of that mind. He felt he had something to do, and though he could listen to what other people had to say, yet they were no masters of his. He served the living God, and he went about the business entrusted to him undaunted by any judgment they might form of him. He who speaks for God should speak honestly. Let others criticize and sift the chaff from the wheat. He must expect that. But as for him, let him give out that pure wheat as he believes it to be, and fear no man, lest he comes under the condemnation of the God of heaven. Go, my brother, about your business, if God gives it to you to do. If I upbraid you, what of that? I am only a man. Or if all those, in whose good esteem you would gladly stand, turn on you with harsh suspicions and cutting censures they are only men, and to God alone is your allegiance due. Go about your Master’s work, as David did, with dauntless nerve but modest deportment. He would be a bad servant who, after once getting his Master’s orders, should leave them unperformed, and excuse himself by saying, “I met one of my fellow servants, and he said he thought I might be too bold in my adventure, and therefore I had better not attempt it.” To your own Master you will stand or fall. Take care that you are in good standing with him.

18. Learn from David, too, to return quiet answers to those who would roughly put you aside from your work. Generally it is better to return no answer at all. I think David spoke not so well by word as by deed. His conduct was more eloquent than his language. As he came back from the fight, holding up the giant’s head, I could hope that Eliab saw him; and that Abinadab and Shammah came out to meet him. If they did, he might simply have held up the trophy, and allowed its ghastly visage to reply for him. It is not, they would think, after all, because of his pride or the naughtiness of his heart, or from an idle curiosity to see the battle, that he has come. They would perceive that he had come to do God’s work in his own way: that God had helped him to gain the victory, rout the foe, and relieve the fears of Israel; and that through the man whom they despised the Lord had made his own name glorious.

19. Learn, again, from David’s example, the prudence of keeping to tried weapons. I have often heard it spoken of as an unlikely thing that David should kill the giant with a stone. I think those who talk like that miss the point. What missile could to handier or better suited for the occasion? If the fellow was tall, a sling would carry a stone high enough to reach him; and if he was strong, very strong, the sling would give such impetus to the stone that David could assail his adversary without getting within his reach. It was the best weapon he could have used. Oriental shepherds, if those of olden time were like those of modern days, had practice enough to make them proficient in slinging stones. They spend many hours both alone and with their fellows over feats of the sling. It is generally their best weapon for the protection of their sheep in the vast solitudes. I do not doubt that David had learned to sling a stone to a hair’s breadth, and not miss. As for the sword, he had never had one in his life; for there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan, except what was found with Saul and Jonathan his son. We are told as much as that in the thirteenth chapter. The Philistines had so completely disarmed the whole populace that they did not have any such weapons. With the use of them, therefore, David could not have been familiar. And as for the coat of mail — a cumbersome, uneasy, comfortless equipment — the wonder to me is how the knights of old did anything at all in such accoutrements. No wonder that David took the thing off. He felt most at ease in his own shepherd’s garb. Of course we are not going to infer that unsuitable instruments are desirable. We teach nothing so romantic or absurd. It well becomes us to use the most suitable tools we can find. As for those stones out of the brook, David did not pick them up at random; he carefully chose them, selecting smooth stones that would exactly fit in his sling — the kind of stone he thought best suited for his purpose. Nor did he trust in his sling. He tells us he trusted in God, but he went to work with his sling as if he felt the responsibility to be his own. To miss the mark would prove his own clumsiness: to accomplish his aim would be by God’s enabling. Such, my brethren, is the true philosophy of a Christian’s life. You are to do good works as zealously as if you were to be saved by your good works, and you are to trust in the merits of Christ as though you had done nothing at all. So, too, in the service of God, though you are to work for God as if the fulfilment of your mission rested with yourselves, you must clearly understand, and steadfastly believe that, after all, the whole matter, from first to last, rests with God. Without him, all you have ever planned or performed is unavailing. That was sound philosophy of Mohammed’s when the man said, “I have turned my camel loose, and trusted in providence.” “No,” he answered, “tie your camel up and then trust in providence.” Do the best you can and trust in God. God never meant that faith in him should be synonymous with sloth. Why, for that matter, if it is all God’s work, and that is to be the only consideration, there is no need for David to have a sling. No, there is not any need for David at all. He may go back, lie on his back in the middle of the field, and say, “God will do his work: he does not need me.” That is how fatalists would talk, but not how believers in God would act. They say, “God wills it, therefore I am going to do it”; — not, “God does it, and therefore there is nothing for me to do.” No, “Because God works by me, therefore I will work by his good hand on me. He is putting strength into his feeble servant, and making use of me as his instrument, good-for-nothing though I am apart from him. Now I will run to the battle with alacrity, and I will use my sling with the best skill I have, taking quiet, calm, deliberate aim at that monster’s brow, since I believe that God will guide the stone and accomplish his own purpose.” When you are intent on serving God give him your best; do not keep back anything of nerve or muscle, anything of skill or sagacity, you can dedicate to the enterprise. Do not say, “Anything will do: God can bless my lack as well as my competency.” Doubtless he can, but undoubtedly he will not. Be careful to do your best. David in his old age and his more mature experience would not offer to God what cost him nothing. Do not attempt to render to God slovenly service, and flatter yourselves that he will bless it. He can bless it; but that is not the way in which he usually condescends to work. Though he often takes rough tools, he fashions them and polishes them for his use. He can convert rude men into able ministers of the New Testament. Do not think, however, that his grace will excuse your presumption. But go with the instruments you have proved. When any of you working men attempt to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, do not try the fine arguments that are often used to combat infidels. You will never manage them. They will be sure to embarrass you. Tell your neighbours and comrades what you have felt and handled of the Word of Life. Declare to them those things that are written in the Scriptures. These texts are the smooth stones that will suit your sling. Stick with these things. Why, they tell us, nowadays, that we ought to take up those arguments which are invented by modern philosophers, examine them, study them, and come forward on the Sabbath day and at other times to answer them; that we should use historical research and logical acumen to rebut infidel calumnies. Ah! Saul’s armour does not fit us. Those who like it may wear it; but, after all, to preach Christ and him crucified — to proclaim the old, old story of eternal love and of the blood which sealed it, the way of redemption, the truth of God’s unchangeable grace — this is to use those stones and that sling which will surely find the forehead of the foe.

20. Next, observe that, from the work which David began, he did not stop until he had finished it. He had laid the giant prone on the soil, but he was not satisfied until he had cut off his head. I wish that some who work for Christ would be as thorough as this young volunteer was. Have you taught a child the way of salvation? Do not stop until that child is enrolled in the fellowship of believers. Have you faithfully preached the gospel to any congregation of people? Continue to instruct, counsel, and encourage them, until you see them established in the faith. Or if you have refuted a heresy, or denounced a vice, follow up the assault until the evil is exterminated. Not only kill the giant, but cut off his head! Never do the work of the Lord imperfectly. Never spare, in pity, any device of the devil. Bad habits and besetting sins should be levelled with a decisive blow. But do not let that be enough. Give them no chance of recovering their strength. With humble penitence and earnest resolution, in reliance on God and detestation of the foe, see to it that the head shall be taken from the sin as well as the stone sunk in its forehead. In doing so you may look for help you had not counted on. You have no sword with you: you have not needed to encumber yourself with one, even as David had no need to carry a sword in his hand, for Goliath was carrying a sword with him, which might well serve for his own execution. Whenever you serve God, you strive against error; and remember that every error carries the sword with which it will be slain. In maintaining the cause of truth, we need not be surprised if the fight is long; but we may always count on the pride of the adversary turning to his own harm. The conflict will be shortened by him. When the invaders, most of all, relied on the alliances they had formed, it often happened that Israel won the day through the Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites falling out among themselves. {2Ch 20:22,23} Very frequently it has been God’s plan to let his adversaries turn on each other and end the fight to his servants’ comfort. Behold the giant’s head taken off with his own sword. Let it be before your eyes for a sign. It does not matter, brethren, though we should be in the minority on certain eminent matters, as we undoubtedly are. The question for you is, are you right? Are you right? The right is sure to win! Do you have the truth on your side? Do you have the Bible on your side? Do you have Christ on your side? Well, you may belong to a despised community; you may be associated with a very few and a very poor people. Do not flinch — do not let your heart fear. If you had no strength with which to overcome the adversary, except for what is promised by God, you have quite enough. But there lies in ambush, in the camp of your adversary, an assistance and an aid to truth that you have not perhaps thought of. The old dragon stings himself to death. Just as vice consumes the vitals of the man who indulges in it, so does error, in the long run, become its own destroyer. Very often truth shines out all the more brightly from the very fact that an error has clouded the world with its dense shadows. Go on, then! Strive with coolness and courage! Do not be daunted by the fair face, the princely figure, or the battle array of your antagonist! Do not let his vaunting words deter you. Call on the name of Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, and use, even in God’s battles, those weapons which you have tested and proved. But take care to go through with God’s work; do it thoroughly, looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith; so beloved, you may expect to go from strength to strength, and bring glory to God.

21. I wish we were all on the Lord’s side, that we were all the soldiers of Christ. Do any here confess that they are not? Are there any of you, who feel sin lying heavily on you, and yet you would gladly be at peace with God, in fellowship with Jesus? Beloved, Jesus has never yet rejected one who came to him. It has never yet been said that his blood was not able to cleanse the vilest soul! Go to him. You cannot give him greater joy than by going to him and confessing your sin and seeking his mercy. He wants to be gracious. He slays sin, but he takes pity on sinners. He is ready to pardon them. He is the enemy of Goliath, but he sits on Zion’s hill, glad to welcome the very poorest of the poor who come to him. If you are the worst sinner who ever lived, he is still able to save to the uttermost. If you have no hope and no confidence — if you feel as though sentence had gone out that you should die for ever, your fears are no clue to God’s counsels. He has not spoken the bitter things you have imagined against yourself. Give ear to what he has said: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Oh! to be on Christ’s side maintains the heart in calm and inflames the soul with joy, notwithstanding the pain that now tortures your nerves, or the shame that mantles your cheeks! But ah! to be on the other side — to be an enemy of Jesus — is a woe that blights all present joy, and a portent that augurs all future bane. The future, the future, the future! This is the worst thing of all to be dreaded. “Kiss the Son, lest he is angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled only a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in him.” May the Lord give every one of you to be timely wise, for his name’s sake! Amen.

Special Offer For A Limited Time Only

The Jubilee Volume of C. H. Spurgeon’s Sermons,

Which is about to be published at 7/-, will be sent, post free, for 3/6 to any reader of the “Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.”

Order at once from Passmore & Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings, London.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

Spurgeon Sermon Updates

Email me when new sermons are posted:

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390