Is There Not a Cause? - Bob Sawvelle - slingshot and stone


Have you ever had to face opposition that seemed greater than you thought you could handle? Are you are facing daunting challenges? What is the “Goliath” in your life these days – is it worth the fight?

Is There Not a Cause?

In 1 Samuel 17, the biblical account of David versus Goliath, we see young David confronting the feared Philistine giant Goliath. David, though only a shepherd boy at the time, already understood the concept of two kingdoms in conflict: God’s kingdom and the kingdom of darkness. David’s promotion became reality as he overcame the giants he faced, beginning with Goliath.

Mocked by the Enemy

“And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 

Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 

And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid. 1 Samuel 17:4-11

The men were dreadfully afraid, and Goliath taunted them for 40 days. (v. 16) David, sent with food for his older brothers at the camp, arrived and heard the taunting.

So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”

Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “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 this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”

Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”

And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did. 1 Sam. 17:25-29

You see, David was not concerned with wealth or fame, but only the honor of God’s name. David says, “Look, I may be young and inexperienced, but there is a cause worth fighting for!

It’s not about money, wife, or taxes – it’s all about being sold out to the King! Can you relate today? Is there not a cause?

The Philistines had invaded and set up camp in their land; they were squatters in Judah’s inheritance. The future of the nation, even David’s destiny, hinged on their ability to defeat and drive out the enemy. Can you relate to this? Often, you must defeat a Goliath before you can transition to your future. Many times, the enemy is encamped in inheritance we rightfully own, and God has given us the opportunity to defeat the enemy and drive them out!

David’s question, “Is there not a cause?” was an indictment of his brother’s fear, lack of faith, wrong motive, and passivity. Many today want change, even freedom in their lives, but are unwilling to courageously go after the Goliath that is taunting them. Change is inevitable, but growth is optional in life. Be intentional about your growth!

There Was a Cause

The cause was the advancement of God’s Kingdom and purposes for Israel. David’s older brothers, Israel as a nation, and even King Saul couldn’t see God’s purpose. The real issue at hand was that Israel never became a nation of priests who loved God wholeheartedly and would change the world.

‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:4-6)

You see, God wanted to restore in Israel what was lost in Adam. Recall His command in Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth.” Man was made in God’s image for intimacy, to be lovers by choice, and from intimacy with God destroy the works of the devil.

God’s original plan was to have the whole nation of Israel be priests unto Him, a prototype of God’s Kingdom on earth. God wanted His Spirit to rest on all the people of Israel. “Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29b)

God’s initial plan for Israel didn’t happen, however, because they refused to meet face to face with God and they didn’t obey His covenant laws. The people were afraid of God’s presence (see Exodus 20:18-19), and stood afar from Him, only wanting Moses to face Him.

As a result, Israel for centuries wandered in her destiny and purpose… through judges, apostasy… Then finally the nation of Israel cried out to Samuel: “Give us a King!”

Don’t wander in your destiny and purpose – abide in Christ. Pursue intimacy with Jesus, be a priest of God, expect to hear His voice, and obey when you hear it! Don’t be afraid of missing it – so many today are afraid of getting it wrong. What if you get it right?

What if your breakthrough in God translates into a breakthrough for others? Don’t be satisfied with just a little of God’s presence – go after Him! Tell Him, “God, I have to hear your voice and know your heart, for the honor of your Name. I want to lay my life down for you, die to my worldly ambitions, because there is a cause, and it’s You!

Then David said to the Philistine, “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. 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. 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.”

So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. (1 Samuel 17:45-50)

As David faced Goliath, he tapped into the very heart of God “I’m a priest, a lover of God, I hear His voice, God is with me – I’ll win!” He stood in faith and courage and the enemy was defeated.

David looked ahead to a future day to when Christ would defeat our enemies. He understood by God’s Spirit he was to become a prophet, priest and king. David understood that in Christ, he was more than a conqueror.  “…we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37). We are Super-conquerors!

Defeating Strongholds

Goliath and the Philistine army encamped in Judah represented a stronghold. The apostle Paul discussed the reality of strongholds:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Cor. 10:3-5

The word used for ‘stronghold’ is a military term that means “fortified place.” Often, the Goliaths you face are agreements with ungodly belief systems, hurts, offenses, unbelief, and wrong thinking. They need to be dismantled and removed. Legal access to the enemy must also be removed, which means sometimes deliverance is needed. The enemy only has power over you to the degree that you believe his lies. He likes to taunt and cause you to doubt your true identity in Christ.

You wage war, resisting the enemy’s lies and temptations, through using God’s weapons of His Word, prayer, righteous living, abiding in God’s truth and peace (Eph. 6:13-18). You can’t use carnal (human) effort to defeat the demonic – they are on different planes. These strongholds experienced can also be corporate (see Mark 6:1-6).

Some challenges or giants are preparing you for bigger ones tomorrow. If you are fearful and don’t go after these challenges, how can you expect giants to come down? Go after it! If you are faithful with little you will be faithful with much.

Jesus declared, “There is a Cause!”

Jesus came and openly declared “There is a Cause!” by dying for our sins, brokenness, and sickness. He defeated the powers of darkness.

Jesus says, “Yes, your life has a purpose, it has meaning! I died for you because you were the Cause!” Jesus came, like David, destroying our enemies. He gave us a pattern to follow—helping others get free. Jesus came to restore the Kingdom and Priesthood.  Why? That all believers could be priests; intimate lovers of God, transformed into His image to advance His kingdom and bring freedom and healing to people and nations. We comprise a community of believers, and God’s desire is that we would love Him and each other, that we would be committed to each other and advancement of the Kingdom.

David helped liberate a nation. There is a cause, it’s called God’s Kingdom, but our desires and motives are anchored in our perfect Savior—Jesus—and not our personal gain. David’s brothers and the army were only focused on the money, getting a wife, and paying no taxes! However, David’s heart was for the King and His Kingdom.

David said, “It’s for God’s honor; I’ll do something!” Once David killed Goliath, the army arose and drove out the enemy from the land. David’s brother told him he was full of pride, and that he needed to get back to the sheep. The religious older brother didn’t have a clue—no prophetic vision—to see what God was offering. God wanted to deliver a nation, he needed a priest who would go!

(Often, what many see as “pride” is actually bold, courageous faith! And it’s needed right now!)

Jesus is our all, He is our cause. Yet our perfect Savior has come to set us free. To deliver us from the powers of darkness—so we could live free and in abundant life, and help others find this freedom and abundant living.

The Battle is the Lord’s!

God is looking for those who, like David, would rise up in this hour and say, “There is a Cause,” I can make a difference!  I’ll run to the battle Lord, for your honor!  There is freedom in Christ—run to Him.

Are you facing a Goliath today? Allow Jesus to defeat the enemy’s strongholds and lies. The battle is the Lord’s!

Like David, will you run to the battle? It’s time, Church! Let us unite and go together, for there is a cause worth living and dying for! The battle is the Lord’s!



For a more in-depth look, watch this sermon from Passion Church:

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Bob Sawvelle

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