- We all tend to identify with David, but most of us operate with an orientation to Goliath's standard of strength.
- We often think we are David fighting in the kingdom of Saul when we fight like Goliath in the kingdom of David.
- Goliath was not fighting David. He was fighting God.
- Saul wanted David to fight with Goliath's type armor. David fought with God's type of armor.
- What's in your armory? What are your rules of engagement?
I think it is clearly the latter. No doubt thousands of sermons have been preached on this text and hundreds of them have been sound. Yet I wonder how many of them drew out what deNeff brought this morning.
The Bible is a divinely appointed meeting place for us to hear God speaking. It is a sacrament of revelation. But it takes more than the words and stories of the Bible alone for the word of God to be preached and heard in Scripture.
1. It takes the Holy Spirit.
We used to call this God's anointing. The inspiration of the text will not reach the congregation unless the preacher and/or audience also receives inspiration from the Spirit. The Spirit can anoint anyone, and the Spirit can anoint the ears of anyone to hear a word from the most foolish of speakers.
However, I would argue that most of the time the Holy Spirit works closely with the natural gifts and wisdom of the human speaker. The Holy Spirit can speak through a donkey, yes, but usually He speaks through people like Paul who could speak even before they believed.
2. It takes wisdom on the part of the preacher.
God has simply blessed deNeff with great wisdom above so many of his contemporaries. Every Sunday morning God sanctifies those gifts and brings forth a word from the LORD. Certainly "out of the mouths of infants God perfects truth," but most of the time preachers are born rather than made (so also Augustine).
Most pastors will never be great preachers. They can improve to be sure. They can deliver God's word to be sure. But God has simply blessed some individuals with more wisdom than others. Without wisdom in the preacher, the Bible usually does not become Scripture in the mouth of the speaker.
If the preacher does not have wisdom by God's gracious gift, then the preacher must seek it out from others. God did not give us Scripture as an end in itself but as a sacrament in which we might hear God's voice through the Holy Spirit and His anointing of those to whom He has granted the gift of wisdom.
But the words of the Bible alone ensure that God's word is heard no more than if you were simply to read the words and sit down. Often doing so would not be too shabby in itself! But wisdom is a crucial thing--seek wisdom.