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THE LION, THE BEAR, AND THE GIANT

by Mr. Noah Song

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 17, 2016


Dr. Hymers picked John Cagan and me to preach in his pulpit every Sunday morning this summer. John and I are very young. Both of us were afraid we could not take his place – because Dr. Hymers is one of the greatest living preachers in the world today. John and I were both grateful that Dr. Hymers has taken the time and effort to teach us the art of sermon preparation and sermon delivery. We feel that he is the best teacher of preaching that John and I could possibly have. As John Cagan said, Dr. Hymers “is the best teacher of preaching anywhere, in any seminary or any Christian university. Thank you for being my teacher, Dr. Hymers!”

Now I want you to turn in your Bible to I Samuel, chapter 17. The text is I Samuel 17:36 and 37. It’s on page 338 of the Scofield Study Bible. The text is I Samuel 17:36 and 37. It’s on page 338.

This is the first sermon I have ever preached. The subject is far too deep for a young man like me to preach. But Dr. Hymers himself asked me to preach on it. With his help and encouragement, I am going to speak on the subject of David and Goliath. My sermon is titled, “The Lion, the Bear, and the Giant.” Please stand as I read the text. It is I Samuel 17:36 and 37. Young David said to the king,

“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine...” (I Samuel 17:36, 37).

You may be seated.

The story is very simple. The Philistines were the enemies of Israel. The armies of the Philistines were on one side of the valley. The soldiers of Israel were on the other side of the valley. The two armies were ready to attack each other in a bloody war.

Then one of the Philistine warriors came forward. He was a giant of a man. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head. He was covered with 125 pounds of armor made of bronze. He was named Goliath. He carried a gigantic spear in his hands. He went out of the Philistines’ army into the center of the valley. He shouted to the armies of Israel, “Choose one of your soldiers to come and fight me. If he is able to kill me we Philistines will become your slaves. But if I kill him you Israelites will become our slaves. I defy the armies of Israel today. Give me one of your men and let us fight each other.”

When the king of Israel and his army heard this they were afraid. Then David came to bring food to his brothers. They were soldiers in Israel’s army. David was only a teenager. He was too young and small to be a soldier. But he heard the giant Goliath said, “I defy the armies of Israel today. Send a man to fight with me!”

David turned to the king of Israel. David said to the king, “Don’t be afraid. I will go and fight that giant.” The king said to David, “You cannot fight that giant. You are only a boy. He has been a warrior all his life. You are too young and too small to fight a man like that!” But David said, “I kept my father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came to kill one of the lambs I went after it. I killed it and saved the lamb. When the lion came after me, I grabbed it by its hair and killed it. I killed both the lion and the bear. This uncircumcised Philistine giant will be as one of them. Because he has defied the armies of the living God.” David said,

“The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (I Samuel 17:37).

The king of Israel said to David, “Go, and [may] the Lord be with you.”

The king tried to get David to wear heavy armor. But David was weighed down by it. David said, “I’m not used to it.” He took the armor off. He went to a stream and picked up five smooth stones. He put them in the bag that he carried. He took a slingshot with him too. Then he walked down through the valley toward the giant. When the giant saw him he shouted, “Am I a dog that you come at me with a stick in your hand? Come here and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.”

But David was moving closer and closer to the giant. David said to that giant, “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty. The God of the armies of Israel. I will strike you down. I will cut off your head.” The giant laughed at him. David reached into his bag and took out one of the smooth stones. He put it in his slingshot. He slung the stone and hit the giant in his forehead. The stone sank into his head. The giant fell to the ground on his face. David took the giant’s sword. David cut off the giant’s head. When the Philistines saw that the giant was dead, they ran for their lives. The armies of Israel surged forward and drove the enemy far away. David took the giant’s head and gave it to the king of Israel!

What a story! What a triumph! What a victory! But why have I told you this story? I have told you this story to show you how our church can defeat the forces of Satan. I have told you this story because I want you to see that we can do anything when God is with us! I have told you this story to show you how God has saved our church in the past. I have told you this story because I want you to believe that God can save our church now! Then we shall be able to say with David,

“The Lord [hath] delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, [and] he will deliver me out of the hand of this [giant] Philistine” (I Samuel 17:37).

David knew that he would kill the giant. He knew he could kill the giant because God had already saved him from a lion! And God had already saved him from a bear!

I. First, God saved our church from the lion.

The lion is a picture of the Devil. The Bible says,

“Your [enemy] the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8).

Over 25 years ago that roaring lion the Devil almost devoured our church. The Devil almost consumed our church. The Devil almost swallowed up our church. The Devil almost destroyed it completely. The Devil almost accomplished his fiendish plan. Satan worked his way into the mind of a “former leader” in this church. The Devil inserted evil thoughts into this man’s brain. And that man became a traitor. And that man started to undermine Dr. Hymers. And that man started coaxing our people to leave this church and go with him. And that man started another church in Los Angeles. And that man encouraged his followers to contact our people. And his people coaxed and tempted our people. They said, “Leave Dr. Hymers’ church and come with us!” In 1991 our church pianist and her husband left. Seven other leaders in our church left with them. From 1991 until 1993, 71 key members of our church were also led astray and left us. Between 1993 and 1995, 62 more people left. By 1999 over 300 people had left. This church split had taken on a life of its own. By the time the split ended over 400 people had been seduced into leaving us. By that time there were only about 39 adults left. The Devil had almost destroyed our church.

We came right to the edge of bankruptcy. We had lost almost ten thousand dollars a week in offerings. Yet we had to raise sixteen thousand dollars every month to keep this building – that is, sixteen thousand dollars a month over and above the regular tithes and offerings! It seemed impossible. Every preacher who talked with Dr. Hymers said our building could not be saved. And they told Dr. Hymers to leave and find another church to pastor. But Dr. Hymers and the 39 adults did not leave. Again and again Dr. Hymers quoted Churchill, the man that led England to defeat Hitler. Again and again, Dr. Hymers said, “I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, sweat and tears.” That inspired our people to fight on to save this building! To save our church! They followed Dr. Hymers. They fought back. They prayed more. They struggled and suffered and gave their money. And in the end we won the battle! We had overcome the Devil. That roaring lion was dead! God had killed him through your patience and your prayers, through your suffering and your cross-bearing! With David we could say,

“The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (I Samuel 17:37).

II. Second, God saved us from the bear.

The bear stands for the terrible depression and despair we felt in the aftermath of that church split.

In his great sermon on “The New Baptist Tabernacle!” – Dr. Hymers told us how the church split and its aftermath depressed us and weakened us. Dr. Hymers said, “Out of the fear of losing people, our church became timid, weak and inefficient. We retreated into our castle, surrounded by a moat, and we pulled up the drawbridge and settled down in solitude. Sure, we kept on trying to bring in new people – but we were not attractive to most of them any more. Who wants to join an introspective, fearful and timid church? Nobody that’s courageous, outgoing and bold! Nobody that’s young, adventurous and brave!”

But then Dr. Hymers asked three young men to come and pray with him in his home. Through their prayers, God began to give him a new vision for our church. And in that vision we began to pray our way, and work our way, out of the paw of the bear. Out of depression and hopelessness. We started believing that we might actually have a “new” Baptist Tabernacle.

But we had doubts too. Last Sunday morning John Cagan confessed his doubts. John said, “I must admit I had doubts...I also hesitated to believe the challenge Dr. Hymers gave us... Most people do not believe that God can change things. Maybe you do not believe it either” (“Forget the Past and Reach for the Prize!”).

Will we go on like that? Will we let the “bear” of depression and unbelief stop us? I believe we are already beginning to overcome that “bear.” I believe we are already beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I believe we are beginning to kill that “bear” right now! So I say with David,

“The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me from this Philistine,” this giant of despair and hopelessness (I Samuel 17:37).

And that brings me to the third point.

III. Third, God will save us from that horrible giant, that monster, that Satanic Philistine of hopelessness!

I believe God will save us from the giant that overpowers us. I believe that the Lord who delivered us from the lion – the Lord that delivered us from that soul-killing bear, that same Lord will deliver us from every giant that stands in the way. I believe that God will save our church. That God will fill our church with new life and power. That God will open the windows of heaven and come down to us with new life, with new power, with new freedom, new love, and a “new” Baptist Tabernacle! Why do I believe that? Am I foolish to believe it? Not at all! Not at all! Not at all!

“The Lord that delivered [us] out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, and he will deliver [us] from this Philistine” – from this monster, from this enemy, and from this giant problem of unbelief and hopelessness. (I Samuel 17:37).

That is why I believe we will see the lions, the bears, and the giants slain before our eyes. I believe God will answer us when we pray,

“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence” (Isaiah 64:1).

No matter what others may say, I believe God can do that! And, no matter what others may say, I believe we will have a new Baptist Tabernacle! God can do it! And I believe He will do it!

“The Lord that delivered [us] out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver [our church] from this Philistine” as well.

I believe God can do it. And I believe that He will do it! Listen to the words Mr. Griffith just sang,

My hope is built on nothing less
   Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
   But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
   All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
     (“The Solid Rock” by Edward Mote, 1797-1874).

I believe that God will revive our church and will give us new life and power. And I am not the only one. My mother believes it too! And my awesome father, who translated this sermon into Chinese, believes it too. And may each of you believe it also! Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!

Dear brothers and sisters, “My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness”! Dear brothers and sisters, Christ is our hope. Our hope is in Him. Our hope is in the Lord of glory!

Therefore, let us pray for Christ to fill all our vision, “that all may see, [His] holy image reflected in me” – and in you also! Please stand and sing hymn number 7.

Fill all my vision, Saviour, I pray,
   Let me see only Jesus today;
Though through the valley Thou leadest me,
   Thy fadeless glory encompasseth me.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.

Fill all my vision, every desire
   Keep for Thy glory; my soul inspire,
With Thy perfection, Thy holy love,
   Flooding my pathway with light from above.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.

Fill all my vision, let naught of sin
   Shadow the brightness shining within.
Let me see only Thy blessed face,
   Feasting my soul on Thy infinite grace.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy holy Image reflected in me.
(“Fill All My Vision” by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, 1895-1985).

You may be seated.

Last Sunday John Cagan said, “Look, we are already reaching the whole world [from this church]. These sermon manuscripts are being read in 33 languages [in every nation of the world]. The videos of these sermons are watched by tens of thousands of people throughout the earth. We are bringing strangers in to every service of our church. Strangers become friends. Friends become brothers and sisters through Christ. Brothers and sisters in Christ make up the church. Believe that God can do anything! Come to church thinking that it is possible, and God can make it so!” (“Forget the Past and Reach for the Prize!”, ibid.).

“The Lord that delivered [us] out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will [also] deliver [our church] from the Philistines!”  Amen.

Dr. Hymers, please come and close this service.


If this sermon blessed you Dr. Hymers would like to hear from you. WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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These sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted. You may use them without Dr. Hymers’
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Aaron Yancy: I Samuel 17:31-37.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“The Solid Rock” (by Edward Mote, 1797-1874).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE LION, THE BEAR, AND THE GIANT

by Mr. Noah Song

“Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine...” (I Samuel 17:36, 37).

I.    First, God saved our church from the lion, I Peter 5:8.

II.   Second, God saved us from the bear, I Samuel 17:37.

III.  Third, God will save us from that horrible giant, that monster,
that Satanic Philistine of hopelessness! Isaiah 64:1.