The Danger of Defying God (1 Samuel 17:26) - Radical

The Danger of Defying God (1 Samuel 17:26)

Hi this is David Platt, I want to thank you for praying God’s word with us through this podcast. And I want to let you know that this series of Pray The Word is a little different from what you may be used as far as just taking a book of the Bible and going chapter by chapter successively, one after the other. I want to give you a little context about what Pray The Word is going to look like. The church that I have the privilege of pastoring McLean Bible Church in greater Washington D.C. is reading and studying through the story of scripture together this year. We’re going to start in Genesis one and we’re going to walk through a Bible reading plan that’s six days a week where we will cover the story of scripture chronologically.

We’ll go from Genesis to Revelation, but along the way we will be looking at different parts of the Bible as they appear in time to try to see how the story of scripture fits together. The Bible reading plan has about one or two chapters a day. And so for Pray The Word, what I’m going to do is take one verse from that day’s reading and let it lead us to pray accordingly. And the next day do the same and the next day. What that means is we won’t hit every chapter in the Bible. Over the course of this Bible reading plan, we won’t read every single chapter in the scripture. We will be hitting select texts and they will be in chronological order, not necessarily in the order in which we see them in our Bible, for example, in the table of contents.

Pray The Word Bible Reading Plan

But I hope it will be helpful for you as you track along. You’re obviously welcome to join in the Bible reading plan that we’re walking through if you’d like. I certainly don’t want to pull you away from anything you and your local church are doing. But if you don’t have a Bible reading plan, you can download this one at, again, that’s And you can journey with us through the story of scripture.

So six days a week, Pray The Word will be on a different part of the story of scripture as we walk through it together. And then on the seventh day, what I’ll do is take a Proverb and we’ll just kind of work successively through different Proverbs for that seventh day. My hope is after walking through this kind of series in Pray The Word, we will have literally prayed through the story of scripture in a way that I hope will help serve the church I pastor for those of you who are part of McLean Bible church, as we walk through the story of the scripture.

Or for those who want to join in. And then even if you’re not reading through this Bible reading plan together, I hope this will be an encouragement for you to pray through the story of the scripture. That’s the plan, six days a week we’ll be walking through story of the scripture and at seventh day we’ll be kind of letting a Proverb drive us to prayer. And I look forward to seeing what God does in and through our hearts as we pray through his story of redemption from cover to cover in the Bible.

“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?”
– 1 Samuel 17:26

These are David’s words when he comes up and sees Goliath, who has totally intimidated the Israelite army as a Philistine giant. And David says, “Who does he think he is that he should defy the armies of …” And this is the key issue, “Of the living God.” This is the primary issue and David knew it. Goliath wasn’t just defying an army and the Israelites, Goliath was defying God himself. David would have nothing of it. He’s basically saying, “Who does this guy think he is to be able to stand up, not to the powerful Israelite army, but to the army of the living God.”

The Philistines defied God. David trusted God and lived for the glory of the Lord. May we see the futility of defying God and grow in our dependence on Him.

This Verse Calls for Trust in God Through Our Battles

If God is with his people, the Israelites, then this giant, no matter how big he is, no matter strong is, no matter how intimidating he is, there is no way that he can stand against God, and anyone God is with. David knew that the principal issue at stake here was not about a human battle between a giant and someone who would come out to fight him. Not even ultimately about a human battle between Philistines and Israelites. This was ultimately a battle about someone representing an army who is defying God himself.

And all throughout scripture we see that God works in and through people, who trust his power and live for his glory. And this is exactly what we see here with 1 Samuel 17:26, in the battle between David and Goliath. David didn’t trust himself, he trusted in the power of God. And David wasn’t doing this to defend himself, he was ultimately doing this to defend the name of the living God.

1 Samuel 17:26 Encourages Trusting in God’s Word

And I just want to encourage you to live today in this same way. I want to live today in this way, I want to live trusting in God. Trusting in his word, in his power, and his strength, and I want to live today for his glory. I want to live so that others know he is the living God. That he is the good and gracious God who gives eternal life to all who trust in him.

That he is a God who is trustworthy. He is a God whose glory no one or nothing in this world can compare with. He is a God whose beauty, nothing or no one in this world can compare with. We pray God, you alone are the living God. There is no one like you. In all the earth there is no one like you. And you are infinitely worthy of our trust and you are infinitely worthy of all glory.

Prayer for Opportunities to Share the Gospel

We pray that you would help us to live with the same kind of zeal that David approached this situation with in 1 Samuel 17:26. God help us to approach every situation we face today trusting in you, trusting in your power, trusting in your strength, and God help us to approach every situation today, living for your glory. We pray that you would make your glory known, your grace known. God, we pray that you would use our lives today to glorify your name, to point people to who you are.

We pray for opportunities to share the Gospel today. We pray for opportunities to share your grace, your salvation with others, that they might come to know you as the living God. God we pray for our co-workers, we pray for our neighbors, we pray for family members, we pray for acquaintances we will meet today that we’re not even planning to meet, that we don’t even know who we will meet.

1 Samuel 17:26 Prays for the Gospel to Reach the Unreached

God we pray that you would help us to be open to opportunities to point people to you. The living God today. To the eternal life that’s found in you today. Father, help us to trust in you as we face different challenges, trials, giants, so to speak, in front of us. God help us to trust in you and your provision, for your glory. And God we pray that you would make your glory known through us today in our lives.

We pray that you and make your glory known around the world today. God we pray for these Sarki people in Nepal, 365,000 of them, 0.0% believing the gospel right now. No known believers among this people group in Nepal. Please God, make your glory known among them, you are the living God. They worship all kinds of other Hindu gods. Millions of gods. Lowercase g gods that are not the one true living uppercase g God who you are.

So God, please make your grace, your gospel, your glory known among them. Please use our lives, our churches to send out people, missionaries to them. We pray for other churches around Nepal and northern India in areas, regions around the Himalayas. There God, please cause your Gospel to go to them. That they might know you as the living God. We pray for this, for people around us, people around the world, people groups around the world, and particularly who have yet to be reached by the Gospel. Show yourself as the living God through our lives. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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