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The Cause Of God And Truth

Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:22-31; Text: 1 Samuel 17:29

In this passage, David and his three older brothers are at a place of battle between the Israelites and the Philistines. One army was on one mountain and the other army was opposite them on another mountain, with a valley between them. A champion among the Philistines, named Goliath, came out and challenged the soldiers of the Israelites each day. He proposed that there was no need for many people to die in battle, it could be as simple as one man dying and all the others be saved alive. He challenged the army with this proposal, you send a soldier to fight me and if he defeats me, our people will surrender to you and be your slaves. However, if I defeat him, then you are to surrender to us and be our slaves.

Goliath was a giant of a man and all the soldiers of Israel were afraid of him, including the three older brothers of David. After a few day of challenges and taunting of the soldiers, David returned home and to his fathers sheep. For forty days Goliath came with the same challenge. Finally they have arrayed themselves to fight the war, no man having taken Goliath's challenge. Strangely enough on that very day, David's father Jesse, sent David with provisions for his brothers and to see how they are getting along. As they set the armies against each other, Goliath comes out to give one final opportunity. It was then that David spoke up. It angered his older brother Eliab and he accused David of being there to see the battle because he had a proud and naughty heart. David responded with the words of the text - Is there not a cause? He turned to other soldiers and repeated the question and they responded much as his brothers had.

I think I can understand. These soldiers were ashamed to be such cowards, but they were genuinely afraid of Goliath. The were embarassed that this young boy seemed so courageous when they were cowering down with fear. Often, we criticize others as a effort to hide our own shortcomings and failures. If we can distract people's attention to the failures of others, perhaps they will not have tme to notice ours. David states emphatically that he has done nothing wrong. He said what he did because there was a cause.

What about those words? Is there not a cause? Certainly there is a cause. There are many causes. There has always been causes. But what did David mean by that question? Well, there are many meanings to the word "cause" as found in the pages of the Bible. Some have suggested that he meant he was only TALKING about the situation and had DONE nothing wrong. Sometimes "cause" does mean "word." However, it appears to mean much more than that here. Keep in mind that when the English translators translated this idea from the Greek, they implied more than a word. In our English language, "cause" can mean (1). A matter of dispute in the courts of law (Exodus 22:9). (2). A reason for the action (Matthew 19:5). (3). A movement in which many are interested and involved (Psalm 140:12, Proverbs 31:8, and the text).

There are many causes both good and bad. Some people are willing to die for both kinds. There have always been various causes. Wars have been fought over causes. People have both lived and died totally given to their special cause. Why because life needs purpose and meaning. We need to feel that we stand for something, or we are likely to fall for anything. Our sense of personal importance and worth, is often entwined with causes that are important to us. A person who has no cause, often feels they have no cause to live. Are there any causes worth living and dying for today? Of course there are! The question echoes in our ears, Is there not a cause?

David was a young man, a shepherd boy, a poet, later to become giant-slayer and finally king. Later in life he drifted from God for a short time and then returned. God has been honest with us. He has told us of the strengths and weaknesses of David. He tells us that at the time of this passage, David was very close to God and possessed great faith. He is remembered in the New Testament as a man of faith in the great faith chapter of the Bible, Hebrews 11:32. But he not only had faith, he had a CAUSE also. Indeed his was a worthwhile cause. Let us look at some notable and worthwhile causes for his day and ours.

(1). First, there is the CAUSE OF GOD. That cause was very important to David. He was willing to risk his life for this cause. He went out without armor, to fight the very man who struck fear in the heart of his brothers. He stood before Goliath and fought the man no other man would fight. The cause was obviously not as important to them as to David. They would not risk their lives, but David would. The cause of God was very dear to him, because God was very dear to him. He lived for God because he loved God. David made his cause clear before he slew Goliath. It was not just about family and honor, it was really about the name and integrity of the God he worshipped and served. Listen to the words he spoke to Goliath (1 Samuel 17:45).

The cause of God is still important to a great many people. They glorify God by the lives they live as taught in 1 Corinthians 6:20. They support His work financially by their tithes and offerings as taught in Malachi 3:10. They faithfully attend the services of worship and praise as taught in Hebrews 10:25. Yes, there is a cause worth fighting for, David understood that fact and so have many others throughout the years. We continue to battle the forces of darkness and evil. We continue to exhalt and praise the name above every name, the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. We continue to be given victories even as God gave the victory to David. We praise His holy name.

(2). Second, there is the CAUSE OF TRUTH. Inseparable in the heart and mind of David, was the cause of God and His truth. How could he speak of God without speaking his truth. He talked about God and told how His power would give the victory. David sought not glory for himself. He only wanted to praise the God he loved. His allegiance was to God and he was His servant. He said before Goliath and all the Philistines and Israelites within the range of his voice, God will deliver you into my hands. God does not need a sword and spear, His power can give the victory. Listen to his words as recorded in 1 Samuel 17:46-47. The cause of truth is the cause of God.

Keep in mind that God is a God of truth (Deuteronomy 32:4). His word is truth (John 17:17). His Son is the essence of truth embodied (John 14:6). Therefore truth is inseparably linked to God. If we have a devotion to Christ, we should also be devoted to truth. It is this premise that our fathers stood upon in the declaration of their faith in God. The heritage of the Primitive Baptist has been to continue to stand for the truth of the Bible. Regardless how satan has altered man's perception of God, we know that He is sovereign. He is reigning today (Revelation 19:6). The doctrines of His grace have always been of utmost importance. Like David, we want to speak truth that honors God, even if it is not popular or understood. Therefore we have steadfastly proclaimed doctrines of the historic Baptist faith, once loved by the majority of Baptist, now embraced and loved by a minority of them. But they remain dear to us.

This is the cause of truth. We are all sinners before God because of our fallen nature in Adam (Romans 5:12). God chose a people in Christ to be His special people (Ephesians 1:4). Salvation is by grace and grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Those whom God has chosen and saved by His amazing grace, are predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus in glory or heaven (Romans 8:29). Jesus will not lose any, not even one, of His redeemed family (John 6:39). Heaven is a real place where we will spend eternity with God our Father, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the blessed Holy Spirit (John 14:2-3).

These truths are part of the holy Bible, even if no one ever preaches them again. Man's failure to believe them does not take away their truthfulness. There are some who do not believe that God created the heavens and the earth, but that does not make it any less the truth (Genesis 1:1). We should study the Bible and hold the truth of God sacred in our hearts. Our desire to proclaim these truths and share them with other, is the worthy cause of truth.

These causes were evidentally very important to David. Are they important to you today? I believe they should be to all of us. If that were not true, why did God record this incident in the pages of the Bible. You may be involved in many worthwhile causes. Some are trying to get worthwhile legislation passed. Others are trying to feed the hungry. Still others may be committed to a host of equally worthwhile causes. The Bible speaks of the cause of God's people (Isaiah 51:22). It also speaks of the cause of the poor (Proverbs 29:7). And it speaks of the cause of the fatherless, to name a few (Jeremiah 5:28).

I do not suggest that you should abandon causes that are good and noble. However, there are some causes that are not worth the time invested in them. They do no real good, they make no lasting contributions, they do not leave the world or people better. So why give such loyaltly and devotion to such causes? Some do so because friends have gotten them involved. Others are involved because it is a family tradition. Still others do what they do for the glory and recognition they get.

I would like to challenge you today, as David challenged his brothers and indeed all Israel, to examine your causes. Is there today a cause worth our loyal devotion? Yes, indeed and this passage has shown us that it is the cause of God and truth. Get involed in this noble and holy cause. If you are willing to do so, you can be assured of two things. First, that you are living in the will of God. When His cause is our cause, then what we do and say will advance His kingdom and honor His name. How can we not desire to do that, if indeed we have been redeemed by Jesus Christ. How can we neglect those holy endeavors that are set forth in His word, if indeed the Spirit of God moves and directs our paths. If these holy endeavors are taught by God, how can they not be the cause that stirs our hearts.

Second, we can be assured that our lives will make a difference. Do we want to live in such a way that there is no real meaning to what we do, no lasting purpose to our existence. Will we simply live for ourselves and vanish at life's end like a vapor that disappears into the atmosphere. Or will we live to support the cause of God and truth. If so, our life will have purpose and meaning. We will die, but our effort will live on in the cause we have supported. We will not be limited only to having lived, but will in fact have accomplished something in the living of life.

Personally, I do not want to live and die having never been involved in something larger than life. I do not want to pass the days of earthly existence until they are used up and gone, then leave this world. Instead, I want to see a vision of greater things, of higher purposes; a cause that is greater than I am or than you are. Let us then give ourselves as freely as the Lord Jesus gave Himself. May we engage in promoting the higher standards and objectives of the cause of God and truth. Not only will our lives have counted for something important, but that which we have carefully preserved and passed on to the generation following us, will continue to bless individual lives and make this world a better place in which God's redeemed family may live and serve God. Is there not a cause? Yes, there is a cause greater and more enduring than your cause or mine. It is the cause of God and truth. There is a cause and many are involved. How about you?

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This page last updated on June 7, 2014