Sunday Sermon 6.6.20
What does it take for you to speak up? What lines need be crossed before you stand up? How fast must your heart pound before words emerge? What is your tipping point before verbal communication and action?
Our title today, “is there not a cause?”, is addressing those types of questions; very pertinent questions for you and me as we maneuver through this life and our exchanges with family, friends and society.
We will look at it’s setting, it’s meaning and its application to our lives. Then we’ll pivot to two other related stories before dropping the mic.
The nine foot, nine, giant Goliath, was standing on a hill “defying the armies of Israel”, and the armies of Israel were standing opposite him, on another hill “dismayed and terrified”. 1 Samuel 17:10-11
Goliath was “saying sharp things, bringing reproach, defaming and blaspheming” the armies of Israel and Jehovah. (Original Hebrew meanings)
When along comes a teenage boy, David, who’s been sent by his dad to bring a care package to his brothers on the battle front of Israel. David arrives in time to hear Goliath’s 40th day of sharp defiance and insults, and David begins to ask questions of the soldiers. 1 Samuel 17:16-26
As David heard and processed their responses, his heart began racing, the line had been crossed, the tipping point had been reached and he said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the Living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26
After this bold declaration, you would think he would be applauded, but instead, his brothers ridiculed and harassed him, and that is when David said to them, “is there not a cause?”.
That phrase, in its original Hebrew renderings, really means:
“I have a word, a matter or thing to speak; it is nondestructive; and now is the time to share it and this is the exact circumstance for it to be spoken.”
David realized what he held deep within the character of his being and had woven into the fabric of his heart was being ridiculed, defamed, and blaphsmed, and there was something that he could do about it. And he would do it right now!
That phrase (is there not a cause) has everything to do with putting the focus on nondestructive speech regarding a matter – but also emphasizes it being done at the right time and place.
David’s line had been crossed and he knew it was the time and place for what was welling up inside of him. He knew his experience had prepared him for this time and place. He knew he was able and he paid no attention to those who ridiculed him. He just bent down and picked up the stones, hurled one and nailed Goliath’s big ole head. David knew a big headed, defiant giant was a target he would never miss. And he didn’t!
David knew he had a cause. He had the right word for the right occasion, at the right time. He slung it expertly and hit his mark. He earned victory for the whole nation.
There is a similiar story in Esther. She was the Queen of Persia and had hidden her Jewish identity to King Xerxes. Her fellow Jews had received a death sentence, so her Uncle begged her to ask the King for mercy. His words to her were,
” Who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.”Esther 4:14
Esther realized she too, had a cause, she had a message to speak and this was the time and this was the perfect place. Now, was the appointed time.
She spoke to the King, a solution was given and her people were spared destruction. The entire Jewish nation was spared.
Our last story, is of King Solomon; he gives us a beautiful image in Proverbs 25:11, where he says,
“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is the right word at the right time.”King Solomon
Solomon was perhaps looking at beautiful arrangement of fruit on his banquet table, when he made the analogy and suggested to us:
- fitting words are compared to something elegant, beautiful, very tasteful
- well thought out responses will benefit all
- rightly spoken words bring refreshing
- elegant, meaningful words are lasting words
- rightly spoken words are valuable, treasured, precious
The context of Solomon’s apples in Proverbs 25 falls in a list of words that are NOT beautiful and words that are beautiful.
Not beautiful, not rightly spoken words: strife, gossip, boasting, false witness.
Beautiful, rightly spoken words: reproof, truth, faithfulness, forbearence & gracius words.
Our words and their power are being called on. Causes are calling – in our family, in our friendships and in our society. Fashioning responses to hit their mark is our goal. Rambling, empty, babble is useless. Beautiful, rightly spoken words are our goal.
I pray that the spirit of David stir in your heart and you see your cause and know your time and circumstance to speak.
I ask for the favor of Esther to be upon you and for you to see that your voice is needed for such a time as this.
I trust that your words will be elegant and refreshing and valuable to those to whom you speak.
Because there is indeed a cause.
Go with God.