I was reading a study the other day that indicated people have increased in stature over the course of time. Suits of armor worn by knights in the Middle Ages are too small for the average man today. From the mid 1800’s to today, the average height of an 18 year old male has increased by about 5 inches. Inspite of that fact, we live in a society of people that wants to be taller. Actors stand on elevated platforms. Teens wear “elevator shoes.” Clowns use stilts. What would you do with an additional 5 inches of height? What would you look like? Would you stand out in a crowd?
I am reminded of the words written about Saul as Samuel was searching for the man to be appointed over the kingdom; “..he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.” He stood above the crowd. Men were impressed and intimidated by his stature. However, in this selection, God was going to teach Israel, as well as you and I, about real stature.
Several years into his reign, the tallest in Israel met his match. An eleven foot, four inch giant of the Philistines named Goliath. This was to be his defining moment; his moment of glory. Books would be written about him. Songs would be sung in his honor. Even if he had died in battle, he would have become a “larger” man over time for his willingness to try. Instead, this man who stood above the crowd was now once again hiding “among the stuff.” Exit: shrunken leader…Enter: enlarged shepherd. From the backwoods of nowhere, God took a tiny shepherd boy and placed him on the forefront of the national scene. Why? Because no one else would have noticed him, but God saw him standing above the crowd. While man measures stature solely by his outward appearance, God looks at the stature of the heart.
Genesis 6:4 records these words; “There were giants in the earth in those days…” Key words: “those days.” Where are the giants today? Certainly, there are a few remnant left from “those days,” but who will take their place? Tragically, we are watching a generation who are enamored with their “stature” in society, while the enemy taunts and intimidates. When will we learn we will never catch the eye of God wearing the armor of Saul? Must God peel our fingers off a kingdom to prove it? Look around. The landscape of American Christianity is becoming a “level” field. Rare are the heads that are standing above the crowd.
The key in the life of David was simply this: he knew God and God knew him. God was not an acquaintance. God was not a “covering.” God was not his ticket to notoriety and fame. David was able to get close enough to “measure” God, and in doing so found it altered his stature for life. There’s the secret. It takes a courageous man or woman to “measure” God.
Real giants are not simply tall people, but rather people with added inches of the heart that stand them closer to the face of God.
While Goliath is growing, the eyes of God are searching. Searching for men and women with the courage to “measure” Him, and the stature to stand above the crowd. Are you such a one?
©2003 Alan Stewart
Alan Stewart: Dr. Alan Stewart has served as Senior Pastor of Rechoboth Baptist since December 1999. He attended The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Moody Bible Institute, Covington Theological Seminary, and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Prior to pastoring the Tennessee church, Alan was an evangelist for 15 years. He has preached revivals/pastor’s conferences in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. He also preached crusades/conferences in India, Hungary, and conducted a crusade in South Africa in August of 2009. Pastor Alan is married to Jeanne, and they are blessed with two children – Sierra and Seth.