This past Sunday, I felt led to preach a message on bullying. I will complete the message this coming Sunday. I wasn’t sure why the Lord desired this message since I was in the midst of a series on missions. I knew that the timing was important since school is about to start.
I wish I could say that I was surprised at the response after the service, but I wasn’t. I was more saddened than anything else. We have our share of children who have been or are being bullied. There were also numbers of adults who expressed how they were bullied when they were youngsters.
I shared from the account of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17. Goliath was a bully. He had seven characteristics of a bully.
- Goliath had companions or cohorts (verses 1-3). He didn’t stand alone. He had the army of the Philistines behind him.
- Goliath was big (verse 4). Goliath was a giant. Bullies normally have some quality of bigness. They may be big physically or big socially or big influentially or big because they know how to use the social networks.
- Goliath taunted (verses 8-10). Goliath challenged the army of Israel. Bullies always speak or write in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone.
- Goliath intimidated (verses 10-11). Goliath spoke to invoke fear in the Israelites. Bullies relish making someone timid or fearful.
- Goliath was incessant (verse 16). Goliath came out every morning and evening to taunt the Israelites. Bullies keep at it. It’s what they do and who they are.
- Goliath recognized vulnerability (verse 24). The Philistines must have known about the split between King Saul and Samuel. Bullies act on those they deem as vulnerable.
- Goliath used lies (verses 9, 51). Goliath said that if he lost, the Philistines would serve the Israelites. After he was defeated, the Philistines ran. Bullies dwell in the arena of lies.
I shared the first piece of counsel to those being bullied. Get outside help. Go to your parents, let them know and let them help.
King Saul and the army of Israel allowed for outside intervention through a young shepherd boy named David. God then used David to defeat the bully.
For every Goliath, there is a David.
Are you being bullied? Is your child the victim of bullying? Do you know of a child being bullied?
God has a David for you. Are you ready and willing deal with it?
Parents ask your children if they have a bully in their lives. You may very well be their David.
Something to think about...