Is There Not A Cause?
While traveling to a recent speaking engagement, my thoughts suddenly became terribly inundated with waves of ambivalence (at one moment I had feelings of uncertainty, at another moment feelings of accomplishment). For a while, I didn’t know whether I should be proud of the recent CTF accomplishment or embarrassed that such a small organization should be brought to the surface of public awareness in this manner, especially in connection with the subject matter associated with the CTF message. Of course, as you have already guessed, this whole experience I am describing was primarily due to the high degree of international and national media coverage and public hoopla that has accompanied the opening of The Museum of Earth History in Eureka Springs. We never, for a moment, dreamed that such exposure would follow the construction of this small exhibit center, nor did we promote or encourage the various news organizations to consider writing an article about the Museum. But, they did, and still are! As a matter of fact, by the time you read this article we will have already filmed a session for ABC news at 6:00 with Peter Jennings.
As my mind continued to ponder this phenomenal stream of events, just as suddenly, there flooded into my thinking the words written by the Old Testament historian to illustrate David’s reaction to his brother’s misunderstanding of his motive for being at the battlefield in I Samuel 17:28-29. First Samuel’s narrative reads that Eliab, David’s oldest brother, angrily exclaimed, in effect, “Why in the world are you here, you silly boy? Don ‘t you know that you should be at home watching the sheep! Your pride and insolence has caused you to come here just to see the battle.”
As you know, Eliab’s assessment was absolutely wrong—nothing could have been further from the truth. Probably, because Eliab was himself fearful of the threats of the giant and didn’t want either his little brother or his father to know it, he was extremely annoyed at David’s presence. The fact is David had come to the battlefield because his father had sent him there to bring grain and bread to his brothers, and to bring word home of the status of his brothers. But instead of having a short and friendly visit with his brothers, he was intolerably alarmed by what he saw and heard.
As he approached the battle area, he heard the degrading words of this self-styled Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, disrespectfully roaring insane expletives while slandering his holy God—the God of Israel. But, more than that, he was significantly moved when he observed that neither King Saul nor any portion of Israel’s army responded, including all three of his brothers who had joined with Saul to fight the Philistines. He suddenly became alarmed beyond his ability to contain himself when he noticed the terrible dark cloud of defeatism that had settled over everyone in Israel’s army. They were all “dismayed, dreadfully afraid and fled” from the “giant.” No one dared to move because they were all afraid to move. The scene was hopeless and great despair was mirrored from the faces of every man, even King Saul.
We’ve heard all of this before. The Scripture is replete with example after example of God’s people hesitating to respond to the threatenings of the enemy because they were either intimidated by the “giants in the land,” or because they believed “those that were against them were more than they that were for them.” But, at this moment in Israel’s history, awakening was about to break out, because a young man had walked up who couldn’t understand the insensibilities of the giant (and God will always have a man—there will always be a David). David was more influenced by the promise and power of his God, (with which he had become intimately familiar during many episodes with wild beasts while caring for his father’s sheep on the back side of the desert), than he was with all of the idle threats and intimidating tactics of this “giant.”
Is There Not A Cause
So, he immediately faced his older brother and kindly, but assertively, asked, “What have I done now?” He asked, in effect, “All I have done is ask a few questions about the conditions I am seeing.” After which, he exclaimed (according to KJV), “IS THERE NOTA CAUSE?” And so, as I was riding down the highway that morning on my way to speak in another church, the Word of God again boomed these same words—IS THERE NOT A CAUSE?
Just as instantly, my thoughts began framing the aspects of an irrefutable cause—a cause so great and so important that any hearing ear would grasp—a cause so essential that any David like heart would be motivated to response. Yes, there is a cause—a cause with at least three interlocking components—all important, but arranged as dominos! If the first one falls then all will fall, but without the tumbling of the first one, the others will remain resistant and aloof.
What is the nature of the cause? The Bible has become generally discredited as the Word of the LORD on the reported basis that it is no longer scientifically credible to explain the origin of the universe, the earth or man. Furthermore, because Christ’s creatorship has been so thoroughly repudiated due to the loss of the Genesis account of history, His redemptive work has also been relegated to nothing more than just another religious story among the world’s religious tales. Finally, with the Bible perceived to be merely another of the world’s religious books, and Jesus Christ viewed as only another of the world’s religious leaders, then the Biblical reclamation of America is impossible.
First, and foremost, then, among these causes is the return of the credibility and authority of the Holy Scripture. Second, is the identification of the Creatorship and Deity of Jesus Christ, and finally is the possibility of true revival and awakening to revisit America based on the reestablishment of the Bible as the Word of God and Christ as the Creator and owner of the universe. All of these realities have disappeared from the shores of this great country—all due to the discrediting of the Genesis record by evolutionism being presented as a scientific fact. I think it is interesting that Dr. Walter Martin, founder of the Christian Research Institute, said, in effect, just before his death, during a graduation speech, that:
A defective view of Genesis has given rise to a defective Bibliology [doctrine of the Bible], and this in turn has given rise to a defective Theology [doctrine of God], which has given rise to a defective Christology [doctrine of Christ], which has given rise to a defective pneumentology [doctrine of the Holy Spirit], which has produced [especially in America] a total immorality.
The accuracy of this statement is uncontestable!
Historical Background and Comparison
While the characters in this Davidic story are obviously different, the interrelationships and cause/effect parallels are astonishingly similar to conditions in America and the world today. King Saul can easily represent a phase in Israeli history of humanism and secularism, a parallel condition found in the United States today. Goliath epitomizes the voice of the social engineers bent on total annihilation of the Bible’s influence in the culture, and his intimidating size can be seen today represented by the so-called unassailability of science impacting this process. The vast extent of ignorance, fear and cowardice seen in the army of Israel incredibly parallels the present intimidation, inactivity and compromise of the present church community, which was caused by the academic elite who have almost to the person propagated the deception of evolution as the only scientific explanation for man’s origin.
However, in the midst of all this apostasy and defeat, God was still in charge in Israel, as He is today in this Country. Don’t you ever for a moment forget, no matter how dark and foreboding grows the sky, nevertheless, the “Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” God had a young man in training— someone who was learning Kingdom matters in a Kingdom manner. And without warning he suddenly walked upon the scene with the right stuff. He didn’t choose himself for this task, he was chosen and sent for another purpose, he thought, but when he arrived on the site, the divine nature of these circumstances called into action a unique knowledge of God which he learned in the wilderness.
It is necessary to observe that God perennially chooses to use the ‘foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” (1 Corinthians
David was used to deliver Israel, not because he was perfect, but because he recognized the cause and did something about it.
David’s Five Smooth Stones
A careful study of the historical accounting of this circumstance in the books of Samuel and Chronicles indicate that Goliath had several brothers—it seems there were three at least (II Samuel 21:22). It is highly probable that one of David’s motives for picking up five stones was due to this fact. It is further true that the spiritual significance of a stone and the number five can represent a number of spiritual truths and conditions, but to me they represent the Lord, His Word, the ministry of angels, the CTF team and the CTF partners- our five smooth stones! Therefore, with this armament in place, the fact that the Lord has caused CTF to impact a portion of the American culture is God’s business. One fact is for sure, we understand the cause.
Moreover, the five stones is a testimony to the creativity and providence of God. By comparison, God has taken the CTF ministry with very little means—pennies versus millions of dollars—and has disturbed many in the naturalistic world. No wonder David later wrote,
My heart is steadfast, 0 God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken at dawn. I will praise You, 0 Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds. Be exalted, 0 God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
G. Thomas Sharp