October 9, 2015
1 Samuel 17
And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 1 Samuel 17:4
LET IT GLOW
I can let the silliest little things grow in my life and become that intimidating giant. Fear comes in various forms, doesn't it? I fear the unknown about situations. Most of those things don't even happen, so they say. Yet, I find myself dwelling on them, day after day, and throughout the day. Anyone with me? Worry, worry.Then a word in a song yelled at me-RELEASE. If only I would learn: to God I release, I would have more peace. So that is going to be my word to live by the rest of this year and next year. Release for peace. Give it to God to work out. Take it all Jesus. I surrender it. Now that is quite an assignment! Are you with me?
Before we get into this story, which actually happened, let's review.
When Israel had first approached the Promised Land, most of the Israelites had been afraid to enter because of the giants living there (Num. 13:32-33). (Joshua and Caleb were the only spies to say they could capture the land. Others focused on the giants in the land, not their giant God.) King Og needed a bed 13 feet long (Deut. 3:11). (Life Application Study Bible)
These Philistine giants continued to live up to this time.
Looking at the scenery, we find the Philistine and Israelite armies are camped on opposite hills with a valley between them. The Valley of Elah had steep walls, was a vast canyon, about a mile wide. (This may have been where David picked up his 5 stones.)
The towns of Sochoh and Azekah are in Judah, about 15 miles west and 17 miles northwest of Bethlehem., and 15 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
This is probably the most well-known battle of the Bible-David and Goliath. But then, I think of Gideon and his small army of 300. Whether it is a one-on-one or a small army, the size does not matter when God is on your side.
No matter how big the giant might be, God is greater. (Swindoll)
Why was this all taking place? Goliath issued a challenge to Israel to send out their man to fight him. Whoever won, the loosing army would be the victor's slaves. This prevented so much bloodshed. This occurred day after day, for 40 days (verse 16).
In the ancient world, wars were sometimes decided in a head-to-head battle between two champions. People believed that the gods determined the matter through those two warriors. (Jeremiah)
How do we react when our faith is challenged? Do we stand for our God or turn away?
It caused fear in Saul and Israel, the challenge of Goliath (verse 11).
Probably Saul expected that his people expected him to fight Goliath. Remember, Saul was a head taller than the Israelites and he was their leader, the king.
How do we react when others expect us to fight? Do we seek God's will first?
LET IT GROW
Have you ever read such a detailed description of an enemy as if found in this chapter about Goliath?
- was a champion in the army of the Philistines. Champion means the space between two armies; the middle man who represented his army.
- was 6 cubits and a span in height, which is 9 feet and 9 inches in our terms. quite a ginormous man! (Modern term) The NBA would have loved him.
- had some armor, called a coat of mail-a bronze helmet, coat of brass (covered shoulder to knee), which weighed 175-200 pounds, bronze leggings to protect his shins, and carried a bronze javelin or spear (head weighed 20-25 pounds).
- had a man carrying a shield in front of him (shield the size of a full grown man).
Do we have any giants of fear and worry? Are they coming morning after morning, every night, and day after day? They may come in the form of a person, a pressure, a fear, a worry, or in the mail, a lawsuit, unemployment, a job, a roommate, a family member. Do they yell across our personal ravine, challenging us?
What do we do? Do we take the challenge face on clothed in the full armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6? Or do we hide, cower down?
Our Goliath may appear small to others, but a giant to us. That is when we need to get our perspective from God. All things are small to him, so He can handle them all for us.
Put on our spiritual armor-helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, boots of peace, spear of the Word, and shield of faith. They are provided by Jesus and free of charge to us.
1 John 4:4 says, Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
May I challenge you to memorize this verse with me?
LET IT GO
When facing a giant in my life, release it to my God.
Trust Him, love Him, depend on our Savior who defeated the grave and death, so He can defeat anything.
All right, Linda, put these words into practice today-release it.