This is THE lesson EVERY NextGeneration servant of the Lord NEEDS to LEARN. We are increasingly marginalized by the worldly culture we live in daily. We are mocked, challenged, and at times, hated.
What is the temptation? To just float along with the crowd and not resist. What is God’s desire? GOD WANTS US TO LEARN to STAND for HIM even if we are the only one doing so. David was willing to stand for God–all alone. And there were few more lonely spots in the history of the universe than the hillside of the Valley of Elah in the ‘no man’s land’ between the armies of Israel and the Philistines.
Haven’t we all sometimes wished we could have had a bird’s eye view of the titanic confrontation of David and Goliath? That scene in biblical history stands as one of the greatest moments of God’s Word.
Let’s go back to the crisp, cool air of a Middle Eastern morning three thousand years ago to see David. Two callused feet slipped quietly out from under the warmth of wool fleece and deftly into the sandals left carefully beside the low wooden cot. In the twilight of early morning’s pre-dawn darkness the possibly red-headed, teenaged-boy crept carefully out of the stone house on the outskirts of Bethlehem.
With the CONFIDENCE of integrity and the JOY of purity–young David was on his way to a moment never to fade from the pages of history. Walking excitedly the rocky paths up and down the hills of Judah, the young shepherd boy was headed to the Valley of Elah a mere 8 miles off. Arriving before breakfast young David eagerly surveyed the eastern rim of the valley. Campfires and tents dotted the hillside as he looked at the army of God’s people Israel. With a heart filled with gratitude and wonder, David strode up to the first tent and asked if anyone knew where his brothers from Bethlehem were camping. The special provisions his dad had sent them needed to be delivered, but they were only a part of David’s purpose in coming.
David longed to see the people who stood for his God. But even more, David so loved the God of Israel; he wanted to see Him at work. David sang of His God on his long vigils around the hills of Bethlehem caring for his father’s sheep. In fact, in his favorite song from the hills where he sat day after day as a shepherd boy–he sang of the Lord as his shepherd. And so with that Psalm 23 heart, David came as God’s man for this very climactic moment in history!
Suddenly David’s search for his brothers abruptly ended as a loud voice brimming with evil rumbled up the hillsides of that valley. In the distance, a pillar of armor encasing God’s enemy Goliath sprayed the venom of the ancient serpent from Eden across the faithless and frightened people of God.
Standing just above the height of a basketball rim, he was a full three feet taller than Michael Jordan. Goliath easily weighed over 400 pounds and was dressed in layers of shining armor of bronze that weighed in at another 150 plus pounds. Then at the end of an eight-foot-long pole was a metal spear point that weighed about 20 pounds. Goliath was equipped with the very latest military weaponry and was a fearsome sight.
Shocked, grieved, and angered–David heard for the first time this irreverent pagan reviling the God of Heaven. Instantly he wanted to stand for the honor of God at all costs. As we know so well, he did. Unafraid and with no concern for self he embodies what God can do with all who think only of the Lord and not of themselves.
With that brief insight, let’s read God’s eyewitness, on the spot account—
of one of the greatest moments in history, as the unseen by all but David—God,
defeats the most visible representation of all that God is not—Goliath.