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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Slaying Goliath

As most of us already know, the Old Testament is full of war stories. One of my favorite war stories from the Bible takes place between the Israelites and the Philistines. At that time, the Israelites (the Jews) were God's chosen people. The Philistines were a wicked people who hated Israel and the Jews. Before the battle, each side was supposed to send out one of their biggest and toughest warriors to fight with the other.

The Philistines sent out Goliath, who was a great warrior. He was a very large and strong man. The scriptures say that his height was "six cubits or a span", which is around nine feet tall. Goliath was outfitted with strong metal armor from head to toe. Goliath taunted the Israelite army and told them to send someone to fight him. He told them if he beat the Israelite that fought him, Israel would be slaves to the Palestinians and but if they lost, they would be slaves to Israel.

The king of the Israelites at that time was the wicked King Saul. He and the Israelite army heard the threatenings of Goliath and no one wanted to him because they were all too scared of him. Jesse was the father of a young boy named David, and he also had some other sons who were enlisted in the Israelite army. Jesse sent David down to the battle so he could deliver food to his other sons. When David arrived and saw that no one would fight Goliath, he said, "Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine."

At first King Saul was hesitant to let David fight Goliath because he was just a boy, but eventually David persuaded Saul to let him fight Goliath. David put on the armor Saul gave him but took it off because he hasn't proved, or tested it beforehand. Instead, he went out to fight Goliath with just a wooden staff, some rocks, and a sling.

Goliath laughed at David and was insulted because the Israelite army had sent a young man out to fight him. He asked David, "Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? (1 Samuel 17:43) Goliath then cursed David in the name of his gods and told David that he would feed his flesh to the birds when he slew David. However, David wasn't frightened by Goliath.

He said, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."

Goliath started to come toward David, but David took out his sling and landed a rock right inside Goliath's skull which it "sunk inside his forehead", and the giant Goliath fell to the ground face down. David took Goliath's sword and climbed on top of him, then cut off Goliath's head and killed him. When the Philistines saw David slaughter their champion, they ran from David and the Israelites defeated them.

What an awesome story this is! Yes, it is a great war story about the little guy defeating (or should I say de-heading?) the big guy, however there is much more to be learned from the story of David and Goliath than how boss David is. From this story, we can learn about defeating Goliath's in our own lives.

When challenges appear in our lives, many times we act like the Israelite army and cower away from our opposition. We often say, "I can't do this, it is too hard!" or "This trial is too tough, there is no way I can get through it!" These trials can take many forms. Just to name a few examples, there is sin, temptation, work, and school. Often times we may give up in the face of hardship.

Instead, let us rely on the Lord to help get us through our tough times. When Goliaths appear in our lives, let us be like David. Let us trust in the Lord enough to persevere through and overcome all of our trials. This requires faith! Opposition is not meant to be easy! But if we rely on the Lord in all of our doings, He will help us slay our Goliaths.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the message Elder Hill, Sister Paylor and I were talking this morning about how we would love to be back in your area again. Keep up the good work.

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