The Valley Of Elah (Strength) - 1 Samuel 17
Read verses 1-3. Define mountains and valleys in our lives. Some examples: The Valley of the Shadow of Death (Psalm 23), the Valley of Baca (Weeping, Psalm 84).
Then verse 16.
40 is symbolic of a time of testing. Examples:
- Spies checking out the promised land. Numbers 13:25-33.
- 40 years wandering in the wilderness.
- Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness.
- After Jesus’ resurrection, time spent showing He was alive.
Giants of Gath - Anakim:
- See Numbers 13:25-33; Joshua 11:21-22; 1 Chronicles 20:4-8. If the Israelites had destroyed the Canaanites as the Lord had commended them to do, there would never have been this battle. As the verses in this section show, Goliath and his four brothers came from one of the cities that they did not conquer by faith.
Comparison between Goliath, Saul, and David, and their strengths:
Size: Goliath – 9 ½ feet or taller. (The main cubit used in Bible times was a foot and a half long.)
Saul – Head and shoulders above everyone else. 1 Samuel 9:2.
David – Average size.
Armour: Goliath – Coat of mail (approximately 125 pounds), helmet, brass leg greaves, shield, target (means either a small shield – as extra protection for his back - or a javelin).
Saul – Coat of mail, helmet, perhaps more. Vs. 38-39.
David – none. Vs. 40-47, 50. The problem with Saul’s armour was that to David it was untried in battle, not that it was too big.
Weapons: Goliath – Sword, spear (head weighed about 15 pounds). (Sword later used by David – See 1 Samuel 21:9.)
Saul – Sword.
David – Sling and five stones, staff.
Age: Goliath – Perhaps middle age. Vs. 33.
Saul – Approximately 60-70 years old. We do not know how old he was when he became king, but he reigned for 40 years, and at this point in time it was about 30 years into his reign. (See next point.)
David – Around 20 years old. Vs. 33-37. Israels’ soldiers were usually 20 years old and up. After this point in time, David becomes part of Saul’s army. Saul’s daughter was offered to him (so he could not have been any younger than mid to late teens). The history of the rest of the book of 1 Samuel (ie. David serving in Saul’s court, in the Israelite army, and fleeing from king Saul) does not seem to cover more than approximately ten years, and David was 30 when Saul died and he became king – so this would again make him somewhere around 20 (ie. late teens to early twenties).
Status: Goliath – Seasoned Warrior, Philistines’ Champion.
Saul – King, Warrior.
David – Musician, Shepherd, Armourbearer.
Military Might: Goliath – Whole Philistine army, shield bearer.
Saul – Israelite army, Valiant men, David’s 3 oldest brothers, Jonathan. 1 Samuel 14:47-48, 52.
David – All alone… (With the Lord!!)
Mental State: Goliath – Fierce, scornful.
Saul – Fearful. Vs. 11.
David – Full of faith, bold, courageous. Vs. 23-24, 26, 29. We see his love for the Lord, and his desire to defend the Lord’s honour.
Spiritual State: Goliath – Lost, wicked.
Saul – Backslidden, Holy Spirit departed from him. 1 Samuel 16:14.
David – The Holy Spirit came upon him (like the Judges). 1 Samuel 16:13.
Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
- Might: from 2342; probably a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Joshua 23:9-10 For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
- Strong: empowered, enabled.
- Power: vigor, strengthened.
November 3rd, 2010