Monday 10 August, 2020

1 Samuel 17:1-11

17 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them. 4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[a] 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b]; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] His shield bearer went ahead of him. 8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

I am not a particularly tall or big person. There often seems to be someone around me that is either taller than me or takes up more of the earth’s sunlight than me. I grew up with 2 big brothers who were always bigger and tougher than me. If I was stupid enough to get involved in a physical fight with them, I would always come out worse off. Battles between big and small seem to normally go this way – the weaker smaller person will not win against the bigger stronger person, its simple physiological dynamics.

Goliath is an epic and well-known character in the bible and actually very well known in the secular world as well. 

He was known for his great size, stature and also his demeanor. He was a great warrior who evoked fear into Israel. Who wouldn’t be scared of him? He was unmatched by any other warrior. Imagine you were King Saul – what could you do to defeat Goliath? If you know the rest of the story about what happened to Goliath then you will understand the authors need to describe Goliath in such a detailed way for the reader to understand that from the outset he was unconquerable – however God found a way to change that. 

As I grew up with my brothers, despite being the littlest of all, I had a powerful mind and soon taught myself to outsmart my brothers in non physical ways. I was able to conquer through my creativity and dissolve my fear of being inadequate. I believe God gave me a sharp mind to skill me and lead me on my journey. God gave me a path. 

Dear Heavenly Father, let us remember the mighty character of Goliath. Let us remember that in the battles we face, we are not alone and that you guide our paths.   Amen

Written by Susannah Ware

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