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VERSES: 1 SAM. 17: 1-50 The most famous battle described in the Old Testament was not fought between to armies, but between two people. It was the battle in the Valley of Elah, between David and Goliath. Before we go into that, let us recall the events that happened prior to that battle: When King Saul sinned against God, the Lord commanded Samuel to go into Bethlehem to Jesses household and anoint the new king of Israel. It was there that God told Samuel that He did not look at appearances but the heart of a man (1 Sam. 16:7) and that David was the next king. Point #1: Just like Samuel, we too are subject to sizing up people or situations based on appearance. We are impressed with, or not impressed with, individuals because we judge on the basis of surface appearance. We look at the externals and we form opinions that turn out to be wrong.

In this most talked about battle, we will see that Gods statement to Samuel would be most applicable. Lets see what the author says about Goliath. In verses 4-7 of our text, Goliath is said to be around

9 9 tallvery like what the PBA would want on their team! And if you add the length of his arms when he would lift it above his head, you can imagine what a very imposing figure he must have been, especially to the Israelites. He was fully geared in battle, and even had his own shield carrier! And to top it all, he used the best weapon he had against the Israelites fear and intimidation. Verses 8-9 say that for 40 days he would go out and taunt and challenge the Israelites to send a warrior to fight him. Point # 2: Think about it40 days. Isnt that how some of the giants in our life act? The giants like fear, worry, discouragement, etc...They dont just taunt you once; they come morning and evening, day after day, ever so persistent in trying to intimidate. They come in the form of peopleeven people you trustsituations, and the like. They become more and more persistent, especially when we face them with our own strength.

Now lets look at David. About 10-15 miles away from this battle, we find him tending to his fathers sheep. Why wasnt he in the battle field? Wasnt he supposed to be the next king? Remember, David was still a teenager at this time. In fact, he probably knew very little as to what was going on at the Valley of Elah. All he knew was that his three older brothers were fighting for King Sauls army. But what would happen in the next few hours would show how God orchestrates events to happen to glorify His Name

and fulfill His purposes in the lives of those who trust in Him. In verses 17-18, Jesse sends David off to give his brothers food to eat, and to bring back news of what is going on in the battle. Again, remember that David wasnt going there to fight. He was just going to give his brothers food, make sure they were alright, and send his fathers love. The next day, David went to go see his brothers. And there, at that same instance, when he was approaching the camp, we find Goliath yelling and hurling insults and challenging the Israelite army once again. This is the 41st day the Israelites have encountered Goliath, but this is the first time its happened to David. Point # 3: Isnt it interesting how hindsight (perception after the fact) gives a lot of insights? Have you ever faced a Goliath that seemed so intimidating at that time, but after a few days you say to yourself, Man, I wish Id done thisand thatand so on? When you usually look back you always know a better way, but at the time it happens you are at a get like a mental block. But not David.

David had the character to see what Goliath really was. Just a dwarf! In verses 26-27, we see how David reacts to the taunts of this Philistine. He is outraged, and even insulted!

Point # 4:

Have we ever felt outraged when someone mocks and insults our Lord? Are we like David? Are we ready to defend our God? Or are we like the Israelites who cower in fear of our enemies? I will leave that question for later.

Now lets look at another character in this story-- Eliab. Do you remember who Eliab is? He is the eldest son of Jesse. Just a little background: During this time in Israel, being the eldest son was the most honored position in the family. It was always the eldest who got the blessing from father (e.g. Esau and Jacob). When Samuel was instructed by God to anoint the next king of Israel he thought that Eliab was the one. Why? Because he was the eldest. Can you imagine what he felt when it was not he who was anointed king but his youngest brother David? That must have been a slap in the face for Eliab! The youngest gets blessed above the older. So when David came to Elah that day, Eliab was already biased in what he said to his younger brother, as in verse 28. Point # 5: First Eliab questions Davids motives (Why have you really come?). Then his second question was designed to humiliate David (Hey, David, where did you leave that handful of sheep?). The he gets real ugly, I know your rudeness and the wickedness of your

heart. You just came here for the excitement. You just wanted to see the battle. Isnt it interesting how we can so easily and readily judge our brother and sisters? How we easily form a conclusion without getting the facts straight? How many times have we accused our brethren of being wicked? How many times have we pointed that finger? It is so sad that even in the Body of Christ this is happening. We are supposed to be the supreme example of those who love and accept one another, yet it seems we are the first to put one another down, to talk about our kapatid-sa-Panginoon behind their backs. Tell me, are we really true Christians? Or are we just like Eliab. As a leader in the music team, I have experienced these kinds of talk. I have been accused, tried, and judged without the courtesy of hearing my side of the story. Kumbaga eh nasintensya na bago pa nakapag-testigo. Some would say, Uy Ipag-pray natin si kapatid kasi blah, blah I wonder if our Father in Heaven is happy with the way we treat our kapatid-sa-Panginoon? Truth be told, the average person would have rolled up his sleeves and said Square na lang tayo oh!.

But not David. He knew who the real enemy wasit was that uncircumcised gentile screaming at the other side of the valley. And what does he do next? He ignores Eliabs comments and HE TURNS AWAY. Point # 6: We too should not bother ourselves with petty things. Dont you know that this is just a tactic of the enemy to keep us occupied, and not do what our Lord commanded us to do? Instead of going out and preaching the gospel, instead of telling people about Jesus love, we spend most of our time with tsismis sessions. Lets not get side-tracked from the real issue here! We should be united in our battle against satan. Nakakita na ba kayo ng isang army na watak-watak pero nanalo sa gera? I dont think so! A united army is the one that wins battles!Tigilan na natin ang paninira sa kapatid natin! I usually tell my music team that instead of wasting our time criticizing, eh dapat tumulong tayo! Kung puro dakdak lang pero walang ginagawa, then that person is useless to the church!

We all know the rest of the story. David conquers Goliath and slays him. Out of this battle, the real truth emerged, evident to the troops on both sides of the Valley of Elah: Goliath was the dwarf and David was the giant.