And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. (1 Samuel 17:2-4)
Today’s Morsel: When I was in the Army stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Virginia, one of my favorite sites for running was Battlefield Park. You could see many of the cannons still in place and the battlefields where they fought. As I ran through it, I could sense and see within my mind men yelling, firing, crying for help, horses falling, sabers rattling, and orders being yelled over the fight. Isaiah said, “For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire” (Isaiah 9:5). As I read today's passage, my mind is immediately drawn to another battle, the battle in the valley of Elah between Israel and the Philistines. Fear is on both sides of the valley. Both sides seem to be fearful of wandering down into the valley to fight. One giant against one army. The Philistines' hope rested in their champion, the giant Goliath, and Israel seemed to have no man to fight him. And so for 40 days there was torment, cursing, and defilement against the army of God. This giant seemed to have everyone afraid by his stature. But even Goliath seemed to be fearful of the army of Israel because he never ventured into the valley or went over to the army of God to fight them. You see, your enemy knows that he has no power over you and he does the same thing Goliath did to the children of Israel. He torments you, curses and pokes fun at you to discourage you from fighting him. But when David came to the battle, the tables turned. David went into the valley of Elah and fought against Goliath and prevailed over him with a sling and a stone, by coming against him in the name of the Lord. And then he cut off his head with the enemy's own sword. We can stand on the sidelines and allow our enemy to torment us, or we can get into the valley and defeat him through the power of the Name. The ball is in our court. The decision is ours. We can fight and win, or we can be discouraged and lose.
Sing: Take the name of Jesus with you, child of sorrow and of woe; it will joy and comfort give you, take it then wherever you go. Precious name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven; precious name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven.
Thought For Today: Bullying is a revelation of your enemies fears. (Parker)