Thursday, July 29, 2010

How Big Are Your Giants?

The Valley of Elah played host to the all-time most popular battle in the history of warfare. Though two armies were present, all battle dressed and ready for war, the actual fight only involved two individuals. The Valley is a large ravine, up to a mile wide. On either side of it are hills. On one hill was encamped King Saul and the Israelite army. On the other side stood their arch enemies of that day, the army of the Philistines.

Down the hillside from the Philistine encampment came a champion by the name of Goliath from the Philistine city of Gath. His name literally meant “great” and “great” he was. When he stood in the valley between the hills where these two armies were located, nobody could miss his presence. The Bible says that his height was 6 cubits and a span. Now how big is 6 cubits and a span? Well, think of it this way:

The average size of a man today is roughly 5 feet 6 inches.

The tallest player in the National Basketball Association is 7 feet 6 inches.

The tallest man in the world is roughly 8 feet 5 inches.

But Goliath had them all beat. Understanding the exact measurement of a cubit by our standards today is difficult but we can say this – Goliath stood at very minimum 9 feet 9 inches tall and could have been as tall as 10 feet 6 inches. Imagine how tall he would be when he raised his arms over his head? And he wasn’t just tall – he was strong. His armor alone weighed upwards of 200 pounds and the head of his spear came in at around 25 pounds. No wonder his name meant “great” and no person in the Israelite camp could miss his presence.

But he didn’t just stand in the valley, he yelled out to the Israelite army asking for a challenger to come out and fight him, one-on-one, winner take all. If the challenger won, all of the Philistines would become the servants of the Israelites. But if Goliath won, then the Israelites would be servants to the Philistines. This was a somewhat common form of warfare in that day. I guess you could call it “representative warfare.” But either way you look at it, no soldier in the army of Israel was up for the challenge. 1 Samuel 17 is clear that they were all filled with fear at the awesome presence of such a huge adversary.

Tell me, are you facing a giant in your life? Are you facing an obstacle, be it a problem or a person, that seems so huge that you have pretty much decided that it is insurmountable? Are you facing an obstacle, be it a problem or a person, that is causing you great insecurity, fear, anxiety, tears, and sleepless nights? Are you facing a giant of an obstacle in your life, be it a person or a problem, that is striking at your very sense of trust in God? Is a Goliath standing in the Valley of Elah of your life? If so, be sure to listen to my sermon this Sunday here at Grace Church in Lititz, PA and see 5 lessons we can learn from a boy named David that will help us face the giants that are in our lives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish you would get permission before posting these pictures of me.