Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Facing a Giant? You need COMMITMENT to God

Every day for 40 straight days the giant Goliath had walked down the hillside from the Philistine camp and stood in the Valley of Elah, looking up at the Israelite army on the opposing hillside, taunting them and their God. He did it every morning and every evening. The army of Israel had heard his remarks 80 times now but David was about to hear it for the first time.

In 1 Samuel 17:23-24, I see a couple of things that really stick out to me – things I have always missed when I would tell the story of David and Goliath. Verse 23 tells us that on this day, as David was talking to his brothers, Goliath came up from the Philistine camp. Wait a second. Look at the direction he goes closely. It says that “He went UP!”

Now if the Philistines were on one hillside and the Israelites were on the opposite hillside, and Goliath walked from the Philistine camp to the Valley of Elah below it, what direction would he have traveled? He would have “went DOWN” from the Philistine camp into the valley, right? So then, why does it say that he “went UP.” Where could have Goliath possibly have gone that he "went UP”?

It appears to me that Goliath had gotten even more brazen. For 40 days he had walked down into the valley of Elah and shouted his challenge to the army of Israel. But not this day. This day it appears that he went down the hillside from his own encampment, crossed the valley, and actually started UP the hillside where the Israelites were. Now the men of Israel would be able to see Goliath closer than they ever had before and a lot closer than they wanted to. And the Bibles says that as a result, “They fled from him and were greatly afraid.” But then I notice one other thing.

Verse 23 says that David “heard” Goliath.

Verse 24 says that the men of Israel’s army “saw” him.

I find it interesting that not once in this passage does David ever even remark about Goliath’s size. That is all the armies of Israel could focus on but that wasn’t what grabbed David’s attention. David looked right past his size and focused on the fact that he was taunting the armies of the living God.

In my last post we saw that if we are going to face the giants in our lives we need COMMUNCIATION with God. Today we learn that a second need we have if we are going to face the Goliaths in our own lives is a COMMITMENT to God. The armies of Israel “saw” Goliath – David “heard” him. So what are you most focused on? The size of the giant you are facing or the way that you giant is striking at the very core of your trust and commitment in God. If we are going to face the giants in our lives, we must fear compromising our commitment to God more than we fear the size of our giants.

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