1 Samuel 17: 1-3 The Message Bible
The Philistines drew up their troops for battle. Saul and the Israelites came together, camped at Oak Valley, and spread out their troops in battle readiness for the Philistines. The Philistines were on one hill, the Israelites on the opposing hill, with the valley between them.
We find Israel on one hill and the giant on the opposing hill but make note of the valley between them. At this point in the story, all is well with both camps. No weapon has been thrown, no battle has begun, and both sides are preparing for victory. Living life on the mountain is wonderful. Beauty is all around, and we feel like the “king of the hill.” Life does not allow us to stay on the mountains, though. We must come down into the valley. On the mountain, we can see forever, but in the valley, our vision ends at the next obstacle.
1 Samuel 17: 4-7, 11 The Message Bible
A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open, Goliath from Gath. He had a bronze helmet on his head and was dressed in armor – 126 pounds of it! He wore bronze shin guards and carried a bronze sword. His spear was like a fence rail – the spear tip alone weighed over fifteen pounds. His shield bearer walked ahead of him. When Saul and his troops heard the Philistine’s challenge, they were terrified and lost all hope.
In the valley we start to grow concerned, we lose our vision, and we lose faith. The giant overwhelms us to the point that we feel we can’t can even put a dent in him. We start to believe that the giant’s protection is so much better than ours and we are all alone. Inside the limited vision of the valley, we believe that the giant is larger, better protected, and undefeatable.
1 Samuel 17: 20-254 The Message Bible
David was up at the crack of dawn and, having arranged for someone to tend his flock, took the food and was on his way just as Jesse had directed him. He arrived at the camp just as the army was moving into battle formation, shouting the war cry. Israel and the Philistines moved into position, facing each other, battle-ready. David left his bundles of food in the care of a sentry, ran to the troops who were deployed, and greeted his brothers. While they were talking together, the Philistine champion, Goliath of Gath, stepped out from the front lines of the Philistines, and gave his usual challenge. David heard him. The Israelites, to a man, fell back the moment they saw the giant – totally frightened.
As you begin to face your challenge, you mentally prepare: “I will not allow this to take me down! I have waited long enough. It is time to rid myself of this giant!” The battle lines are drawn, and you’re ready to implement the attack. The giant steps up and shows himself and begins to speak those lies. So you retreat and never advance.
1 Samuel 17: 37-39 The Message Bible
God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” Saul said, “Go. And God help you!” Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off.
David remembered all his past experiences when God had fought his battles. They may not have been giants like Goliath, but they had been challenges all the same, and God had proven Himself to David through those experiences. Of course, the world around us wants us to fight these battles with proven battle gear. King Saul outfits David with his armor, but the world’s key to battles just does not fit when God is involved. Faith, belief, and trust in God is what protects us.
1 Samuel 17: 47-49 The Message Bible
And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God – he’s handing you to us on a platter!” That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, face down in the dirt.
The battle belongs to the Lord. David’s stone hits the giant hard in the forehead, embedding it deeply. The battles we face are not military, they are not political, and they are not solved within our own strength. We discussed a few weeks ago, Romans 12:2. Paul tells us to transformation starts with renewing the mind. We can overcome mind monsters with a stone and a sling with God is in it! When God takes the victory, the whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in our midst.