Click Here to learn more about the Holy Land and the Average People in the Valley of Elah with one of our seminars.

Valley of Elah - Average People Picking Up StonesThe story found at the Valley of Elah in 1 Samuel 17 has three main characters: Saul, David, and Goliath. As we learned on Tuesday, this story is primarily about David and Saul, not David and Goliath as we were all told to believe as children. Today I want to look at the fourth main character(s): The army of Israel.

1 Samuel 17:51-52: “David ran and stood over Goliath. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron.”

As we flip through these stories and read about the heroic or not so heroic actions of the main characters of the bible, we have to ask ourselves: “What about the average everyday peoeple?” Of course, some of those average people became some of the main characters of the stories we read about. But what about the ones who were lined up that day on the Valley of Elah eagerly waiting for someone to come to their rescue? What about the ones who wanted to step up to fight Goliath but just couldn’t do it. Maybe they were afraid of Goliath? Perhaps they were afraid of Saul and what the insecure King might do if someone tried to take his place? We simply don’t know.

I’d say a majority of us feel like the average people in the Bible. We’re lined up listening to other people demean us while our own leader fails to back us up. We sit there wondering how much longer we need to take such abuse. We’re stuck in a terrible situation with what seems to be no good way out much like the Valley of Elah. We need someone to deliver us from this nightmare because if no one does, we will become slaves to someone who hates us. Maybe the Philistines are our current jobs or they’re loan companies. It could be that you’re stuck in a bad situation with drugs or alcohol and see no way out. I’m here to tell you that Jesus has rescued us. We do have a way out.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that once you believe that Jesus is your messiah that you will magically overcome whatever obstacle sits in front of you. Like David conquering Goliath, Jesus conquered death. Like those average people in the Valley of Elah, we can now run forward knowing that victory is ours. However, there are still Philistines in the land. There are still circumstances and hindrances that we will need to face in order to move forward in God’s plan. There are times when miracles happen and God takes care of things, but the other 8 or 9 times out of 10, it’s our job to enact and take part in God’s plan.

Sometimes the battles we have to face come with victories. Other times, they leave us feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and and unable to move forward. But for each battle we lose, we gain valuable lessons for how to achieve victory the next time around. We have a choice to respond positively or negatively. We can choose to respond to defeat with optimism knowing that we can do things better next time. Or we can choose to blame our loss on some external factor and allow ourselves to wallow in negativity until we hit rock bottom. But we must remember that we fight alongside others and how we respond affects those closest to us.

Let us be challenged to stare into the eyes of adversity with optimism and hope. Whatever your stumbling blocks are today, remember that with Jesus, our messiah, we’re able to overcome. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of those average people. If Jesus can overcome death, and we are disciples and followers of Jesus, how much more can we overcome our current hardships? Let us walk in victory today!

Verses to pray about today:

1 Samuel 17:51-52: When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.  Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 27:1: The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

 

 

Click Here to learn more about the Holy Land and the Average People in the Valley of Elah with one of our seminars.

The story found at the Valley of Elah in 1 Samuel 17 has three main characters: Saul, David, and Goliath. As we learned on Tuesday, this story is primarily about David and Saul, not David and Goliath as we were all told to believe as children. Today I want to look at the fourth main character(s): The army of Israel.

1 Samuel 17:51-52: “David ran and stood over Goliath. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron.”

As we flip through these stories and read about the heroic or not so heroic actions of the main characters of the bible, we have to ask ourselves: “What about the average everyday peoeple?” Of course, some of those average people became some of the main characters of the stories we read about. But what about the ones who were lined up that day on the Valley of Elah eagerly waiting for someone to come to their rescue? What about the ones who wanted to step up to fight Goliath but just couldn’t do it. Maybe they were afraid of Goliath? Perhaps they were afraid of Saul and what the insecure King might do if someone tried to take his place? We simply don’t know.

I’d say a majority of us feel like the average people in the Bible. We’re lined up listening to other people demean us while our own leader fails to back us up. We sit there wondering how much longer we need to take such abuse. We’re stuck in a terrible situation with what seems to be no good way out much like the Valley of Elah. We need someone to deliver us from this nightmare because if no one does, we will become slaves to someone who hates us. Maybe the Philistines are our current jobs or they’re loan companies. It could be that you’re stuck in a bad situation with drugs or alcohol and see no way out. I’m here to tell you that Jesus has rescued us. We do have a way out.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that once you believe that Jesus is your messiah that you will magically overcome whatever obstacle sits in front of you. Like David conquering Goliath, Jesus conquered death. Like those average people in the Valley of Elah, we can now run forward knowing that victory is ours. However, there are still Philistines in the land. There are still circumstances and hindrances that we will need to face in order to move forward in God’s plan. There are times when miracles happen and God takes care of things, but the other 8 or 9 times out of 10, it’s our job to enact and take part in God’s plan.

Sometimes the battles we have to face come with victories. Other times, they leave us feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and and unable to move forward. But for each battle we lose, we gain valuable lessons for how to achieve victory the next time around. We have a choice to respond positively or negatively. We can choose to respond to defeat with optimism knowing that we can do things better next time. Or we can choose to blame our loss on some external factor and allow ourselves to wallow in negativity until we hit rock bottom. But we must remember that we fight alongside others and how we respond affects those closest to us.

Let us be challenged to stare into the eyes of adversity with optimism and hope. Whatever your stumbling blocks are today, remember that with Jesus, our messiah, we’re able to overcome. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of those average people. If Jesus can overcome death, and we are disciples and followers of Jesus, how much more can we overcome our current hardships? Let us walk in victory today!

Verses to pray about today:

1 Samuel 17:51-52: When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.  Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 27:1: The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

 

 

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