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Giant Matters (2 of 19)
I Samuel 17:4-11
As I Samuel 17 opens there is war on the western front. The atmosphere is filled with hostility and hate. This is probably the most familiar of all of the episodes in the life of David. It is the account of David and Goliath. I guess all of us, at one time or another, heard the exciting, thrilling story of David conquering the great giant Goliath.
Why is this particular account so very important? We know it is important because of the length given to it. Fifty-eight verses in this 17th chapter, one of the longest chapters in the Bible, 912 Hebrew words are used to give this account. We also know it is important by the minute descriptions that are given here. Details are given about the historical location. A great deal of detail and description is given of all of the weapons and armors that are used in this battle. By the way, that's one of the evidences that this is a historical account. We aren't dealing with fiction. A great deal of dialogue is given as one speaks to the other. As you read this you will notice that there is a mountain-building tension all through this chapter.
The reasons this is so is this is the Holy Spirit's way in the Bible of showing us that this account is a very, very important account. This account is probably the classic example in all of the Bible of I John 5:4. "This is the victory which overcomes the world, even our faith." It is the great illustration in the Bible of the power of faith as we face the giants of life and almost insurmountable odds.
I want us to look at this exciting account and begin by considering-
I. Goliath's CHALLENGE.
As the chapter opens the Philistines have come to battle again with the Children of Israel. It seems as you study the Old Testament there is a constant war going on between these two. They have gathered in a place called the valley of Elah (verse2). It is about 15 miles west of the little village of Bethlehem, the childhood home of David. It was in a valley and was probably about a mile wide. It is here that the battle is to be waged.
On one side are the armies of the Philistines. On the other are the armies of Israel. There is fear; there is dismay; there is anxiety in the camp of Israel. The reason this is true is because of what we find in verse 4. We learn there the disturbing, disconcerting news that the Philistines have a great champion. The word, champion, literally means man between two or a middleman. His name is Goliath. He is a giant of a man.
We learn in verse 4 that this giant was 9'9" tall. Wouldn't the NBA like to get hold of him today! He is described here in all the armor that he wears and as you look at this armor you will find that he is covered with an armor of brass. He has a helmet of brass and a coat of mail made out of brass. Some estimate it is between 120-215 pounds in weight. He has these brass legs in front of him. ...
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