While preparing for this Sunday’s lesson from the story of David and Goliath, I noticed a verse that had escaped me in the past. Since time will prevent me from discussing this little nugget I thought I would post it here.
“The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them.” (1 Samuel 17:3)
When studying a Bible passage it’s useful to ask why a given sentence or verse is in the Bible. Why would the Holy Spirit put it there? I asked that question and struggled with the answer. It didn’t seem to be just a nice, pretty description of the geography. It seemed to cry out for a deeper meaning or purpose.
Perhaps the Spirit is reminding us that the valley is where the battle rages, both for David but also for you and me. To the Philistines and the Israelites the mountains were places of safety. They could assemble in the peaks and crags without fear of assault. But the valley was wide open and full of danger. So long as they remained in the mountains they were safe. But they were also stagnant and unmoving. If they remained ensconced among the rocks they would be safe but they would never gain the victory over their godless enemy.
Only the maligned man of the sheep, David, was brave enough to venture into battle in the valley. When he did, empowered by God, he was victorious!
The real battles in our lives are fought in the valley. As long as we remain hidden and quiet we will never gain the kind of victories for which God has prepared us. It takes a depth of spiritual courage to confront our enemies, our habits, our thoughts and our sins. Yet it is when we face them in the valley that victory is gained.
Where would Israel have been had David not run quickly to face the enemy of God’s people (1 Samuel 17:48)? Where can we be when God’s people today show the same courage in the face of their spiritual enemy.
Rise up! Face your fears and claim the strength of God to defeat those that oppose him and you! Get to the valley now!
Comments are encouraged.
2 comments On Where the Battle Rages
Bryant, my wife discovered this verse a year or so ago when she was preparing for a ladies’ retreat. Made a powerful lesson, just as your point is. We think how wonderful it would be to stay on the mountain and have those mountaintop experiences. But the work is done, as you say, in the valley, by the rush and jangle, the clash and sword, the sweat and blood and confusing mangling of bodies with scars and gashes from the battle.
The unscathed Christian knows nothing of Christ.
Thanks! Oh, and BTW, thanks for the links.
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