[Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations…from everlasting to everlasting Psalm 90:1-2During this season of reflection and renewal, join me, and let's explore God’s Presence, our dwelling place. Are you dwelling in the presence of God? ~ Donna Howell Oswalt]
“David shouted in reply [to the Goliath, the giant Philistine],’You come to me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you … and everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue His people. It is His battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us!’” 1 Samuel 17:45-47 NLT
The armies of Israel and the Philistines camp on the opposite sides of the Valley of Elah in Judah. For forty days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted in front of the Israelite army. David, son of Jesse, a shepherd boy from Bethlehem, is given bread and cheese to take to his older brothers who serve in the Israelite army. He sees Goliath, the champion from Gath, come forward, shouting his challenge to the army of Israel. David tells King Saul, “I’ll go fight this Philistine, for he has defied the armies of the living God!” David goes with the confidence that the LORD will be with him. He picks up five smooth stones from a stream. Armed with his sling, David steps out with faith in a mighty God and wins a victory over the giant!
Over three thousand years later, this story about facing the giant continues to be told, continues to be relevant to us. Today the historic Valley of Elah rests in the hill country of Palestine. A stream runs through the valley during the rainy season. There are no landmarks, no memorials. People frequently pass this place but remain unaware of the historical battlefield. Many of our struggles are fought on a spiritual battlefield where giants taunt us, where others remain unaware. Like incense rising, when we pray to the Living God, we experience spiritual victory over the giants. God of the Angel Armies, see the giants before me. Call them by name; conquer them! Give me strength to step out in faith knowing You are leading the battle, preparing the way, giving the spiritual victory. Count me alive in Christ. May Your Glory mark these places! ~dho
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Copyright 2014 by Donna Oswalt/Co-Founder of Mangrove Ministries/Christian blogger and author