Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on August 1, 2014 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:1-19 (NKJV)

1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered together at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. 3 The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4 And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. 8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul. 15 But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening. 17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. 18 And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.” 19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.


Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, came out with great hatred and contempt for the people of Israel and for their God. For forty days he came out onto the battlefield in search of an equal, hurling his challenge across the valley, “I defy the armies of Israel this day.” Israel’s only response was fear, until David came along and heard the taunts and jeers of the giant. When David heard Goliath’s words, he was filled, not with fear, but with indignation. This unbeliever had insulted the Lord God of Israel. David would not stand for it.

Where did this indignation, this bravery come from? It came from a fervent love for the Lord and for the Lord’s people on David’s part. Why wasn’t he afraid? Because, as David would later write in Psalm 27, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Satan is a much fiercer, stronger enemy than Goliath was. “On earth is not His equal. With might of ours can naught be done; soon were our loss effected. But for us fights the Valiant One, Whom God Himself elected. Ask ye, Who is this? Jesus Christ it is, of Sabaoth Lord, and there’s none other God. He holds the field forever.”

A Champion has appeared for us, to fight for us. And “if God is for us, who can be against us? He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:31-32).

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