ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL SERIES THIS WEEK (January 21st) we will be examining the rise of the first king: Saul, the son of Kish, the Benjamite. He will start out with all of the traits that we would naturally desire in a king. Young King Saul is the
I have always been told that familiar exhortation, “You have got to go to Israel. It will change the way you preach and the way you see the Scriptures.” While I never doubted the value of such a trip. I definitely believe it and will pass this exhortation along to more of God’s saints!
THE VALLEY OF ELAH – WHERE GIANTS COME TUMBLING DOWN!
WHAT DO YOU THINK IT’S LIKE?
1 Samuel 17 tells us the famous story about the then-shepherd boy David’s victorious battle with the Philistine champion, Goliath. What did you imagine the setting to be like? Is it desert-like? Is it flat or hilly? Is it two armies lined up on their own “blue lines” (hockey reference, there) waiting for Goliath to defeat anybody the Israelites have to put up? Like you, I have easily imagined this story and run the movie of it in my mind dozens and scores of times. But when I walked up Tel Azekah near Beth Shemesh, I looked down on the Valley of Elah. And suddenly, a very different setting appeared…THE REAL ONE!
The hills far off in the left background are near to Bethlehem. Its from there, Jesse sent young laddy David to bring victuals to his brothers. The hillside to the left and center just above the roadway is where Saul and the fearful army of Israel was encamped. The brown field in the right center of the picture where the road crosses the valley is where the Valley of Elah starts before wrapping back around like a boomerang (building structures in the foreground). The Philistines were encamped on the opposite side of the valley with their Champion loudly and continually cursing God. David heard this and proceeded to the brook (barely visible running along the highway and then turning behind the hill as the road keeps going across the valley) where he took 5 stones to the famous battle. Somewhere in that 400 meter stretch, Goliath was knocked down and beheaded by the future king of Israel.
It’s not quite how you imagined it is it? That’s why they all say, “You have got to go to Israel. It will change the way you preach and the way you see the Scriptures.” I CONCUR!