The Valley of Elah
by Jounda LaMance
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The Valley of Elah
I Samuel 17
And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them (vs. 2-3)
We can all quote Psalms 23 yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. How often have you walked through the Ďvalley of the shadow of death?í Probably more times than you care to mention. What about the valley of Elah? Ever been there? Have you ever felt like you were looking down at a valley and looking over at an army of giants? Lately it seems I have set up camp at the valley of Elah. There are moments in my life when it seems that regardless of which way I turn I either face a valley or a giant.
The valley and the giants in themselves is often overwhelming, but when the army of giants happens to have the champion of all giant on their team, boy oh boy, can it ever be daunting. Then the giant of all giants happens to come out every morning and every night and use every scare tactic in the book. Not just for a week, this goes on for 40 days. There seems to be no end to his tactics and quite frankly, when I look through my natural eyes, there seems to be no way out. I have watched from my side of the mountain, and each giant has a name. They like to remind me just how big they are. How intimidating they can be. He screams that the battle has been lost before it begins. He laughs in my face when I remind him whose side Iím on! And if I am not careful I will succumb to defeat!
Sound familiar? There are moments when the battle seems overwhelming, but when I crawl back in my tent and call out on God, I recognize, just as David did, that the battle does not belong to me, but to the Lord. I can walk out of my tent with courage and look the giant of addiction in the face and know that it is not what I see, it is not who I see but it is Who I know. I am reminded that God specializes in the extraordinary and that He will defeat every giant in my life in the way that brings the MOST glory to Him!
As I read through the story of David and Goliath I realized the great crescendo has always been the five smooth stones and a slingshot. But if you look close you will see there is so much more! This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beast of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. (vs. 46)
The scripture says that Saul and all his men had set up camp by the valley of Elah. They stood on one side while the giants stood on the other and below them was the valley. And this particular enemy had the champion, Goliath on their team. For 40 days and nights Goliath taunted the men. ďGive me a man that we may fight together.Ē The story unfolds by revealing the fear of the men. As they listened to Goliath bellow day after day, they were dismayed. In my opinion, if the men prepared for battle are afraid, weíve got problems. And thatís just what they had, a major problem. No one wanted to go out and meet Goliath in the valley of Elah.
Then the scene changes and David appears. David was a boy ready to face a manís battle. He had childlike faith in the midst of grown men who were frightened. These men had trained for fighting; were equipped with all the necessary material instruments to aide them in battle, and were adorned in full armour and yet they were dismayed. And up walks what most of us would probably consider a smart mouthed kid, spouting off about defying the giants. I can just imagine these men were not only embarrassed but also ashamed and angry. How dare this little sheep keeper walk in and think he is going to do something they canít. Davidís willingness to fight Goliath was an insult to these mighty men of valor. David was a boy with a slingshot and big faith.
This is just another example of how God does not always work the way we think He will. God takes what looks like an impossibility and makes it a victory. I Corinthians 1:27 for God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things, which are mighty.
You see God could have wiped out the enemy with a single breathe. God could have simply spoken, and they wouldíve collapsed before the men of Israel, but He chose to use a young boy that defied all natural human abilities. He chose to work through a young boy with child like faith. He opted for a sling and a stone, rather than a sword fashioned by manís hands. God filled David with a HOLY boldness and a simple faith. The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of the Philistine. (vs. 37) But I come to you in the Name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand: I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lordís, and he will give you unto our hands. (vs. 45-47 )
You see David proclaimed victory before he ever stepped foot in the valley. He had a personal relationship with the Deliverer. He understood that the battle did not belong to him, but to the Lord! He did not fear the giant! Not only did he proclaim that the Goliath would die, but he was going to take the head of the Philistine! He had been delivered before and knew with confidence that the same God that had delivered him from the paw of the bear would deliver him from the giant of the Philistines!
Do you know the Deliverer today? Has He delivered you from the paw of the bear? Can you stand with confidence that the battle belongs to the Lord? Can you proclaim today with assurance that the Lord will deliver the giant into your hands? I believe that we have been taken down many giants! Many of us recognized that God is in charge and the leader of this battle and we have walked confidently into the valley of Elah and watched the giants fall. Weíve become giant slayers, but I wonder, have we taken the head? You see David walked into that valley, in faith! He understood that God was not only going to slay the giant but he was going to allow him to take the head as a trophy as to the mighty power of God!
Iíve personally been delivered from the paw of sin! Sin had a grip on my life, but God saw fit to deliver me and bring me out of bondage! I know the power of deliverance, and yet there are moments when I feel defeated at the very sight of a giant! If you are like me, and you now the power of the Deliverer, then we can take a stand in the valley of Elah and proclaim victory. We can do more than just slay the giants in our path! We can take the head and watch the rest of the troops flee!
As I watch the giants approach, I must recognize that God is in the valley as well as on the mountain. He didnít deliver me from the paw of sin to let me feel defeat in the path of the giant. He longs for us to experience victory in the fullest! He wants us to recognize that not only will the giants fall when we face them in the name of the Lord, but we can decapitate them! I donít know about you, but Iím tired of hearing the rumble in the enemiesí camp. Iím tired of feeling defeated before I even crawl out of my tent! I am tired of just slaying the giants; I want to see their carcasses fed to the fowl of the air and the beast of the field.
Victory is mine today! Victory is yours today! Regardless of what your giant is called! Regardless of how long they have bellowed at you from across the valley! Regardless of how hopeless it seems we must stand firm in the Word! The battle is the Lordís. While the enemy has a sword and a spear we have the Name of the Lord! While the enemy towers over us laughing and teasing, we know in whom we have believed! We know that God has brought us out and has not forsaken us!
The same God that used David to slay the giant, is the same God that longs to work in your life today! He is the same yesterday today and forevermore! He has not changed! But I tell you; He will bring victory in such a way that only He will be glorified! If we think we can do it on our own, we are mistaken. If we think that we have prepared for the battle, and not allowed God to map out the game plan, we will find ourselves dismayed, just as Davidís brothers were. They were prepared but the giants left them shaking in their boots!
Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. (I John 4:4)
I donít know about you, but I am not looking for a small victory! My daughter is in the paw of sin. The claws of sin have gripped her mightily. The giant laughs at me and tells me to give up. He tells me all hope is lost. Friends and family have written her off as a lost cause. Statistics have shown me that her chance of full recovery is between 3-6%! And if that was the only giant that stood across the valley, that would be bad enough, but there are others and they like to hound me, day in and day out!
But today I tell you that Jesus Christ went through too much on the cross for me to succumb to the enemy! He shed His blood so that my daughter and many others just like her can be delivered from the paw of sin! He delivered me and that was no small thing! I will not be satisfied with the giants falling! I believe today that the head of the giant will be removed. If you are struggling with addiction or perhaps someone you know is an addict, recognize today that God is still in the delivering business. Regardless of the name the giant wears; regardless of how large he may appear; regardless of how long he has been bellowing at you, victory can be yours today!
Our God is bigger than any giant! Our God is bigger than any sin! Our God is bigger than any financial difficulty. Our God is still alive and well and moving in the lives of His people! For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity of thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
Look at what happened when the champion of the Philistines was beheaded! Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. (vs. 51) Goliath was a bully! His size awarded him champion of the Philistines. He had a lot to say! And he was using intimidation tactics. But in the end he was defeated in a mighty way! God used the extraordinary to bring down the giant! God used the simple to conquer the enemy! God not only used a smooth stone, but he was decapitated with his own sword!
Goliath represents the adversary spoken about in I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. We must not stand on the mountain shaking in our armor! We must stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! We must recognize, just as David did, that the battle is the Lords. The enemy my have your child or husband in the grip of his paw, but greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!
The enemy must flee! When we resist the intimidation tactics; when we proclaim victory through the blood of Jesus Christ; when we resist succumbing to the bellowing roars of the enemy of this world, the scripture says the enemy will flee! Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). The scripture doesnít say maybe heíll flee says he will flee!
If you are at the valley of Elah, you are not alone! Letís stand today, grounded in the Word, holding fast to the promises of God. Letís recognize the power within us is no small thing! The enemy is no match for our God. If you can proclaim, just as I, that you have been delivered, then you know that God still has the power to deliver today! Letís stand and recognize that though there may be many giants across the way, our God is bigger than any giant that ever walked on the face of the earth, yesterday, today and tomorrow! And that He not only promises us that we will see the giants fall at our feet, but that we will take their heads! We will stand on the back of the enemy and pullout the enemyís sword and decapitate it at the shoulders!
Drugs, alcohol, sexual perversions and on and on are no match for the mighty Deliverer! There is no paw of sin so large that God cannot force the talons to release the hold on your loved one! Regardless of what the enemy bellows in the day or whispers at night, we will stand just as David and proclaim: Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all the assembly shall know that the Lord saveth now with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lordís, and he will give you into our hands. I Samuel 17:45-47
© 7/3/2005 Jounda LaMance
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ďHow often have you walked through the Ďvalley of the shadow of death?í Probably more times than you care to mention. What about the valley of Elah? Ever been there?Ē Who? Mwa? LOL Thanks, Sis, for the encouragement. I know it wasnít just for me, that we all need it. What a weapon the Lord put in your hand for your own battle. Iíve been given a weapon or two myself. And it certainly is NOT some big guyís armor I wear. Iíve learned that it isnít fitting for me. What works for someone else is oftentimes a hindrance for me if I attempt to clothe myself with it. I feel like the little guy sometimes. However, the little guy knows he canít take the head of the giant alone ... but that, to the glory of God, the Name of Jesus is undefeatable!!!!!