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The Project Goes to Israel (Part 3)

24 May Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on The Project Goes to Israel (Part 3)
The Project Goes to Israel (Part 3)

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the Project spending time in Israel, check out the first post in this series.

Today we’re visiting: Valley of Elah

Today we will be traveling south out of the city of Jerusalem to the Valley of Elah.  During our time in the Valley of Elah we will walk in the ancient dried up creek bed that is spoken of in 1 Samuel 17 where David picked up his five smooth stones in route to stand against Goliath.  While in the creek bed between the two mountains, we will read the story of David and Goliath and allow students to capture the sights, sounds, and terrain of this area.

Biblical Perspective:

“Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, ‘Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.’ Then the Philistine said, ‘This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other. ‘ On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.

David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’

Saul replied, ‘You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.’

But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’

David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel.

All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.'”

1 Samuel 17

Historical Perspective:

After 40 days of taunting, David was the only Israelite willing to stand up against Goliath.  The Israelite position needed to be held to keep the Philistines out of the hill country.  Goliath by today’s measurements stood approximately 9ft. and 9 inches tall.  He was the warrior of the Philistines.  And David, just a small boy with a sling shot.