1 Samuel 17:1-32 The Battle in the Valley of Elah


Intro: Today we are going to look at one of the most famous stories in History of the World.

A)Story that gets quoted in sports / politics / Business & even war – describing how the under dog – beats the stronger Foe!!


B) The Story that I refer to is obviously David & Goliath

1)   Now at first thought – there is almost a temptation to kind of skip over this story because we know it so well


C) We have heard it in Sunday school / read it to our kids / we have maybe even taught it in a Bible study a time or two

1)    Temptation to Check out – to go get a donut – and fellowship


D)But I suggest to you this morning there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye /

1)    This morning I want to get into some of the details of this story that perhaps you have never considered before


E) Because this particular Story gives us some great insight into the Battle that we as believers constantly find ourselves in.

1)    It gives us some tremendous insight into the enemy that we are facing & how to be Victorious in the Battle


In fact it is a Story that has such significant insights & applications to our lives as believers in J. Christ – I want to take 2 wks in looking at it

A)Today I want us to set the scene – I want us to look at everything that was happening leading up to the battle –


E) Then next time look at the Battle itself – and the Affect of the battle

1)   Start by reading the first 11 verses



I. Begin by Drawing the Battle lines: Players the Places & their meanings

A)Two armies camped on opposite sides of a Valley – On one side is the army of Israel – name means – Governed by God


B) Although most of the nation & the army at this point has forsaken God

1)    They have looked to their own way – they have been leaning on their own understandings


2) In their desire to be like the nations around them / They had asked for a King & in doing so had rejected God as their King


C) On the other side of the valley are the Philistines – Their name means – Those who dwell in VILLIAGES


Now you might be thinking – ok the Governed by God part I understand – but those who dwell in villages what is that all about ?

A)Well it tells us that the Philistines have a place – and if they would stay in their place – everything would be ok


B) But instead of staying in their place they are encroaching upon Judah & trying to occupy an area that God has given to the nation of Israel.

1)   So those Philistines have come out of their villages & are attacking the people of God at Judah –


C) JUDAH = Praise – so they are attacking Praise !!!


Now we see a Parallel to this in our lives as Believers / we are told in

1 Peter 5:8 That Satan is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour

A)The devil is out of his village / Rev.12 tells us that Satan has a place called Hell – that is reserved for him-


B) But the truth is he doesn’t spend much time there at all – horrible place / he roams the earth – looking at lives

1)   JN.10 His Goal is to Kill Rob & Destroy

C) He wants to Steal the Peace in our hearts that comes from knowing Christ

1)   He wants to steal our health / He wants to Rob us of the Joy & harmony that God intends us to have in our marriages


D) He wants to destroy our marriages –


Note v.2 where this Battle takes place – it is in the Valley of Elah

A)Elah = Oath or Pledge or Promise – that is where he attacks


B) Israel was living in a Covenant relationship w/ God – God had promised clear back in Joshua to be w/ them – to give them the land

1)   It was a promise from the Lord – Exhortation to be strong & Courageous { This attack takes place in the valley of Promise }


C) Goliath stood in Direct Defiance to the Promise of God to Israel – in fact the very Presence of the Philistine army in that territory

1)    Was a Challenge to Israel concerning God’s promise to them & their promise to trust in the Lord – { Israel should have seen that}


In the context of our Relationship to Christ – Because of the Conviction in our hearts – about sin & our need of a savior

A)We came to Christ – When we did  we made a Confession / w/ our mouths – an oath pledge a promise to God


B)To forsake our ways & the ways of the world & w/ the help of His Son in our lives / we would follow His ways

1)    That is what repentence is – Turning from sin / turning from the world & turning to God


C) Sometimes in Church services & outreaches you hear people give invitations – like this : If you want God to bless your life come forward

2)    If you want a better life – then pray this prayer


D) Although there are blessings in following Christ - & although Jesus does offer to us – Abundant life/ Blessing of knowing him/ incomplete invitation

And People respond to those type of invitations – thinking yes I want a better life – Yes I want God to bless me but they are still living in sin

A)They are still sleeping w/ boyfriend or girlfriend – living in adultery /


B) They are still out doing drugs – getting drunk or what ever

1)    But God always Calls us to repent – to turn from one thing & to follow another / Peter James John nets / boats / Matt – Tax booth


C) A willingness to turn from my sin & turn to God – and he meets that willingness w/ His strength & power to help us follow thru


But Satan comes & attacks that Pledge that promise – thru temptation to compromise

A)He wants us to question our Promise – do I really want to walk w/ God am I really ready to forsake the world


B)He will use circumstances to make you question that Oath / He will use friends – to make you question – are you really ready to forsake the world


C) Listen if you are a new Believer – Know this – you will have friends who are not going to like your Christianity –

1)   But I ask you this question – any friend who is not happy that you are saved & going to heaven / is that the kind of friend you want to have


In the Context of the marriage relationship – On your wedding day – when you stood at the altar – Took an oath {Vows} a promise / Pledge

A)It was an Promise that was taken in the eyes of God / in front of family & friends – to die to ourselves


B) To love honor & Cherish – to forsake all others / to submit to the Lord and to each other – in sickness & in health / rich & poor/ good times & Bad

1)   But Satan comes attacking that Promise – Did you really mean that forever is such a long time – Look at the mess you are in now


 C) Satan wants  you to break  that Oath – that was made to your spouse – made to the Lord / He wants to ruin your life{Battle in Valley of Elah}

1)   That Oath is constantly under attack – Divorce described as pulling apart two boards – nailed together – never a clean break


Now in v.4 the Philistines send out their Champion his name is Goliath

A)Goliath = Heap – the idea speaks of an obstacle, an obstruction, a Barrier or a Blockade / something that stands in our way


B) Something that keeps us from moving forward in the Lord – something that is intended to keep us from obtaining all that God has for us

1)    For Israel it meant the Possession of the  Land that God had appointed to them


C) For us – it could mean a blessings that God has for us !! An area of Service that God wants to use us in

1)   The Blessing & Harmony that God has ordained in for our marriages

  The peace & Joy that is supposed to be a part of our Friendships


D) We want to move forward but there is a Goliath in our Path

1)    There is a Heap that is in the way – and if we don’t conquer it we are going to be in a Heap of Trouble


SO Goliaths name means Heap – Obstacle – but David’s name = Beloved of God – much loved of God

A)Over & over again in the NT God uses that name in reference to his Church – WE are His Beloved – Much loved Children


B) Speaks Volumes to us – that just like we as parents want to help our kids get thru & over the obstacles that come into their lives

1)   So too our Heavenly Father is Committed to that same thing in our lives –


C)He is able & ready to provide all the resources needed help us get thru and experience all that He has for us !!! Jesus illustrates You being evil

Now consider where these two men were from – David – God’s Beloved is from Bethlehem = House of Bread

A)That speaks to us of that which has substance & nourishment : If you are a Believer in JC today you belong to the house of Bread


B) Jesus said John  6 “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. / I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever;


C) Jesus promises to those who turn from their sin & come to Him / that He will fill the Void Satisfy the hunger inside /

1)   He offers them a  life of substance in this life / eternal life in the next


D) So David is from Bethlehem but Goliath – He is from Gath –


The name Gath = to Press !!! Gath was a place where they were heavily into growing Olives

A)What happens when you squeeze an Olive / when you put it in a press?

All the oil and everything of substance comes out of it


B) That is what Satan wants to do in our lives – He wants to put us thru the Press / the Pressure cooker of this world & squeeze us

1)    He wants to remove from our lives all that is of Substance /


C) He wants to take away our ability to Bring spiritual nourishment to a hungry world

1)   He wants to make us like so many others in this world – a shallow shell of a person / No depth / No substance


D) Perhaps pleasant to look at on the outside – but lacking depth / life / substance on the inside !!!

1)   Opposite of what Jesus wants the world to see in us – He wants them to see that we have a whole different perspective on life



Now Goliath was an intimidating sight

A) Here stands this giant of a man – 9’6 – huge in Stature Now picture this scene –


B)Goliath comes out – Bronze helmet on his head & this coat of Mail –

   made of Bronze

1)   Leather Breastplate w/ Bronze plates fastened to it – made from 5,000

     Shekels of Bronze = 175 to 200 Lbs – That is what he is carrying


C) The head of Goliath’s spear was – 25 1bs –  So Goliath comes out this massive man carrying – wearing all this stuff –

1)   Carrying all this stuff – He would have been  a very intimidating sight


In v.8 He issues a challenge – send me a man …….. v.16 morning & night so 80 times


B)Now this was a common practice in those days to have two champions fight instead of risking the lives of the whole army

1)   And when he made this challenge – I’m sure that everyone’s eyes turned toward Saul – since he was their leader


C) And He was the Biggest Ch.9 Head & shoulders above everyone else

1)   he would have been the logical choice to fight the giant


But as they look at Saul He doesn’t look as attractive as when he first selected as King

A)Oh he is still tall & handsome but he is not walking w/ God / they know after the last Battle & Samuel’s encounter w/ him that he is not right w/ God


B) They have heard the stories of this Distressing spirit that would come upon him at times


C)So as they looked at Saul – they were not comfortable at all – hearts were

dismayed & greatly afraid

Dismayed = terror alarm Panic dread & Paranoia / Satan loves to get us to fall into anyone of those modes

A)Satan loves to get us to focus on ourselves on our flesh to look & think that it is up to us


B) Challenge Condemn & accuse us


Now there is a lesson in this for us The best of our flesh –(Saul) is no match against Satan

A)But as the story goes onto illustrate the best that Satan has / his Champion is no match against the Man or woman – who is walking w/ God

1)   who is trusting in the Power & strength of the Lord & not His own


B) The accuser of the Brethren is no match against those who have been redeemed & covered by the Blood of Christ

  1) That is what we see in David – Read v.12- 27


Now there are two things that we want to note here about David

A)1st He is not preoccupied w/ the enemy / David comes on the scene & has a completely different perspective –


B) He doesn’t see a Giant – he sees an uncircumcised Philistine who is mocking His God


C) the Rest of the army was focused on the enemy & because of that was paralyzed from doing anything –

1)   Good description of many Christians: Preoccupied w/ the enemy –they are crippled in their faith from allowing God to use them


David’s focus was on the Lord – Wed. Psa 19

The heavens declare the glory of God;And the firmament shows His handiwork.2     Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.3    There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard. 4  Their £line has gone out through all the earth,

     And their words to the end of the world.

A)That was David’s perspective – that allowed him to see the Lord instead of the Giant –


B) Our perspectives are going to be formed in the secret place – every week there are Giant Problems & challenges that we face / any given day

1)   Your perspective of those problems & challenges will – being dramatically different if you have spent time w/ the Lord that day




2nd David has a right attitude toward service:

A)He was faithful in the little things – He could have copped an attitude – Dad I WAS  just anointed King – you want me to be a Lunch truck


B) Bible tells us that if we are Faithful in the little things – we will be awarded w/ more responsibility & opportunity

1)   So here is how this plays out in David’s life – Jesse says – go up to the battle bring this food to your brothers & bring me a report


C) David says – ok dad sure thing – the whole time God is watching

1)   God is going to give David another Chance to shine in a bigger arena


D) Now if David said I’m not playing lunch truck Dad send someone else

1)   Then God would say – well I am not going to Bless you by letting you be the guy who kills the Giant – See how that works


E) Same in true in our lives too ( Children’s ministry / parking lot / Janitor


So David goes he answers the call – but notice what happens v.28-30

A)Now this is important to note – When David is not intimidated from w/out – Goliath – the enemy tries to intimidate him from w/in


B) David’s own brother lashes out at him -.

When David was misunderstood and rebuked, publicly, by his own brother, probably amid the laughs of the other soldiers, he could have blown it.

C) But he showed the strength of the armor of God in his life, and replied rightly.

1) He didn’t care about his glory or success, but only for the glory and success of the Lord’s cause. Goliath was a dead man right then!


D) This is where the battle was won! If Eliab’s hurtful words can get David in the flesh, and out of the flow of the Spirit of the Lord,

1)   then David’s strength is gone.


E)But when David ruled his spirit and answered softly, he was more in step with the Spirit of the Lord than ever.

     1) You could start digging Goliath’s grave right then!


F) Ever hurt by someone in the body – Still here ?


31Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. 32Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”


Now David’s words remind of  another’s – Our Lord Who would say to a world – in bondage to Satan – Let no man’s heart fail

A)I will go I will stand in the gap – I will fight the battle – on the cross Jesus defeated Satan & His forces


B) David I will Go !!! / Jonah I won’t go