And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and they drew up in battle array against the Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 1 Samuel 17:2-3
Today we are going to take a look at when Jesus asked the disciples a really important question in Matthew 16:13-15 ...When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter had a response to this question and told Jesus what he thought! But I wonder...Do we know?
We are looking at this question today because of something that the Lord spoke to me today about David as he stepped into the Valley of Elah which means our next stop in today's message is going to be found in 1 Samuel 17. ...And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped
in the Valley of Elah, and they drew up in battle array against the
Philistines. The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel
stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 1
Here they are. Both sides all gathered in this one place ready for a battle. Who will win? Obviously, the strongest. Right? I find it really interesting that Elah means just that. According to the Strong's Elah means - an oak or other strong tree. It comes from 352 -from the same as 193; prop. strength; hence anything strong; spec. as chief (politically); also a ram (from his strength); a pilaster (as a strong support); an oak or other strong tree. 193 - from an unused root meaning to twist, i.e. (by impl.) be strong; the body (as being rolled together); also powerful. The Valley of Elah or the Valley of strength or power. Interesting, right? After all, God's people are gathered here for days on end waiting for the strongest to step up and take on the enemies strongest who by the way looked so terrifyingly strong that no one thought they were able! Day after day, listening to the challenge. Day after day, their fear of Goliath growing stronger that their faith in God.
So, the question comes, "What was their opinion?" Everyone on that battlefield had an opinion as to the outcome. The Israelites thought Goliath to be too big and to strong and too fierce to defeat. ... And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. vs. 24 The Philistines obviously thought that Goliath would win - they called Him their champion and let the entire battle rest on his shoulders. vs. 4 King Saul had an opinion according to vs 11 ... When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine they were dismayed and greatly afraid. Up to this point everyone's opinion is that Goliath is the strongest!
Then David showed up. He definitely had a different opinion! He knew who God was. He knew that God would deliver him. When he stepped into the Valley of Elah he knew that God was the strongest! vs. 32 David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." David's heart wasn't full of fear and doubt because of the strength of the man in front of him but instead what filled his heart was the knowledge of who God is. I love that David, this young shepherd boy, had such a great opinion of God! He knew that God was God and that Goliath, just a man! He knew who would win when he stepped into the Valley of Elah. ..."Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:47
Today, for you and I the question remains. What is our opinion of who God is? Is He our Strong God? Is He our deliverer? Is our opinion of Him the thing that propels us to step into the Valley of Elah knowing that He goes with us the way that David did or are we cowering in fear up on the rim. Who Is He to YOU? IS HE GOD?