Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Goliath, The Philistine

By Mary Vee
I Samuel 17


From Eliab's (David's Older Brother) Journal


Our commander and king, Saul called us to war against the Philistines. He has led us to battle for years, fighting those who lived in the land that God had given to us.


He allowed us to take a break for a few days to rest. Now we're refreshed and quite ready for a battle. This morning we armed ourselves with battle gear, replenished our ammunition, sharpened blades, and rallied to a cause against the Philistines. We were ready to fight.


As the oldest of eight brothers, I wanted to tell my father I had fought in a victorious battle against our enemy. I couldn't wait. Maybe someday Israel will be the sole inhabitants of this land.


Two of my brothers were also in the army. Oh, and my littlest brother, David came to the battlefield occasionally to play his harp for king Saul then he returned to the sheep. David's not old enough to fight. I must admit, though, the squirt sure knows how to calm king Saul's anger with his music. 


One morning we marched to the mountain across from the Philistines, with the Valley of Elah between us. We set up our battle line and prepared to fight. But the Philistines did not march against us. Instead they sent one lone soldier named Goliath.


Goliath stood at the edge of the tree line. I'd never seen such a giant of a man before. He stood about nine feet tall, wore a helmet made of bronze, and his bronze coat of mail weighed 125 pounds. He wore bronze armor on his legs and carried a javelin of bronze on his back.


His spear impressed me the most. It was like a weaver's beam, the iron head weighed fifteen pounds, unbelievable. His armor bearer walked ahead of him and stopped when he did. 


The Philistine soldier shouted to us: "Why should two armies wage a battle? There you all stand ready to fight on your mountain, and we stand over here. I have a better idea. I stand here ready to fight one Israelite soldier. Let the two of us fight for the armies. If your soldier kills me, the Philistines will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you and all the Israelites will become our slaves."


He raised his spear in the air and shouted. "My name is Goliath. I challenge the ranks of Israel to send a man to fight me."


I looked at the soldier next to me. His eyes grew as wide as mine. No way did I want to fight that man. Not only would I die, but the entire Israelite nation would be doomed to slavery because of me.


Saul order us to stand down. He called a meeting of his captains. That night Goliath and his armor bearer walked to the same spot again and challenged our army to send one man to fight him. 


He made fun of us and called us cowards. I guess we were. So much depended on one man. Day and night Goliath walked out to the same place and offered his challenge...and his ridicules. Seriously, no one knew what to do. We sat in or tents, afraid to show our faces.


On the fortieth day, my little brother, David, showed up with bread and cheese sent from my father. I pulled him away from the battlefield. Dad would kill me if that squirt wandered in range of Goliath and somehow got killed. Little brothers, sheesh. 


***********************
1.  What army did Saul and the Israelites prepare to fight?
2.  Where was the battlefield?
3.  What did David do when he wasn't playing music to help Saul?
4.  Who came out to talk with the Israelites?
5.  What was his idea?
6.  What did the Israelites do?
7.  Why was David's older brother concerned when David brought food?

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