This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Facing Goliath in the Valley of Elah Facing Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Facing Goliath in the Valley of Elah

The world record for the largest hamburger is held by a café in Sydney, Australia. It took twelve hours to cook and four men to flip the 178-pound burger, which was served with 120 eggs, 150 slices of cheese, beetroot, lettuce, and tomato—these are preferred hamburger fixings in Australia—all on a giant sesame seed bun. Who ate it? Employees at the café. How much would it cost to order? $1,220!

Some things are so huge that they’re just plain scary. That was the case with Goliath in today’s reading. He was nearly ten feet tall, wore absurdly heavy armor, and was an experienced and formidable warrior. The Israelite and Philistine armies were perched on two hills, with the Valley of Elah in between. The Valley of Elah ran west from Bethlehem to Gath. The army that controlled it would gain access to the heartland of Judah and Benjamin.

Each day Goliath strode into the Valley of Elah and issued a challenge for individual combat (vv. 8–10). Rather than engage in a full-scale battle, the conflict would be settled by individual champions. The Israelites, however, were terrified and sent no one (v. 11). So, with the valley making a kind of natural theater, every day Goliath went onstage to mock the enemy with his blasphemous boasts.

That’s why David responded to the challenge. He was motivated by the honor and glory of God’s name (vv. 45–47). By any human estimation, he was bound to lose. But since “the battle is the Lord's,” he defeated the giant and the battle was won (vv. 47–53).

The Valley of Elah shows us that we can take on challenges that seem too big—if rightly motivated by God’s glory and not our own—because nothing is too hard for the Lord.

Pray with Us

Would you join us in prayer for Jim Elliott, VP of Stewardship? Ask God to give him strength and joy every day, as he serves Moody and our donors across the country. May the Lord always guide Moody along the road of good stewardship!

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Bradley Baurain is Professor and Program Head of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Moody Bible Institute. Bradley has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He is the author of On Waiting Well. Bradley taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Bradley and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Northwest Indiana.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month