HEADSHOT: Defeating the minds of Giants
1 Samuel 17:1-51
Now the Philistines gathered their armies together to battle, and were gathered at Sochoh, which belongs to Judah; they encamped between Sochoh and Azekah, in Ephes Dammim.
2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and they encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in battle array against the Philistines. 3 The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.
The valley of Leah is named after the the valley of Elah trees or terebinth trees. Also known as Philistine oak or Palestinian Oak.
Terebinths are also found in Isaiah in possible reference to idolatry associated with the trees, although in the Septuagint and Vulgate the word is translated ‘idols,’ as the plural of el.
For you will be ashamed of the terebinths that you have taken pleasure in. — Isaiah 1:29
The best known clear reference to a terebinth (elah) in the Hebrew Scriptures is that of the Valley of Elah or ‘Valley of the Terebinth’ (עמק האלה), where David fought Goliath (1 Samuel 17:2, 17:19).
Later in 2 Samuel 18:9, David’s rebellious son Absalom is caught in the terebinth tree and is killed by Joab’s men, David’s army.
4 And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
Goliath of Gath: 9 foot 6 inches
Andre the Giant: 7 foot 2 inches
Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca): 7 foot 2 or 3 inches
Robert Wadlow – 8 foot 11inches
Weighed 439 pounds when he died at age 22 in 1940
Wore a size 36 AA shoe
5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.
6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him.
Goliath was a height of 6 cubits. The head of his spear weighed 600 shekels of iron and he also wore 6 pieces of armor ( I Samuel 17:4-7). 666
8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.
9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”
Single combat is a duel between two single warriors which takes place in the context of a battle between two armies.
Captain John Smith of Jamestown is reputed in his earlier career as a mercenary in Eastern Europe to have defeated, killed and beheaded Turkish commanders in three single combats, for which he was knighted by the Transylvanian Prince Sigismund Báthory. He was given a horse and Coat of Arms showing three Turks’ heads.
11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
1 Samuel 9:2
He had a son, Saul, a most handsome young man. There was none finer—he literally stood head and shoulders above the crowd!
1 Samuel 17:12-51
Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle.
The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul. 15 But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
16 And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening.
17 Then Jesse said to his son David, “Take now for your brothers an ephah of this dried grain and these ten loaves, and run to your brothers at the camp. 18 And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers fare, and bring back news of them.”
19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.
20 So David rose early in the morning, left the sheep with a keeper, and took the things and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the camp as the army was going out to the fight and shouting for the battle.
21 For Israel and the Philistines had drawn up in battle array, army against army. 22 And David left his supplies in the hand of the supply keeper, ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers.
23 Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them.
24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. 25 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel; and it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”
26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
27 And the people answered him in this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him.”
28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.”
29 And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause?” 30 Then he turned from him toward another and said the same thing; and these people answered him as the first ones did.
31 Now when the words which David spoke were heard, they reported them to Saul; and he sent for him. 32 Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
You’ve never killed anybody and he has been killing folk since he was younger than you.
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
I would have loved to have been in the invisible guy in the room.
And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
He was victorious in private (1 Samuel 17:34-37)
He carried his own anointing (1 Samuel 17:38-39)
David knew who he was—and who he wasn’t. Though offered the armor of the king himself, he recognized his unique anointing and rejected taking on another’s reputation and mantle. With the zeal of the Lord in his heart, he stayed true to himself and how God had trained him.
38 So Saul clothed David with his armor, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off.
Refusing the warfare methods God has not called you in:
“That ain’t me. That’s not how I fight. This is how I fight my battles…”
40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking.
43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
There is an old saying, “God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.” You don’t need to have everything worked out to see a miracle happen.
Deuteronomy 23: the Isrealites were commanded to carry a stick in the equipment
- A walking stick is known as a rod or a staff.
- God did miracles through the stick of Moses.
- God did miracles through the stick of Aaron.
- Elijah recovered an iron ax head and made it float in the river by throwing a stick into the water.
44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 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.”
When you speak to a giant, you can’t repeat its narrative. You have to tell it, “THIS IS HOW THINGS ARE GOING TO GO.”
YOU DECLARE AND YOU PROCLAIM THE WORD OF GOD AND YOUR TESTIMONY!
48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David.
(HE DID NOT BATTLE AS CULTURE DICTATED)
51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.
THE WAY OF THE GIANT IS TO INTRODUCE AN IDEA THAT YOU ARE POWERLESS, YOUR DEFEAT IS CERTAIN, AND GOD WON’T HELP YOU.
A GIANT ALWAYS SAYS THE SAME THING. “YOU’RE DONE. IT’S TOO MUCH. YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING. YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN AND DON’T EVEN TRY TO BRING GOD INTO THIS.”
ITS FRAME OF MIND, ITS PARADIGM, ITS WAY OF THINKING, ITS INCLINATION, ITS WORLDVIEW IS ALWAYS THAT IT’S GOING TO DO WHATEVER IT WANTS TO YOU, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT AND GOD WILL NOT HELP YOU.
Numbers 13:33 (NKJV)
“There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
Numbers 13:33 (American Standard Version)
And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak, who come of the Nephilim: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Numbers 13:33 (Berean Study Bible)
We even saw the Nephilim there—the descendants of Anak that come from the Nephilim! We seemed like grasshoppers in our own sight, and we must have seemed the same to them!”
That’s the way of the Giant: to intimidate you. To take away your masculinity. To label you a stick and threaten you to the point to where you can’t imagine entering into the Promised Land or taking up the cause, because you become a target. But the devil is liar!!!! Giants are bullies and they feel powerful by dominating otherwise good people.
THE WAY OF THE WARRIOR IS TO STAND WHERE OTHER PEOPLE WON’T STAND, TELL THE GIANT EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO DO, WHAT GOD IS GOING TO DO, AND TO GO FOR ITS HEAD.
He didn’t focus on the size its body, (the mob of people in agreement) or his muscles (the strength of his capabilities) or its armor (the protection and validation of its accomplishments).
His target was specific (1 Samuel 17:49)
The warrior, knowing the cause and that God was Him, went straight for Goliath’s head–first with a stone he picked up from the water. Second with the sword He took away from the enemy.
David knew the target was critical. As he declared the word of the Lord to this towering enemy, he put his faith in the supernatural power of his God and thrust that faith toward Goliath’s head. Aiming where it mattered most, David hit the target and brought the enemy down.
He was not easily intimidated (1 Sam 17:44-47): Even though the voice of the enemy shouted in his ears, David was unmoved. He did not confront this giant ill-prepared. He went in with the full knowledge of what he was facing and ran toward the enemy without hesitation.
The enemy will be relentless, and we must be prepared to face the constant threats and accusations. If we have filled our hearts and minds with God’s Word before the battle, it will be God’s Word that pours out of our mouths when we face that battle. Our courage comes from knowing God’s voice and the words He speaks. We then become conduits of heaven, issuing the decrees and purposes of the reigning King.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (KJV)
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV)
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
If you know anything about gator hunting, you know your target is only a few inches in diameter no matter how huge this reptile actually is. The only way you can kill an Alligator to hit the area behind his eyes and shut down his tiny brain.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, “an average 12-foot-long, 800-pound American alligator has a brain that is roughly the size of three olives.” It’s strictly an instinctual living machine that reacts to things it is sensitive to.
In other words, you’ve got to be a good shot, especially if you’re trying to hit something the size of three olives, just below the surface of the water, at a long way away.