17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”
20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.
25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”
26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” 28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
As Goliath continues to taunt the Israelites Saul offers riches, fame and power to the man who kills him. The offer of wealth, becoming a prince and being free of taxes is a pretty strong incentive. Many people have done crazy things for far less than that but somehow this Philistine was so imposing that nobody was willing to face him. What good is wealth and fame if you are not around to appreciate it?
So the Israelites fled from Goliath in great fear… I am sure that we would do the same and are currently doing similar things. The world has changed but people have not changed that much. People still oppress and bully other people. People use force and brute strength (financial strength) to force others into submission while good people stand by too afraid to help. I was watching one of the NOOMA DVD’s the other day called Store. I felt like the speaker made some very good points when talking about anger. He said that so many of us want to get into a fight (petty fight) because we are not in a fight and that people get angry about stuff that just does not matter whilst nobody gets angry about things that do matter.
We need to work out what matters to us, what we stand for and how far we are willing to go for the things we stand for. We should not be motivated by money, fame or power but by the things that are on Gods heart. To break the chains of injustice, to set the captives free and to treat the undervalued people of society with the same level of decency that we treat ourselves. How do we do this? Read tomorrow’s blog.