The Valley of Elah


David, secretly anointed by Samuel, now makes his presence known in the court of King Saul.  On an innocent visit to his brothers he is appalled at the fear and timidity of Israel in the face of the gigantic bombast of a Philistine soldier, Goliath.

Goliath is armed but it is not the ‘whole armour of God.’  It is David, armed in trust in the ‘God who delivers’ who volunteers to fight the giant.  Saul, first amused, then alarmed at this lad, finally relents and consents to the boy’s engagement with the enemy. 

Read the story in 1 Samuel 17 carefully and thoughtfully.  There are several levels of dramatic tension in the story:

One is the contest between David and the Philistine.  This  is resolved in David’s favour.

Two, there is the tension between Saul and David, the reigning king and the anointed future king.  This is only the first of many encounters between the two.

Third, there is the theological tension between the God of Israel and the gods of the Philistines, but also between the courageous trust of this young boy and the timidity of the Israelite troops and their leader.

David stakes his life on the power of Yahweh!

Join us as Claire reflects on this story this Sunday.

For a humorous take on the story see …