Summary: This is week two of the CSI series and we are looking at what we can learn from the slaying of Goliath.
The sun was hot on his back as he knelt at the edge of the stream and pushed his hand into the icy cold water. The shock ran up to his elbow as his fingers played on the rocky bottom looking for the perfect stones. Yes there was one and another, and one more, no that one wasn’t quite right. Finally he had chosen five perfect stones and he pulled his arm dripping from the stream. He looked down at the stones, hardly more then large pebbles but they would have to do. Drying his arm on his tunic he dropped the rocks into the leather pouch hanging around his waist and started off in the direction of the noise that he could hear in the distance.
How had he got here? What had seemed like a great idea at the time, certainly seemed to border on lunacy now. But there was no turning back, after all he had committed himself to none less than the king. As he crested the hill he saw them, two opposing armies standing firm on opposing hills. Closest to him were the Jews, the army of Saul, the Israelites. Farther off in the distance was the enemy, the philistines, and there he was, right in the middle of them standing head and shoulders above everyone else, the giant, Goliath. Well, this was it. He could stop now, come to his senses and walk away or not. And so he looked straight ahead and walked into history and every Bible story book ever written.
In the Scripture that Leigh read this morning we read the account of a man named Goliath, and really if you think about it a story about Goliath isn’t really complete without talking about David. As in David and Goliath, no not Davey and Goliath, David and Goliath.
Let’s start with who was David? He was the second and undoubtedly greatest King of Israel and lived about three thousand years ago. He is mentioned 1092 times in the Bible and his exploits read like something off the fiction self at your local library. A little something for everybody in that story, sex, violence, mayhem and treachery. He captured Jerusalem and brought the ark of the covenant there, you probably remember the Ark best from the first Indiana Jones movie. David turned Israel into a major military power and put it on the map. He was the author of the majority of the poetry in the Bible and was the architect of Solomon’s temple. Jesus Christ was referred to as the Son of David 19 times in the Gospels. But what does everybody know David for? Right, for how he killed the giant. Everybody knows how the little fellow did the big dude in. It’s kind of a twist of history that most dictionaries don’t mention David, but they all seem to have Goliath and he was the loser.
1 Samuel 17 tells us the story but we all know it don’t we? Through most of it’s history Israel had been ruled by a religious ruler called a judge, that type of rule is called a Theocracy, meaning under God. Some politicians would like it to be that way again, the difference is that they want to be God. But then the people rebelled and demanded a king like all the other nations. And so God appointed Saul. He was a good king, tall handsome and smart, and he ruled the kingdom of Israel well, mostly. but then he began to think, “Hey I’m a good king, I can think for myself” and we know what happens when monarchy starts thinking for themselves don’t we? One thing led to another and another and soon Saul was being outright disobedient to God’s will for his kingdom. And with that disobedience came military defeats and here we are in 1 Samuel 17 where the Israelites are facing the greatest obstacle in their history.
So let’s start by looking at the Giant. It seems like there was a bit of a stand off here with the Philistines on one mountain and the Jews on the other mountain and when things were just getting warmed up we read in 1 Samuel 17:4 (NKJV) And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
Well if nothing else the story of David and Goliath would prove to be a popular illustrative device through the years, you know small vs. large, good vs. evil, conquering the unconquerable odds. But so often we fail to realize that the story of David and Goliath is more then just a story, it’s a fact.
How big was this guy? He was very big. The Bible tells us that he was six cubits and a span, well lets pull up a black board, well actually a green board and figure it out. Le’t see a cubit was eighteen inches and a span was a half a cubit or nine inches so lets see eight times six and carry the four is 108 add nine, multiply by 2.54 divide by a hundred and you get 2.9718 metres, and that’s supposed to mean something to us because we’ve been a metric country for 30 years so we multiply it by 100 divide by 2.54 and we get 117 inches which we divide by 12 and get 9.75 multiply the .75 by 12 and we get 9 feet 9 inches tall that’s gianormous. His coat of armour weighed 5000 shekels or 125 lbs, and it was just a vest. The bible tells us that his spear was like a weavers beam, now I don’t know what a weavers beam is but I do know that the Bible says that the head of the spear weighed fifteen pounds all by it’s lonesome.