Shelfari edited the description of Meeting Your Goliath Sunday, September 13, 2009.
More than thirty years ago, the stillness of Sinai's desert air was shattered. Jet-powered aircraft streaked toward specified targets, cannons roared, tanks lumbered, men fought and died, women wept, and children cried. The Holy Land, once the personal province of the Prince of Peace, was engulfed by war. This troubled land has witnessed much conflict throughout its history; its peoples have suffered terrible trials and tribulations. No single battle is better remembered, however, than occurred in the Valley of Elah during the year 1063 B.C. Along the mountains on one side, the feared armies of the Philistines were marshalled to march directly to the heart of Judah and the Jordan Valley. On the other side of the valley, King Saul had drawn up his armies in opposition. Historians tell us that the opposing forces were about evenly matched in number and in skill. However, the Philistines had managed to keep secret their valued knowledge of smelting and fashioning iron into formidable weapons of war. The sound of hammers pounding upon anvils and the sight of smoke rising skyward from many bellows as the smiths went about the task of sharpening weapons and fashioning new ones must have struck fear into the hearts of Saul's warriors, for even the most novice of soldiers could know the superiority of iron weapons to those of brass. As often happened when armies faced each other, individual champions challenged others from the opposing forces to single combat. There was considerable precedent for this sort of fighting; and on more than one occasion, notably during the tenure of Samson as judge, battles had been decided by individual combat. Now, however, the situation was reversed as far as Israel was concerned, and it was a Philistine who dared to challenge all others-a veritable giant of a man called Goliath of Gath. Old accounts tell us that Goliath was ten feet tall. He wore brass armor and a coat of mail. And the staff of his spear would stagger a strong man merely to lift, let alone hurl. His shield was the longest ever seen or heard of, and his sword a fearsome blade.