Giants in the Land
The giant-sized entrance gate of the biblical city of Gath of the Philistines, home of Goliath was uncovered this week in Israel. The extraordinary size of the gate was surely enough to make way for the famed giant, though he never did return after meeting David.
Scripture tells us that when David went out to met Goliath he chose five smooth stones (I Samuel 17:40). What was he thinking that he might miss with the first? Did he imagine that the fearsome giant would wait for him if he did?
Goliath had four giant brothers called "Lord's of the Philistines" in Joshua 13:3. When David goes out to fight Goliath he knows that killing the giant will bring on his oversized brothers. Indeed, the other four Philistine giants do eventually show up in II Samuel 21:22, thankfully only to be defeated by David and his men.
David came out with five stones because he understood that in order to get the victory Israel must cast out all the giants from the land, not just one. Nor can we deal with just one stronghold (or sin) in life, we must be prepared to go all the way. Better not even cast that first stone unless we find that we are in a battle we are not prepared for.
A Giant Find
The humongous city gate uncovered this week by a team from Bar Ilan University is among the largest ever found in Israel and is evidence of the status and influence of Gath the city of Goliath during this period. Among the various building discovered in the city is an iron production facility large enough to produce the kind of weapons used by Goliath. The city was eventually conquered and destroyed by Hazael King of Aram, Damascus around 830 BCE.
Goliath's gate was so impressive that it received mentioned in I Samuel 21 in the story of David's escape from King Saul to Achish, King of Gath.
Gath was the largest city in Israel during the 10th-9th century BCE, about the time of the "United Kingdom" of Israel when Ahab was king. The city is located in the Judean foothills about halfway between Jerusalem and Ashkelon in central Israel.
Among other significant findings at the site is evidence of an earthquake in the 8th century BCE connected to the earthquake mentioned in the Book of Amos 1:1. There was also found the earliest Philistine inscription ever to be discovered which contains two names similar to the name Goliath. In addition a large assortment of weapons used by the Philistines were uncovered along with extensive evidence of the capture and destruction of the city by Hazael, as mentioned in Second Kings 12:18.
Not for Children only
Children love this story of David and Goliath because David is just like one of us. A young shepherd boy out in the fields doing what he loved to do for his simple family. It is our story, the story of how the weak can overcome the strong and how even I can do something special for God.
Isn't that the story of the Bible? How you and me can overcome even the most difficult situations with God on our side?