Set your sights on obedience

A stronghold overtaken - Third in a series

We have asked: Why did David take Goliath’s head to Jerusalem? The short answer is: it belonged where God's victories would be proclaimed— in Zion.

Next, David would bring the ark there. The place of government should have the law which was contained in the ark. And the ark meant so much more.

The ark of the covenant had been captured by the Philistines and later returned, but not to Shiloh, for the Lord was seeking out a new residence. Eventually, it was brought to Kirjathjearim in Judah where it remained for 20 years (1 Samuel 7:2), and was also there throughout Samuel's and Saul's lifetimes.

During those years David was anointed King of Israel and warred against Saul's men and the Canaanite nations. He set his sights on capturing Zion, the "sunny mountain" fortress occupied by the Jebusites.

As a Judean (from the tribe of Judah), David had tribal memory of his family's inheritance of Jerusalem. Caleb, who, with Joshua, had searched and spied on Canaan and insisted that the Israelites could possess it, was 85 when he reminded Joshua that Moses had sworn then, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God. (Jos 14:9)

Caleb lived to see his boundaries reflect his faith in God's promises, except for one city in his territory. Misery of miseries, As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day. (Jos 15:63)

So David knew what to do. The command was to take ALL of the land. (Num 33:52-55; Deut 20:17). He would complete the conquest; taking the head of Goliath there confirmed his intention. And as we have noted, David would bring the ark of the covenant there, making it the city of God.

God speaks through this story to the Christian: It is not God's plan for our lives to give place to the enemy. We must drive out the Jebusites, the deriding, mocking jeers that undermine our courage and confidence.

Set your foot down; be firm in your intentions, wholly devoted, zealous (2Ch 16:9), not lukewarm and half-hearted (Rev 3:16).

Build upon your victories. Your instructions are clear.

The Head of Goliath

A stronghold overtaken - Second in a series

Why did David take Goliath's head to Jerusalem? (1 Sam 17:54)

King Saul was presented with the head, but did not retain it as a token of victory. (1 Sam 17:57) No doubt that head had shock value for any who doubted David's prowess, but as we know, David slew Goliath for God's glory, not for his own.

Jerusalem was not wholly Israel's at the time, yet it would seem that David understood that she was Zion, the place where God's victories are prophesied and proclaimed. More on this in the next post, but first, a look at the story of David and Goliath for insight on how to proclaim our own victories in Zion.

The Philistines had gathered at Shochoh in Judah's territory, to the south of Jerusalem. The Israelites had stationed themselves in battle array on a mountain, and a valley separated them from their enemy who stood on an opposite mountain.

This pictures Satan's boast to us that his minions are evenly matched against God's soldiers, mountain to mountain so to speak.

But while we are reflecting on that possibility, he goes further: He wants us to believe he is MORE than a match, to provoke fear in our hearts.

The champion of the enemy nation was Goliath, who stood over six feet tall, possibly much taller, but Bible translations have differences. He wore a brass helmet, a coat of mail (overlapping metal plates) that weighed 5000 shekels of brass (about 125-150 lbs.), had greaves of brass on his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. The staff of his spear was solid and straight like a weaver's beam, its head weighing 600 shekels of iron. He also had a shield bearer. (1 Sam 17:4-7)

Before we read of this confrontation, we learn that the Lord had rejected Saul as Israel's king, so God's people were sheep without a shepherd. Satanic attacks are strategic. We little understand his intelligence and heart.

Goliath taunted Israel morning and evening, and presented himself forty days. …I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. (1 Sam 17:10-16)

Satan, a roaring lion, would wear us down by continual and long trials but God would build us up by this same tactic. We are led to understand the hopelessness of our circumstances unless He provides deliverance. The number 40 in Scripture signifies a period of divine testing.

David, whom Samuel had already anointed as Israel's King (1 Sam 16:13) was jealous for God's honor to take on the challenger. He did it without armor or helper, but by the Spirit of God. This is how we reach Zion as victors.

Zion

A stronghold overtaken - First in a series

Before Zion was the place to which we Christians march and the great city where we are born, it was an enemy fortress.

Her rulers felt so secure that they mocked King David and his advancing troops by "manning" her walls with the lame and blind. 2 Sam. 5:6-8

This is how Satan taunts God's children: You cannot reach this place! You cannot war on me! My little finger has more strength than your willpower and weapons. What? You would attack my stronghold? You may dream of success but you will never make one inch of progress, and if you try I will abase and ruin you by my stare, by my devices, by my perfect hatred of your ridiculous hope, by my Force.

Here begins a series of posts to contemplate how Zion became the city of God and the great symbol of the Christian's eternal residence.

Considering her iconic value to Christians and Jews, it was inevitable that an enemy fortress would once again be established there, also known as the Dome of the Rock.

Though the focus of this blog series is on Zion as a place in the heart, we will also contemplate the city of Jerusalem in history and current-day dilemmas.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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