Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Valley of The Oak

Emek HaElah, The Valley of the Oak. Not just any oak but THE OAK. An ancient cathedral of a tree large enough and distinguished enough to landmark the entire area.

A short distance away stands another giant. Not just any giant but THE GIANT. Goliath of Gath. The army of the Philistines is encamped between Socho and Azekah. Daily the giant strides out to taunt his Hebrew enemies, to goad them into a fight, a miss step, a miscalculation that will humiliate and destroy them. This taunting occurs daily at the time the Hebrews pray so to distract them from their relationship with their God. It was working.

Had Saul and his army been students of history, they could have encouraged themselves with the reality that the Philistines were camped near the spot where God had destroyed the Amorites with a hailstorm on behalf of Joshua. God had the giant right where He wanted him, at the center of a bull’s-eye. All the Hebrews could see was the giant.

Into the valley steps a little known shepherd boy whose reputation will dwarf both THE OAK and THE GIANT in just a few hours. He has fought a lion, routed a bear and his heart is painted with God’s colors. He stands between two points on the map and he sees the choice is really between a fence (Socho) and a strong wall (Azekah). His strong wall, his high tower has just moved His secret weapon onto the field. In David's mind God's very existence was the evidence of Goliath's defeat.

We know the rest of the story. The Philistines end up no better off than the Amorites and David wins by “a head.” The giant looks shorter in death than he did in life and for obvious reasons. The anointed David takes a step closer to the throne that is rightfully his.

What we sometimes forget about the story is that the choice remains the same when the sons of the giant come at us. Our choice is to put our confidence in our own strength and ingenuity or to trust, in faith, the One who has sent us. Our confidence can’t be in fences of our own making. It must be in the One who has built strong, enduring walls surrounding us and then written His own Names upon them. We must live in the walled city of hope and protection that is our life in Christ.

There was another oak in the Valley of Elah that long ago day. The Oak of David. The Oak Who Is David. God’s mighty oak who stood in faith filled conviction for the Glory of His Name even in a valley season. Those valley oaks are the ones with the deepest roots whose branches stretch and reach up out of the valley clapping their hands in praise to the one who has strengthened them.

Look in the valley and you will find The Oak of _______ (your name goes here.) You are not alone. His Oaks are a Forest! They are a Family, an Army, a Walled City. They bear His Name. They are the Slayers of Giants. They are His first, last and forever! God proudly shows Himself off in the splendor He imparts to them. Where giants are concerned they take no prisoners. Standing together they proclaim the Lord’s favor.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61

You are an Oak with the name of the High King Of All The Universe carved upon you.

So paint your heart with God’s colors and step into your giant.

You were made to show forth His Glory ‘by a head’…today.

You won't go alone and your walls will hold.

It takes one good thought.

One rock thrown true.

Kat Cavanaugh LaMantia

No comments:

Post a Comment