No nation has ever experienced the physical wilderness as the nation of Israel. Theirs were the trials, the thirst, the hunger for meat, for the onions and other things Egypt offered. To them were given forty years wandering through the desert for the purpose of being formed as a nation under God Himself. Many died; a large number of them; they did not make it through the wilderness to their destination, because they fell to temptation, while their hearts became hardened as they were tested. The signs and wonders they witnessed when God provided for their needs did not serve as a guide to exercise faith in Him. So their journey became a wilderness of temptation in every aspect: physical, emotional and spiritual. That constituted an open door to fail in every time a need arrived. Without waiting for God to provide for their needs, as He promised He was going to, they murmured and complained, even when manna- food from heaven was given them. They longed the world’s food instead. In Psalm 95 the Psalmist remembers those days with a warning: Harden not your hearts as at Meribah and Massah in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tried My patience and tested Me proved Me and saw His work. Forty years long was I grieved and was disgusted with that generation, and I said, It is a people that do err in their hearts, and they do not approve, acknowledge or regard My ways. Therefore I swore in My wrath that they would not enter My rest (95: 8-11), and again in Hebrews 3: 7-11.
From the beginning of times, Satan tried to destroy YAHWEH’S plan to bring about His purpose of redemption for humankind. It started with Cain who killed his righteous brother out of anger and resentment. But YAHWEH gave Adam and Eve a third son who carried the righteous lineage and from his descendants, Noah was born ten generations later. From the family of Shem, one of Noah’s son, Abraham was born. The gap between Noah to Abraham was also ten generations. Here is the summary of Abraham’s lineage:
1. Noah – name means: Comfort or Rest
2. Shem – meaning: Renown; prosperity
3. Arphaxad – meaning: A healer; a releaser
4. Shelah – meaning: Sent Out, Branch or Javelin
5. Eber – meaning: To pass over, through, take away
6. Peleg – name means: Division
7. Reu – name means: Friend
8. Nahor – the name means: Breathing Hard
9. Terah – name means: Spirit, Spirited or Inspired
10. Abram – a high father – later to be called Abraham – father of multitude
(I Samuel 17:40-49)
When we hear the name Goliath, immediately, we associate him with David and his sling in a battle between the two nations. The story here is one of a series of wars between the Philistines and Israel. The Philistines were descendants from Ham (one of Noah’s son). They were Canaanites whom God told Israel to destroy. They were the Jebusites, the Amorites, and the Girgashite, among others. Their territory extended from Sidon as you go toward Gerar, as far as Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Adamah and Zeboiim as far as Lasha (Gen.10). In their quest to keep their land and their people, they fought Israel. Because Israel did not rid themselves of their enemies entirely earlier, they had to face them through battles to preserve their lives. In this particular battle, the Philistines relied heavily on their champion by the name of Goliath of Gath. He was not an ordinary man for he was a giant. The Bible registers his height as being six cubits and a span [almost ten feet]. He wore a bronze helmet on his head and a coat of mail, and the coat weighed 5,000 shekels of bronze [about 125 pounds]. He had bronze shin armor on his legs and a bronze javelin across his shoulders, and the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; his spear’s head weighed 600 shekels of iron [about 15 pounds]. And a shield bearer went before him (I Sam 17: 4-7).
When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own life; he made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own life (Sam. 18:1,3).
Lo-debar was a place where history opened its pages through the Bible and showed its conditions- spiritual, and physical. This city existing even in the time of Joshua carries a negative prefix Lo, and debar meaning “word” or “thing.” It was there that Jonathan’s son’s nurse found refuge when she had to flee the palace at the news of King Saul’s death to protect Jonathan’s son from being killed. He was only five years old when his nurse took him up and fled; and in her haste, he fell and became lame (II Sam.4). She then fled to Lo-debar, where she found refuge in the house of Machir son of Ammiel at Lo-debar (II Sam. 9:4). While still alive, Jonathan made a friendship covenant with David saying if anything would happen to him, David would take care of his family. Jonathan knew that David, and not he was to take the throne of his father, consequential to the destruction of his family. His son was taken and hidden in a remote place, where only the outcasts from society, the unskilled and non-educated people lived. Lo-debar was nonetheless, a place of refuge. Mephibosheth son of Jonathan lived there all his life until he was sought for and rescued by King David for the sake of his friend Jonathan.
(John 15:25; Psalm 35:19; 69:4)
The Prophet Isaiah, 740 years before Christ, prophesized about His trial and death in a way that touches the heart of all those of us who love Him. He gave a solemn picture of the manner in which YAHSHUA was rejected and forsaken. The hatred of men toward Him was described in ways we do not understand. He was despised, rejected and forsaken by men, and like One from Whom men hide their faces, He was despised. He was not appreciated, neither esteemed; He was oppressed and afflicted, by oppression and judgment He was taken away and no one considered that He had died for their own transgression (Isaiah 53:3,7,8). The difference men saw in YAHSHUA made them uncomfortable.