IN a country far away from us there lies a beautiful valley, which is two or three miles long from east to west, and a little less than a mile wide from north to south. On the north side of this valley is a long, high hill, almost a mountain; and on the south side is another hill very much like it. Down through the middle of the valley runs a brook, which, when it rains, rushes along like a boiling river, but in the dry season is nothing but a crooked road filled here and there with smooth, round stones. On-both sides of this brook are cornfields and wheat fields, while up on the sides of the hill are grape vineyards and groves of olive trees.


One time, many long years ago, this valley was not so quiet as it is now. For on the north side was encamped, in hundreds of white tents, a great multitude of people who were serving the true God, and who had come out to keep their enemies from spoiling their country, and to drive them back home. There their enemies were, right before their eyes, encamped on the hill south of the valley; and there lay the valley with the brook running through it, right between the two armies.  One morning something happened that made the people of God on the north hill actually quake for fear.  A man eleven and a half feet high came down from the south hill to the edge of the valley, and shouted with a very loud voice over to the men on the north hill, and said, "Why are ye come out to set your battle in array?  Choose a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able, to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants; but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us."  Now so large and terrible was this great giant, that no one could be found who dared to fight with him. And he came out and defied the people of God every day for forty days.

But finally the Lord raised up a deliverer for his people, and instead of taking some large and powerful warrior, he just took a young shepherd lad, as though to put the men in the army to shame for not trusting in him and going out to fight the giant themselves.  Now this shepherd boy had come down to the army to see how his three older brothers were getting along, and to bring them some food. While he was talking with them, this giant came out, as he had done so many days before, and cried out, "Give me a man, that we may fight together."  It made the young shepherd very angry to hear this wicked man defy the army of God in this way, and he wondered that no one dared to meet him.  He felt that because his people were serving the true God, the Lord would deliver even a youth out of the hands of this man, giant though he was.  So he asked that he might go and fight with him. The king, when he heard of the boy's courage, told him that a youth like him was not able to fight with this man of war.  But the young shepherd told him how he had killed a lion and a bear when tending his father's sheep, and said that the Lord, who delivered him out of the paw of the lion and the bear, would deliver him now out of the hands of this wicked man.  So finally the king said, "Go, and the Lord be with thee."

The king then put his own armor of brass and iron upon the boy, and gave him his own sword.

But when the young shepherd tried to walk with the armor on, he said he could not use it.  So putting it oft; he went down to the brook, and picked, out five smooth stones, which he put in a leather bag hanging at his side.  He then took his staff and sling, and went down to meet the giant. He must have prayed to God very earnestly on his way down, for the very first stone that he hurled sank deep into the forehead of the giant, and he fell on his face. The youth then ran and stood on him, and cut off his head with his own sword.  When the people on the south hill saw their champion dead, they turned their backs and fled, and the men on the north hill rushed down across the valley and up the south hill and chased their enemies home, killing a great many of them on the way.

The Lord continued to bless this young boy, and he afterward became king, and delivered his people from their enemies a great many times.

None of the children who read this may ever be called to fight men, but we all have an enemy much stronger than the great giant whom we have been talking about. He likes nothing better than to cause us to sin against God, and it is often as hard for us to fight him as it was for David to fight Goliath in the valley of Elah.  But we must remember that as God helped David hurl the stone, so he will help us, if we always ask him, to resist temptation.




C. H. G.