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David, Goliath, and Israel

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David, Goliath, and Israel

Israel's rebirth stirs regional and worldwide opposition, forcing her to fight to survive. In response, she creates a strong national defense such as the exceeding great army that comes out of Ezekiel's valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:10). It is curious for Ezekiel to describe Israel's army as great since normally these adjectives are reserved for only the largest, best equipped, and best-trained armies. In Israel's case, however, it seems unlikely that this tiny nation will ever possess a large army or that people ever will ever consider it the equal of the world's three superpowers: Russia, China or the United States. Ezekiel must refer to something else and Zechariah 12:8 may provide a clue:

In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

Set in 70th week of Daniel (that day), this verse not only shows God actively protecting Israel, but that it is a nation full of fierce warriors as even the feeblest Jew fights like the renowned fighter, David. David's was so renowned as a warrior that women sang his praises for killing tens of thousand enemies (1 Samuel 18:7). This suggests that every Israeli warrior is able to defeat many enemy soldiers and Israeli armed forces win wars even when vastly outnumbered. This matches Israel's modern military exploits where Israel has won several wars while fighting under significant personnel and weapons disadvantages. But even the victories of the 1948 war of independence, the 1967 six-day war, and the 1973 Yom Kippur war do not elevate Israel's army to the great status. They are fierce, resourceful, and dedicated warriors; but ultimately an army's battlefield conquests prove its greatness. For example, it took allied victories over Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II for America's armed forces to achieve this status.

David's most famous conquest came as a youth over the nine-foot tall giant, Goliath - a man everyone else refused to fight. Prior to fighting Goliath, David had to receive the King's permission:

And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. (1 Samuel 17:33-37)

As a young teen-ager, David's defeat of a lion and a bear that had attacked his father's sheep proved that he was already a capable fighter. After receiving the King's permission, David defeated Goliath, establishing his reputation as a fierce warrior. Do David's victories over the beasts and Goliath have any link to end-time events? Amos 5:18-19 provides a potential tie-in:

Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

During the same time frame, that day, when feeble Jews fight like David, Israel flees from a lion just to run into a bear and is then attacked by a serpent when she stops to rest. Both Israel and David have three enemies, the first two being the same - a lion and a bear. The lion and the bear are also seen in another important portion of end-time prophecy - Daniel 7's four great beasts: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a terrible non-descript creature. Clearly a leopard, is not a man (Goliath) or a serpent, but could the last unnamed beast represent them? If it does, then, like David's past heroics, Israel will fight three enemies two of which resemble a lion and a bear and third that resembles Goliath, a serpent, and Daniel's fourth great beast. While exploration of the enemies' identities must wait until the great tribulation chapter, it is safe to assume that if Israel can survive these attacks, her army will have proven worthy of Ezekiel's description - exceeding great.