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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 201*0106 LONELINESS IN THE VALLEY OF ELAM

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        0

       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

        6

              Pastor Ray Scott

 

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LONELINESS IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH

SERMON STARTER

          In this life we are born alone, and we die alone. The Ecclesiastes writer said, “As he (man) came (naked) from his mother's womb, naked shall he return. . .”  How many times have you been alone?

Here are a few of my own times of naked aloneness:

1) Standing over the grave of my 34 year old father, killed suddenly in a small plane crash. I was 14 and the oldest of 5 children. I looked up into the sky and saw a flight of geese and felt totally alone.

2) Driving U-Haul’s largest cab-over truck in late August, 1976 in California high desert outside of Amboy on the old route 66.

It was 112 degrees in the evening shade. You could fry eggs on the hood of the truck. I was leaving my friends and family behind, traveling to a new life on NE Ohio. I felt very lonely and alone.

3) I met an older former parishioner from my first church I pastored in Hartford, Ohio. His kids were adults. His wife has passed away the year before. He regularly went to one of three stores in our region that had electric carts. He would get a cart and drive aimlessly through the store. He was lonely and scared as he faced an unknown future. As I looked into his eyes and saw his profound isolation, I felt alone.

        David faced his giant, Goliath, all alone. When I think of the thrilling Biblical account of the adolescent David facing his 9 and a half foot Goliath I get goose bumps. Then I remember how alone he was in that place. Picture in your mind's eye for a moment, a gangly 14/15 year old boy who stood first before Saul and then Goliath. He was probably pimple-faced with an Adam's apple. I imagine his voice broke sometimes when he spoke as adolescents do today.

          Then, I imagine his loneliness as the gangly teenager faced his giant with five smooth pebbles and a sling. That image of him running to a certain death still stirs my heart today. What about your giants in the midst of your loneliness?

Pastor Phil   <><<

January 6, 2019 - Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland   <><<

 

LONELINESS IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH

 1 Samuel 16:9-13 - 1 Samuel 17:1-15

“The irony of the Valley of Elah is that David chose his battleground to face his giant. During his later life he consciously chose the conditions and circumstances of his own loneliness. David fought his greatest giant, loneliness more than once in his lifetime."                   Pastor Phil   <><<

 

BIBLICAL CUBIT about 17 inches

GOLIATH was 9 1/2 feet tall

Goliath's armor weight close to 300 pounds

Saul's armor weighed 158 pounds

Young David probably didn't weigh 150 lbs.

 

BIBLICAL NARRIATIVE:

God was seeking a man who was after His own heart

 

14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."   1 Samuel 13:14 (NKJV)

 

NAME, DAVID in Hebrew - דָּוִד‎ - daw-veed'  - Means, "Beloved"

 

I. INTRODUCTION TO THE VALLEY OF ELAH

          A.  Valley of Elah: the lonely place David fought his Goliath

                    1. Few who visit Israel visit the Valley of Elah

                    2. You can still see it today, an actual geographic place

                    3. See the stream from which David took his rocks

                    4. See the hills on which the armies camped

          B. The most amazing fact is that you cannot easily find it

                    1. There’s no church or synagogue there

                    2. There are no real signs saying this is the Valley of Elah                              3. People ride through it and don’t even know it’s there

                    4. In fact, it’s right off the side of the road

          C. The Elah Valley today where David challenged Goliath and won

                    (See the Five Minute YouTube Film Clip)

                    Actual site of the Battle of Elah

Enjoy a close look at one of the world's most famous battlegrounds, the Elah valley where David killed the Philistine Goliath. It's smaller than we often assume. Luke Chandler explains how we know where the battle happened. Envision the details of the battle as you view the battle zone on a slope by Khirbet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3F4BnurY_I

 

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LONELINESS IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, cont. p.2

 

Four things about David's Loneliness

I. DAVID IS THE YOUNGEST AMONG HIS BROTHERS

11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all the young men here?" Then he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here."    1 Samuel 16:11

          A. David's Background - 1024 BC

                    1. Biblical archaeologists call this the Iron Age

                    2. David was the youngest son of Jessie, 14 or 15

                    3. David had six older brothers

          B. David held the lowest job in his father's household

                    1. Caring for sheep was a menial, despised job

                    2. He was also a deliverer of food for his brothers

                    3. He was a battlefield courier of messages for his father

          C. David Experienced typical Sibling Rivalry

                    1. Youngest in Birth Order are often picked on

                    2. His older brothers were jealous

                              Eg. Cain / Abel; Joseph

                    3. Parents a bit more lenient, results in sense of entitlement

                              Eg. Prodigal Son

          D. Out of Saul's favor for 17 years, outcast David is lonely once again

                    1. David fled from King Saul who tried to kill him

                    2. He has his men but is Lonely again in the deserts of En Gidi

 

Another Thing about David's Loneliness

II. DAVID WAS A KEEPER OF THE SHEEP

11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all the young men here?" Then he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here."    1 Samuel 16:11

          A. Many Patriarchs were Shepherds

                    1. Patriarchs Abraham, Moses, Jacob, the twelve tribes

                    2. King David, and the Old Testament prophet Amos

                    3. NT angels announce the birth of Jesus to shepherds.

          B. Shepherding was  the lowest job among the Sons of Jesse

                    1. The other sons tended to fields in the agrarian culture

                    2. The were soldiers in National Emergencies

                    3. Family's youngest often assigned to shepherding

          C. Shepherding sheep was nomadic, lonely, isolated

                    1. Shepherds nurture, herd, guard and protect the sheep

                    2. Sheep mentioned more than 500 times in the Bible

          D. Shepherding is an attribute ascribed to God - Isaiah 40:11

                    11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His

       arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.

LONELINESS IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, cont. p.3

 

A Third Thing about David's Loneliness. . .

III. DAVID FOUND SOLACE FOR HIS LONELINESS IN THE LORD

“Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.” Psalm 142:4

          A. David faced his giant alone, but he was not alone

                    1. Prophet Samuel poured Holy Anointing oil on him

                    2. From that time on David had the Spirit of the Lord on him

          B. God grants His Promise of Presence to us - Isaiah 41:10-11

          ”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I                   will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right     hand.

                    1. David knew the Lord His God

                    2. The Lord knew and Loved David

          C. God's sheep know the voice of their shepherd

                    1. They followed him as he calms them with songs in the night

                    2. David sang love songs to God in the loneliness of the night

                    3. David sang with his Lyre to the sheep and God heard

                    4. They are recorded in the Psalms to God

                    5. God heard David's love songs and loved him in return

                    6. Remember David didn’t seek God, God sought him 

                    And when He had removed him, (Saul) He raised up for them David                              as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found

                        David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My                           will.'”    Acts 13:22

          D. David cries out to God and seeks Him – Jeremiah 29:13

               “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,

                   thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

                   Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to

                   you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all

                   your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD,”

 

A Fourth Thing about David's Loneliness in the Valley of Elah

IV. 3,000 YEAR OLD MESSAGES FOR US TODAY

          A. Life's greatest battlefields are often in Secret Places

                    1. Your greatest struggles have often been in the night

                    2. You are alone with your thoughts and the Lord

          B. Our Giants are fought through Prayer

                    1. Today we battle our Giants with the Full Armor of God

                    2. We battle in our own War Rooms

                    3. Go to your secret place and remind yourself of God's Power

                    4. If we are like David, God's Beloved, we will ask what we will

                    5. Our Giants will be slain in the battlefields of our soul

          C. If God's is for us, who can be against us?          - Romans 9:31

 

 

LONELINESS IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, Text.

1 Samuel 16:9-13
9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one."
10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these."
11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all the young men here?" Then he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here."
12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!"
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

 

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Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd

John 10:11-12 (NKJV)
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.

 

John 10:27,   My sheep heard my voice and they follow Me

 

Jesus describes Himself as the Lamb of God

 

 

 

Later in life David is Lonely Psalm 102

The Apostle Paul felt the chill of Loneliness - 2 Tim. 4:9-11,16

 

 

ONE MINUTE LECTURE

Actual site of the Battle of Elah

Dr. Scott Stripling describes the ruins at Khirbet Qeifaya, where King Saul and David fought in battle against the Philistines at the Elah Valley. A pottery shard with Hebrew writing was discovered here in 2008. See: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPo8RIldBv4

 

FIVE MINUTE LECTURE

Actual site of the Battle of Elah

Enjoy a close look at one of the world's most famous battlegrounds, the Elah valley where David killed the Philistine Goliath. It's smaller than we often assume. Luke Chandler explains how we know where the battle happened. Envision the details of the battle as you view the battle zone on a slope by Khirbet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3F4BnurY_I

 

 

 

Ten Thoughts on Loneliness

America is facing a silent epidemic. Loneliness permeates our society. As technology advances and our life styles become busier, the most basic of needs are going unmet. We have become accustomed to a lesser appetite when it comes to connectedness and it is creating a deficit of the soul. The following are 10 thoughts on loneliness:

  1. 70% of Americans describe their lives as having many acquaintances but few close friends.
  2. Mother Teresa: "The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved and uncared for..."
  3. Social Media, I-Phones and E-mail are substituting the sound of the human voice and face to face contact.
  4. Life is like an elevator: we're surrounded by people but no connection.
  5. According to one survey, 90% of the male population lacks a true friend.
  6. The benefit of touch can be the difference between sickness and health; life and death.
  7. Basic felt needs include: love, shared experience, trust and disclosure.
  8. The average American watches 4 hours of TV a day, far beyond the time invested in family communication or outside community activity.
  9. Prioritizing career advancement, we have opted to be mobile -- leaving behind the family and friends who nurtured us.
  10. Researchers found that from 1985-2004 the number of people with whom Americans feel they can discuss important matters dropped by nearly a third.

The concept of man needing meaningful relationship is as old as the scriptures. The book of Ecclesiastes is relevant in our modern society, marked by isolated ladder climbers, as it declares that we are strengthened and accomplish more when connected to others. We must reject shallow roots which produce surface commitments and invest in meaningful relationships lest true community becomes extinct in America.

Bill Shuler is pastor at Capital Life Church, Arlington, Virginia. Capitallife.org

http://www.foxnews.com:80/opinion/2009/08/02/shuler-thoughts-lonliness/

 

 

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2019-01-03

THE VALLEY OF ELAH

Most people who visit Israel don’t visit the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath. You can still see it, the stream from which David took his rocks and the hills on which the armies camped. It’s amazing to see. Even more amazing is the fact that you can hardly find it. There’s no church or synagogue there, no real signs saying this is the Valley of Elah. People ride through it all the time and they don’t even know it’s there. In fact, it’s right off the side of the road. What does the Valley of Elah tell us? The greatest battlefields in the Lord often take place in hidden places, not on the outside where everybody can see it, but on the inside. The great battles are first won in prayer, in the secret place when you’re alone with God. So get on your armor and go to your prayer closet. Whatever that issue is, take it to the Lord in prayer. Go to your secret place, for it is the hidden battlefields where giants are slain.

Daily Sapphires, Jonthan Kahn, January 3, 2019

 

 

 

 

LONELY WITHOUT GOD

SERMON STARTER

          In this life we are born alone, and we die alone. The Ecclesiastes writer said, “As he (man) came (naked) from his mother's womb, naked shall he return. . .”  How many times have you been alone?

Here are a few of my own times of naked aloneness:

1) Standing over the grave of my 34 year old father, killed suddenly in a small plane crash. I was 14 and the oldest of 5 children. I looked up into the sky and saw a flight of geese and felt totally alone.

2) Driving U-Haul’s largest cab-over truck in late August, 1976 in California high desert outside of Amboy on the old route 66.

It was 112 degrees in the evening shade. You could fry eggs on the cook of the truck. I was leaving my friends and family behind, traveling to a new life on NE Ohio. I felt very lonely and alone.

3) I met an older former parishioner from my first church I pastored in Hartford, Ohio. His kids were adults. His wife has passed away the year before. He regularly went to one of three stores in our region that had electric carts. He would get a cart and drive aimlessly through the store. He was lonely and scared as he faced an unknown future. As I looked into his eyes and saw his profound isolation, I felt alone.

          Michael Jackson died last week. He was fifty years old. Michael was a profoundly lonely man. He was a complex, talented man raised in a extremely dysfunctional family. He and several siblings were probably incested by his father. His talent granted him untold riches, but he regressed into substance abuse, regressed narcissism. He ended his life with gender and sexual confusion, disoriented by worldly power and accolade and deceived by the pure emptiness of avarice and materialism. He died disillusioned and lonely.

          In this morning’s text King David knew a lot about alienation and loneliness. He was. . .

1) Secretly anointed by God to be Israel’s next King thru the Prophet Samuel,

2) Chosen by Saul for his musical talent and abilities to comfort him in his mental affliction,

3) Favored by God and given victory against the enemies of Israel,

4) Languishes in the hot desert wilderness sands, pursued by Saul more than a decade,

5) Eventually through great struggle, David, became Israel’s King,

6) Suffers from a divided latter reign through an unsuccessful coupe by his son, Absalom,

7) Finally, dies a tired, lonely old man.

 

Pastor Phil   <><<

July 5, 2009,  Sheepfold Ministries

Pastor Phil Roland

 

LONELY WITHOUT GOD

Psalm 142:1-7

“The Irony of Man’s Loneliness is that he consciously or unconsciously chooses the conditions and circumstances of his own loneliness. David, like the rest of mankind, suffered his lonely moments.”                                                   Pastor Phil

 

“Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.” Psalm 142:4

 

I.  IRONY: DAVID IS LONELY IN GOD’S PRESENCE vs. 1,2

    “I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice to the LORD I make my

     supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my

     trouble.”

          A. David seeks God, but doesn’t FEEL His Presence

                    1. Don’t feel close to God?

                    2. Guess who moved?

          B. Remember David didn’t seek God, God sought him – Acts 13:22

             "And when He had removed him, (Saul) He raised up for them David as

                 king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the

                 son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'”

          C. David cries out to God and seeks Him – Jeremiah 29:13

               “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,

                   thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

                   Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to

                   you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all

                   your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD,”

 

II. DAVID KNOWS GOD / UNDERSTANDS HIS SOVREIGNTY–v.3a

  “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path.”

          A. Omniscience – All Knowing

                    1. God knows in advance what you will do

                    2. You are still a free moral agent w/power of choice

          B. Omnipresence – All present

                    1. Jim Carrie’s Problem – “Bruce Almighty”

2. God is everywhere at once

          C. It doesn’t matter how YOU feel, God’s still there

 

III.  DAVID KNOWS GOD IS THERE / STRUGGLES W/ENEMIES

      “In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me. Look on my

        right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has

        failed me; No one cares for my soul.” vs. 3b-4

A. David, like all true believers, struggles with those who hate him

               1. Jesus taught us to pray for them – Matthew 5:43-45a

                  "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and

                      hate your enemy.'  "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those

LONELY WITHOUT GOD, cont.

 

                      who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those

                      who spitefully use you and persecute you, "that you may be sons of

                      your Father in heaven;”

               2. Paul taught us the same – Romans 12:20,21

                 “Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him

                      a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." Do

                      not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

B. Despair is the lot of man without God

               1. Mankind is alienated, cut-off alone

               2. God has made us with a strong need for each other

 

IV.  DAVID ALWAYS CRIES OUT TO GOD – vs. 5-7

    "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him,

        though He bears long with them? "I tell you that He will avenge them

        speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith

        on the earth?"  Luke 18:7,8

A. God ALWAYS hears the cries of His children

B. Can a mother deny the cries of her infant?

               1. God always hears our distress

               2. God will meet you in your loneliness  

          C. Cry out to Him in your distress

          D. He’ll meet you and comfort your heart

 

 

 

 

 

LONELY WITHOUT GOD, Text:

Psalm 142-1-7 NKJ

142:1  I cry out to the LORD with my voice; With my voice to the LORD I make my supplication.

2  I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble.

3  When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk They have secretly set a snare for me.

4  Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.

5  I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, "You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living.

6  Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I.

7  Bring my soul out of prison, That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me, For You shall deal bountifully with me."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7/5/09

Don Hobbs sent this one in reply:

Old Southern Gospel Quartet Song:

I'll Never Be Lonely Again

11

Verse 1

Lonely days and lonely nights,

Filled with despair,

Caused me to long for

Someone to care;

Then I heard Christ say to me;

“This promise I’ve made:

Lo! I am with you

Now and forever,

Be not afraid.”

 

Chorus

I’ll never be lonely again,

Never again,

For I have opened

My heart’s door to Him.

So I’ll brush away the tears

And forget my

Foolish fears

I’ll never be lonely again,

Never again.

 

Verse 2

If you’re longing for a friend,

Loving and true,

Turn to the Savior

He waits for you;

He will do the same for you

As He did for me;

He’ll never leave you,

Never forsake you,

Trust Him and see.

 

Chorus

I’ll never be lonely again,

Never again,

For I have opened

My heart’s door to Him.

So I’ll brush away the tears

And forget my

Foolish fears

I’ll never be lonely again,

Never again.

 

I’ll never be lonely again,

Never again,

For I have opened

My heart’s door to Him.

So I’ll brush away the tears

And forget my

Foolish fears

I’ll never be lonely again,

Never again.

I’ll never be lonely again,

Never again.