Thwarting the Aliensí Attacks
And they sent to flight the armies of the aliens..." When you read a statement such as this, what is the first thing that crosses your mind? Is it the role of Will Smith in the film "Independence Day"? Or maybe you see Captain Picard of the Enterprise leading a fleet of starships against half-man, half-machine invaders.
Our society is barraged with constant images of extra-terrestrial visitors, both malicious and benevolent, and manís fictitious encounters with them. Many people throughout the world even believe that Earth has been visited by beings from other galaxies. Some even think that world governments, including the U.S., have captured these aliens and have conspired to keep that fact hidden from the general population. (We are very fortunate to have reputable publications such as the National Inquirer and others to keep us in the know about such things.)
The Bible, in fact, describes battles with aliens. The opening statement is an excerpt from Paulís letter to the Hebrews. In chapter eleven, verses 32-34, we read, "And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens."
These are not tales, however, of flying saucers and little green men with ray guns. This word alien is translated from the Greek word allotrios, which elsewhere in the Scriptures is translated "stranger." It is used to refer to someone who is not of the children of Israel. (In modern English, we use the word in much the same way, though mostly when referring to "illegal aliens.")
David, the shepherd boy who became king, is one such man who fought in these "Alien Wars." Some of the early inhabitants of the Promised Land, the land of Israel, were the Philistines. They were descendants of Mizraim, the son of Noahís son Ham. They were, therefore, distant cousins of the Egyptians, who were also Mizraimís descendants. They also shared the common bond in that they, too, were enemies of Israel. It is this ancient civilization that has lent its name to that region. Today, we call it Palestine.
The armies of the Philistines had gathered at Shochoh, by the valley of Elah (which was in the territory which belonged to the tribe of Judah) in opposition to the newly immigrated nation of Israel. Israelís army, under the direction of King Saul, set in battle array, had gathered on the other side of the valley.
The champion of the Philistines was a giant of a man, who stood about 9Ĺ feet tall, named Goliath. He came forth with a challenge to Israel, that they find themselves a champion who would face him one-on-one.
The entire army of Israel trembled at this daunting task. This "alien" seemed to have super-human strength Ė powers above those possessed by any of the Israelite soldiers.
But David, a shepherd boy, when he heard the challenge, was filled with zeal and volunteered to face Goliath. When Saul expressed concern of what might befall David, David replied, "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." "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."
So David, armed with only a slingshot and five smooth stones, met the giant on the battlefield. Goliath chided him, to which David responded, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied."
He did not go out to prove that he was the greatest soldier. He did not go out for wealth or fame. From his own lips we hear his motivation, "This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee ... that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel."
David, who later became king of all Israel, was a hero and great champion for God. His exploits were trumpeted throughout the region. Songs were written about him, declaring, "David hath slain his ten thousands." And, every step of the way, his goal was the glorification of the Living God.
We are so often enamored by the fiction which the publishers and movie makers deliver us and, just as often, we are unimpressed with the Word of God. Oh, we say we believe it to be true, but the fantastic stories it contains are rarely appreciated, unless Hollywood fleshes them out and adds millions of dollars worth of special effects.
In America, there are two types of heroes. The first are fictitious characters, which only exist in the mind of their creator. The second are the celebrities: athletes, actors and musicians, real people whose lives are fiction. On the screen, stage or playing field, they play to the crowd. Off camera, however, they all to often fall violently off of the pedestal that the public has placed them on, succumbing to the temptations of drugs, alcohol and licentiousness.
One need not be flawless to be a hero, and David certainly succumbed to his share of temptations. However, he always found repentance, and had this testimony, that he was a man after Godís heart. His desire was always the promotion of Jehovah.
He and other Bible heroes rose to meet the challenges before them, and championed the cause of the one true and Almighty God, regardless of the aliens who would dare to oppose Him and His people.