I Samuel 17:40 “Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”
This is the story of David and Goliath. This is I would say one of the most famous stories in the bible. The bible has of course many many different stories. Each and every story is one that from my view point serves multiple purposes. One, it shares a story about individuals and the challenges that they faced. As well these stories serve as insight into the fact that what occurred back in the day provide us with lessons to be learned and applied to our living during these times.
Scripture of course represents the word of God. I would imagine that like many of us we have read and heard the story of David and Goliath numerous times.
One of the great things about scripture and the word of God is the fact that though you may have read or heard a scripture many times before, there will come a time when that same scripture will take on a new meaning, bringing to light revelations that can create a deeper understanding of God’s word.
As I went back to re-read this scripture and the story of David and Goliath what caught my attention within this scripture in particular are the five stones that David chose that day as he went forth to face Goliath. As it relates to these five stones what it has brought to mind for me is perhaps the essence of what each stone may have represented.
Openness: I have always imagined that as Goliath stood before the Israelite army that he did so with a mindset that because of who he was nobody would dare to challenge him. Day after day he issued a challenge for someone to step forward to face him. Finally David, surely considered to be the least of those among his people, stepped forward. In doing so what David showed is that he was open to hear from God. I am reminded of Matthew 11:15 which implores that he who has ears let him hear. David foremost was open to hear from God. For any task that will lie before us the immediate question is, are we like David willing to be open to hear from God?
Trust: as David began the process of stepping forward I am sure that he faced not just ridicule from the enemy, but from his very own people themselves. Just my opinion; the most jarring ridicule and doubt must have been from his very own people. Those who were proclaimed to be God’s chosen people. How often in each of our lives have we faced the doubts and ridicule from the very people whom we would consider to be people of faith? David chose not to listen to his people, but he decided to trust in the LORD with all of his heart and to lean not on his own understanding.
Obedience: being open to hear from God and knowing in his heart that he could trust God, David made the decision to be obedient. He showed not just to the enemy but to his very own people that he was willing to follow what God was calling him to do. Very often it is tempting for us to say that while we hear what God is calling us to do or saying to us, being obedient is something quite different. More often than I care to confess, I have found myself saying yes Lord I hear you, but I am not quite sure about being obedient. But as David did by virtue of his obedience, our challenge is to set aside any reservations that we may have as it regards our own obedience to God.
Commitment “Commit your way to the Lord.” David being open, trusting in the Lord and choosing obedience, then showed that he was committed to carry out the will of God. What stands as paramount is the fact that David did not make a partial commitment, nor was his commitment half hearted. His was a commitment that reflected the fact that he was all in. Not 50 percent, not even 99 percent, but 100 percent in. David’s commitment shows us that at an appointed time that our charge as well is to be 100 percent on board with God’s calling. David also showed that by being 100 percent on board that he was not afraid nor was he hesitant to give his all in all.
A Call to Action: David, being open to God, trusting in him and being obedient showed his commitment by moving forward on his call to action. The word of God is about hearing from him then taking action. Our hearing from God is validated and made alive by not only being hearers of his word but as well doers of his word. David’s call to action resulted in him being victorious in his face to face confrontation with his Goliath. He didn’t tarry, he understood what it was that God was calling him to do and took action. Faith without works is dead. David demonstrated his faith by carrying out his calling, thus fulfilling his call to action. In our lives today will we as will move forward when it comes to our personal call to action from the Lord?
A Stone’s Throw. Each stone represented a purpose in David’s quest before Goliath. Characteristics they he may have drawn from to face his Goliath. Our quest if not our very own challenge is to as well draw from those characteristics that God himself has placed within each of us for those days and times to face and to conquer the Goliath that stands before us. For just as it was with David so shall it be with us, because with God on our side, what then would prove to be impossible.
To God Be the Glory
Alan T. Black