David shunned Saul’s armor.
He ignored Saul’s sword.
He turned down the spear.
He walked out onto the battlefield against the enemy’s champion, and his weapon of choice was a sling.
Now, I know Malcolm Gladwell has tried to convince everyone that Goliath was a blind, near crippled soldier who tripped because David’s rock got caught in his armor. (A stupid, unfounded lie just to sell more books)
The truth is, the sling had little chance of winning against a champion with a sword as tall as David, and a shield that probably weighed twice as much as he did soaking wet.
David stops at a brook, and picks out five smooth stones.
The Lesson Behind David’s 5 Smooth Stones
Was it a lack of faith?
Did he think that he might miss, and need another chance?
The truth is, David without God could have slung 200 stones and still not have much of a chance to defeat Goliath.
So, why five?
I’m not sure we’ll know that answer until we speak to him face-to-face. But, in my imagination, David wasn’t sure what was going to happen. He wasn’t planning on the first stone being the only one he needed.
David didn’t know how God was going to deliver the giant into his hands.
I doubt David had much faith in the sling he was carrying, or the stones he picked up. He was going on blind faith, and just making use of what he had with him.
There’s story after story like this in the Bible. Like, Moses standing beside a fiery, talking bush, proceeds to list all the reasons he shouldn’t go before Pharaoh. Every excuse had to do with his abilities.
When God responds, somewhat angrily, he asks Moses, “what’s in your hand?”
It was a staff. A glorified stick.
If you were going to make demands of a haughty, world-dominating king, you might want a little more than a stick as your weapon of choice.
But, to God, that stick was more than enough to cancel out all of Moses’ excuses.
That first stone was enough for David, too.
I don’t think it was a lack of faith that caused David to pick up five stones. I think it was calculated.
He was going to march against Goliath, not to just “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” He was going to march and do whatever he could do, and leave the rest up to God.
Five stones might be all the time he would have in a perfect fight against such a warrior.
What can we learn from this?
How many times have we approached God for a miracle, but only had one try inside of us?
We go into prayer knowing that if we don’t get what we want the first time, we will just quit and accept the consequences of no miracle.
How many of us enter into a battle, convinced that if it’s “God’s will,” we don’t have to do anything? We’ll just stand by and watch, and if that doesn’t work, it wasn’t “God’s will.”
One of my favorite quotes, and I’m not sure who said it originally, is:
“Faith can move mountains. But, don’t be surprised when God hands you a shovel.”
The point is, David fully expected God to somehow deliver that giant into his hands. But, he didn’t know how. So, he was going to do what he could do and trust God with what he could not do.
We need to stop praying for miracles, and waiting for them to happen. We must put works with our faith, because faith without them is dead.
If we have to go before Pharaoh, we need to bring our staff along and be ready to throw it down.
If we have to fight a Giant, we need to bring enough ammo to make it a good fight.
If we need financial blessing, we need to pray that God provides, then go to work with the blessings he’s already given us.
If we need better health, we need to pray, and pitch in some exercising and eating habits to match.
If you are tired of struggling with a sin or a shortcoming, you need to pray to God for help. And, then behave and act like you’ve already won that battle.
Pray, and then get your weapons ready and go to the battlefield intending to fight.
Arm yourself with 4,000 prayers. Yes, it might get answered on the first one, but even if it doesn’t, you’re still in the fight. And, that second one, might be the one that brings the giant down.
And, finally, when you’ve done all you can do – not when you’re ready to give up, but when you’ve truly no power to change anything – that’s when you can watch God to incredible miracles.
The difference is how you enter the battle.
Are you a one-and-done believer?
Or, are you prepared to give it your best effort, over and over again if necessary?
If you’re in the mood to fight some battles, come to church. We’ll fight them together.