Lessons from King David: Five Smooth Stones

And he took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.     1 Samuel 17:40

David is an interesting and lovable character in the Bible.  His great faith in God is evidenced by his being listed in Hebrews 11, the chapter in God’s Word that listed people who showed exceptional faith.  David’s close-knit relationship with God is pointed out by Samuel’s proclamation to Saul that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).  David’s very soul sought out the Lord God like a thirsty deer searches for a stream of water (Psalm 42:1).

Yet it seems odd that when he went out to fight the giant Goliath, he picked up five smooth stones to defeat the Philistines’ champion.  David used a sling, which was a deadly and accurate weapon, and one with which he was familiar as a shepherd.  When he went to face Goliath, he only had to use one of the stones in defeating him.  So why did he pick up FIVE stones instead of just one?  If he was a man of such great faith, why didn’t he just pick up one stone?

A careful study of David’s entire career, even to the last part of his wars, may provide an answer.  2 Samuel 21:22 states, “These four were born to the giant in Gath,” a reference to four giants that David’s army faced in battling the Philistines.  One of these giants even had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot (v. 20)!

What a great testimony of faith and reliance in what David expected God to do through him!  When David when to defeat Goliath, he was also expecting to face his sons, too!

Do we exhibit such great faith in God in our lives and actions?  What hinders us in our way?

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