On a bookshelf in my basement office five small stones are displayed, well in truth these stones were “smuggled” out of the Valley of Elah in the hills of Judah. While in Israel a while back our group was walking through the dry riverbed where David gathered his stones and I just couldn’t resist. Scholars agree that this is the likely location where David chose his stones before bravely heading to thump the giant Goliath on the forehead, which resulted in this feared enemy falling to his death.
These five stones often speak to me and remind me of my giant-slaying God, a God who saw David’s inexplicable faith when others missed it. Despite all the men in Saul’s army, there was no one who had David’s eyes; eyes that could see right through the nine-foot tall ferocious Philistine warrior. This enemy had dared to publicly defy the people of Israel and their God for forty days!
One day this teenager sent by his dad to deliver bread to his brothers and the troops could not hold back the passion in his heart. When he heard such taunts and he yelled out in response, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (I Samuel 17:26). This shepherd boy was obviously upset, but so was his older brother Eliab, addressing David Eliab says, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is…” (Vs. 28). Ouch, most of seem to forget this part of this familiar story. I think after hearing such words I would run away and hide, how about you?
But that is far from the truth; rather David’s revelation of God trumped the cutting tongue of condemnation. This beloved story continues with young David picking up those small rocks, carefully placing one into his leather sling and sprinting fearlessly to face an impossible foe. Why? Because he saw through the obstacle, instead he saw the face of His Almighty God. His eyes of faith caused him to shout out to His enemies:
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty…this day the LORD will hand you over to me and I’ll strike you down…the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel…for the battle is the LORD’s..” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
All I can say is “WOW!” And ask myself do I have that kind of faith? Am I like David? Or more like David’s brothers or the rest of the Israelite army who retreated daily in fear of the giant before them? How often have I trembled and run away from the goliath of my fears, demonic attacks from the father of lies, afraid of my own inadequacies, and the impossible situations placed right in front of me.
Those five smooth stones found in that dry streambed call to me to seek the face of David’s God and to be consumed with 1 Thing. My five stones reprimand and call me to repentance and turn to look through my goliaths to see the ONE who David saw, the Lion and the Lamb of the tribe of Judah the Giant Slayer (Rev. 5).
Join me in praying this prayer echoing David’s words from Psalm 27:4
Oh Father, 1 Thing I ask, this is what my heart longs for; to live daily in your house and to see your loving face through your Son Jesus Christ, to be consumed by the Your Holy Majestic Presence so that all my goliaths fall under the power of your great name! And when you reveal this may this your glory displayed. Amen!