Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.
1 Samuel 17:40 (NKJV)
We all know the story of David and Goliath. If you grew up in the church, you learned about it in Sunday School. It is a story of faith and the mighty power of God to deliver us in times of need. What great faith it must have taken for David, a small shepherd boy, to walk out onto a battlefield to face a giant. We are all called to have that kind of faith in every situation.
The Israelites battled against God’s will for many generations. Each time He would deliver them into the hands of their enemies and then He would send a judge to lead them back to God and righteousness. Their faith was not strong but rather dependent on the outcome. It would not linger long but would dry up and fly away in the wind at the first sight of trouble. They had no patience or faith that God could sustain them.
Samuel, the last judge of Israel, was old and had appointed his two sons to be judges in Beersheba. Only, like Eli’s sons, they were perverting the Law and using it for their own selfish pursuits. When the Ammonites threatened to attack, the Israelites turned to Samuel and asked for a king to rule over them. Samuel goes to prayer with God and finds that God is displeased with this request since once again, they have rejected God. They were only focused on the outcome that they desired instead of the outcome that God had plans for. Their focus was misplaced.
And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day–with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods–so they are doing to you also.” 1 Samuel 8:7-8 (NKJV)
When Samuel went to the people of Israel and gave them the warning that God had given Samuel regarding their king, they did not care. They wanted to be like every other nation and have a king over them. Are we not the same way at times? We want to be like everyone else and have what they have and not worry about the consequences. We focus on our desired outcome instead of what God has planned for our lives. We lack the faith it takes to allow God to work in our lives no matter how long it takes. We forget that we are called to be different from the world.
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 7:6 (NKJV)
So Saul was appointed as their king and led them into battle with the Philistines. David happened to be there, being duly appointed by God through Samuel, to take food to the men of the army and to see his brothers. He was to take news back to his father of the welfare of his brothers.
Goliath was the champion of the Philistines who challenged the army of Saul. David watched in amazement as the army fled from him. David said, “Why are we running from this man? Are we not the army of Israel who God is with?” See, David knew the outcome and did not rely upon it to battle the giant but rather had faith in God that He would deliver the Philistines into their hands. Saul tried to dress David in armor, but it says in verse 39 that David had not tested the armor. He did know however the strength of the full armor of God!
David fastened his sword to his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. And David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.” So David took them off. 1 Samuel 17:39b (NKJV)
David chose five small stones from a brook to battle the Philistine. So we have to ask, if David had such faith, why did he not just take one stone? Did God specifically tell him to pick up five stones as opposed to one? The text does not say that God told him to, but David was preparing. Goliath was surely not the only giant in their midst. As a matter of fact, in 2 Samuel we find that Goliath had four brothers. So perhaps David was preparing for his battle with one stone for each because he knew that God would direct each stone to where it should go.
David was not held hostage by the outcome of his faith. He did not have the kind of faith that only works when we know how the story ends. He knew that God would deliver them into his hands he just did not know how that would happen. God does not lay out his plan in front of us so that we can make the right choices in life to reach the desired outcome. No! He calls for us to have faith without knowing the end result.
He calls us to live a life that is a reflection of our faith. He calls us to have faith all the time not just on Easter or Christmas; not just on Sundays or Wednesdays. He calls us to have the kind of faith that meets you on Monday, that brings you through Tuesday, that goes to work with you on Wednesday, that gets you through Thursday, that fights with you on Friday, and that sits with you on Saturday. Our faith is not dependent on how it works for us but how it works for God.
For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
Do you only pull out your faith when you are faced with an insurmountable task? We are called to have faith even when we do not know the outcome of our medical procedures, even when we are facing unemployment, even when we are faced with late notices from the bank and we are on the verge of losing our home, even when our children still do not know respect. If you have that kind of faith, God will work miracles in your life. You will see blessings from heaven and know that God is still on the throne! David walked out onto that battlefield armed only with the full armor of God and five small stones. He had faith that God would deliver them into his hands because he knew the promise of God not because God said that He would. Put on the armor of God and go face your giant!
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)
Dear Jesus, I thank You for Your continued grace and mercy that You pour out on us each and every day. I thank You for the way that You teach me how to have faith like David’s. I am thankful that You didn’t just give it to me but made me work toward it. I have learned so much about Your great provisions. I ask that You touch each and every person that reads this today that they too may find the faith that You require of us. I know that this is not an easy task, but Your grace will allow us to learn to wait upon You and not be held hostage by the outcome. I pray that You will continue to teach us how to grow our faith daily. I will continue to give You all the glory forever. Amen.