Are you facing a serious battle with a formidable opponent like Goliath? Are you feeling small, weak, and useless? Do you know that just like David there are five stones you can use to defeat the giants in your life?
Five smooth stones.
That is all it took.
No massive army, fancy weaponry, or impenetrable armor.
Just a young teenager with a whole lot of faith in an awesome God.
Why am I thinking about slaying giants on this Mindful Monday? There are a few reasons.
The first is because I know of two young kids who eagerly returned to school this week only to face bullying, taunting, and rejection. Their parents reached out to me for prayer and advice, so this post is dedicated to them. I want to give them hope and let them know they are not alone. God is fighting for them and I am standing with them.
Secondly, I am facing some of my own giants and need a reminder that although the Lord may call me to stand and fight…the battle is always His. You may need to be reminded of this truth today too.
DAVID VS. GOLIATH
Many of us know this story so well it has become a cliché: A little guy with no chance meets a big guy with every advantage and wins.
Cue cheers and applause. Yay! The crowd goes wild.
This ubiquitous plot is used in countless movies from drama to romance and we eat it up every time. Who doesn’t love to root for the underdog?
But this famous Bible story found in 1 Samuel 17 goes so much deeper. I have summarized the highlights below, but it is worth going back and reading the whole account for yourself.
The story begins with the giant Goliath hurling mocking insults at the Israelite army:
8 Goliath stood and shouted a taunt across to the Israelites. “Why are you all coming out to fight?” he called. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! 9 If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 10 I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.
David was too young to join Saul’s army and fight alongside his brothers, so he stayed back to help his father with the sheep. One day David’s father, Jesse, sent him to the battlefield to bring his brothers provisions and check on their welfare. When David heard Goliath mocking the God of Israel, he was outraged.
26 David asked the soldiers standing nearby, “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and ending his defiance of Israel? Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?”
Despite his youth and inexperience on the battlefield, he pleads with King Saul to let him fight the giant.
32 “Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!”
Although Saul tries to outfit David in his own armor, David goes out to battle with only his sling and five smooth stones.
38 Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail.39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before.
“I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods.44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled.
45 David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone assembled here will know that the Lord rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the Lord’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him.49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 51 Then David ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill him and cut off his head.
5 STONES TO DEFEAT YOUR GIANTS
STONE #1: COMMITMENT
David was “all in” from the beginning, wasn’t he? He did not hesitate to help his father, his brothers, or the Israelite army. Once he knew the situation and heard Goliath’s insults, he was committed to doing what he could to defend his people and name of the LORD. Defeating your giant must first begin with a determined dedication to do something. Not just talk about it, whine or complain about it, but actually be faithful in taking action. Action does not always include a physical or verbal confrontation, but it does mean facing the problem directly.
STONE #2: COURAGE
No one can accuse David of lacking in the courage department, can they? In fact, one of his older brothers thought he was being a little too cocky (see vs. 28-29). But courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to act despite fear. Are you willing to step out bravely and confront that giant in your life? Let your faith be bigger than your fear.
STONE #3: COMMUNICATION
David did not just fight with stones; he used his words. He exposed the lies and insults of Goliath and confronted them with the truth. He fought not only in the strength of the LORD but in the name of the LORD. One of the best ways to defeat an enemy is to communicate God’s truth–first to yourself and then to your giant.
STONE #4: CAPABILITY
Sure, he was young and inexperienced as a soldier, but David did have some pretty mad skills, didn’t he? He fought off both lions and bears with only a club and his bare hands! Instead of focusing on what he lacked, David highlighted what he could bring to the fight. Your giant may be bigger, stronger, and smarter. So what? You are capable too! Ask God to show you what you have instead of worrying about what you don’t.
STONE #5: CONFIDENCE
Yes, David was courageous for sure. But in whom did his place his confidence? Not himself, his ability to communicate, or even his capabilities as a fighter. David’s confidence was in the LORD. The God of angel armies. The LORD Almighty. The God of Israel. He knew the battle was ultimately the Lord’s and victory would only come by His hand. If you are relying on your own strength, strategy, or skills today to defeat the giants in your life, you will be fearful, anxious, and unsure. Place your confidence in God who will fight the giants for you.
I do not know what giants are intimidating or threatening you on this Mindful Monday, but I do know God has given you the 5 smooth stones of commitment, courage, communication, capability, and confidence to go out and face them as you begin this week.
Remember, it only took one stone to bring down the mighty Goliath!