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The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:37
Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 1 Samuel 17:40
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 1 Samuel 17:48-49
This is a photo of a streambed where David would have picked up his stones. I’ve been blessed to visit Israel twice, and each time I spent some time in the Valley of Elah where this defining moment took place. You may be as surprised as I am that there are not as many small stones of the size that my mind had always imagined.
As David faced Goliath, he ventured into the streambed of Elah, selecting five smooth stones, each carefully chosen for their size, weight, and precision. These stones, larger than a fist and capable of inflicting lethal force when propelled with accuracy, represented David’s trust in God’s guidance and assurance of deliverance.
In this moment, devoid of conventional armor or weaponry, David was emboldened by God’s strength. Standing before the lowering Philistine, he was full of unwavering faith in God’s protection, recalling how the Lord had delivered him from the claws of lions and bears while tending his father’s sheep. With a single stone, and skillful aim, he propelled it from his sling with incredible velocity. The stone found its mark, striking Goliath’s forehead, and the giant fell to earth, defeated by God’s intervention through the hand of the courageous young shepherd.
I’ve wondered why he took five stones because I really believe that if the first one didn’t hit the mark, he would have had no other chance. Some have suggested he knew there were four other giants, and he was coming prepared for further attacks.
Reflecting on this story prompts contemplation about the “giants” in our lives—challenges, fears, or obstacles that loom large and seem unbeatable. Just as David trusted God to conquer Goliath, this story encourages us to trust in His strength to overcome our own giants. Consider taking a walk by a nearby stream, collecting a stone as a physical reminder of faith and courage, symbolizing trust in God’s ability to conquer the giants that we may face.