Rev. Janet Doyle
Elmer Presbyterian Church
February 6, 2022
Scripture: 1 Samuel 17: 21-50
Sermon: Five Smooth Stones
We all know this story of David and Goliath. It is a story of how God used a brave young man, full of faith, to face the hulk, the giant, for God and His people, Israel.
How many smooth stones did David choose in preparation for his battle with the giant, Goliath? David chose five smooth stones from the stream. Why five? He didn’t take five because he lacked faith or trust in God. He took five smooth stones because he was prepared. Some commentaries said he was prepared for anyone else who charged after him when Goliath went down.
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 to check on their health. When David heard Goliath mocking the God of Israel, he was outraged, because remember from last week, David had a heart for God.
Despite his youth and inexperience on the battlefield, he pleads with King Saul to let him fight the giant.
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“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.”
But David persisted. “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! 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!”
Saul tries to help David by giving him his armor to wear so he will be protected. David put it on and took a step or two and says, “I can’t go in these. I’m not used to them.” So, David took them off again and picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Armed only with his sling and the five smooth stones. No sword, no spear, no helmet. Just five smooth stones and a sling.
David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands.”
As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly charged out toward him. Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out one smooth 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. So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone. David fully expected God to somehow deliver him from the giant.
David is not the only person to come up against a giant. All believers will find themselves face-to-face with big challenges and difficulties. You find yourself staring into the eyes of a giant. Then either fear or faith takes over. Many times, we let fear get the best of us.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The enemy is all around us today. We are faced with Goliaths from every angle. We have been given weapons to use against these giants, and we must use what we have in our hand, that God has given us: five smooth stones.
The Stone of Commitment, the Stone of Courage, the Stone of Communication, the Stone of Capability, and the Stone of Confidence.
Do you know that, just like David, these are the five smooth stones you can use to defeat the giants in your life?
The Stone of Commitment: David went into battle with faith and trust and a committed heart to God. He knew God would take care of him because of his past experiences with God. When you let God be there for you when you are facing your giants, each time you go through an experience and trust God, no matter what happens, your faith in Him will grow and become stronger. Commit your life to the Lord, have a heart for God and He will be there with you each step of the journey.
The Stone of Courage: Your courage develops and strengthens when, deep down in your heart, you know without a doubt that God will take care of you as you run toward your giant. So, when a giant rises up before you, you are courageous and know that you can and will get through this, no matter what lies before you.
No one can accuse David of lacking the courage. 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.
There are two forms of courage. First, we need the courage to face our giants. The second type of courage we need is the courage to be obedient to what God wants us to do and how we are to handle each giant. It takes courage to be obedient to God. It takes courage to completely trust and have faith in Him even when our circumstances do not look too good. A key part in being victorious in facing and slaying our giants is being obedient to God and listening to His guidance. Our faith will not grow without obedience. Without obedience faith is dead.
The Stone of Communication: David did not just fight with stones; he also used words. He exposed the lies and insults of Goliath toward God and confronted them with the truth. He communicated with Goliath and fought not only in the strength of the Lord, but in the NAME of the LORD. David was in constant communication with God. David had a relationship with God and knew God’s heart. One of the best ways to defeat an enemy, a giant, is to communicate God’s truth to your giant and to be in constant prayer as you run toward them.
The Stone of Capability: Even though David was young, he was capable in skill to fight the giant. He had practiced and worked hard at learning how to protect his sheep and himself from the enemy and the intruder. David fought off both lions and bears, and he knew what he could handle. He couldn’t wear the armor and he didn’t have a sword or spear, but he was capable and skilled in stone throwing. He knew his limits and he knew what weapons he could handle. God has given us skills and talents to be used when we are facing a giant in our life. Pray that God will equip you and encourage you to use them when you need to face a giant.
The Stone of Confidence: David’s ultimate weapon wasn’t the stone at all, it was coming against Goliath IN THE NAME OF THE LORD ALMIGHTY. David was confident in His Lord, and he was confident that God was with him in this battle as he charged toward this hulk of a man that everyone feared to fight.
David trusted in God and had confidence in Him. This is what made the difference, and this is why one smooth stone killed the giant. David trusted God with all of his heart. David knew power was not in his sling, but in God. He knew the battle was ultimately the Lord’s and victory would only come by His hand.
If we rely on our own strength, strategy, or skills to defeat the giants in our life, we will be fearful, anxious, and unsure. We need to place our confidence in God who will fight the giants for us, but we need to be ready to charge ahead, fearless and confident in our God who loves us.
I don’t know what giants are intimidating or threatening you today, but I do know that God has given us five smooth stones of commitment, courage, communication, capability and confidence to go out and face the giants as you begin this week and trust your life to God.
Remember, it only took one stone to bring down the mighty Goliath so keep your stones and sling handy because with God all things are possible!