In the book of 1 Samuel 17, we learn the story of King David and the five smooth stones. It’s when the young ruddy boy David takes on the formidable giant Goliath.

You see, David had spent his years tending to his father’s sheep. And, during that time, he learned the skill of hurling stones with his sling. Imagine the daily ritual of watching after the sheep. Must have been quite boring, right? So David had to do something with his time for entertainment. What he didn’t know at the time is that God was preparing him for the day he would face Goliath. In fact, David had already taken out a lion and a bear in his service of protecting the sheep before his day came to face Goliath.

While the rest of the men were dreadfully afraid of Goliath, David had faith that the Lord would deliver Goliath into his hands. King Saul was hesitant to let David face the Philistine. He reluctantly agreed and offered up his armor to David. David faced Goliath with just his sling, five stones from the brook, and his staff in hand. Oh yeah, and with God by his side.

Well, you know how the story goes from there. David rushed toward Goliath, took a single stone from his pouch, slung it, and the stone sank into the Philistine’s forehead. Boom! Then, for good measure, David cut off Goliath’s head with giant’s own sword.


Why did he take five stones?

So why did David take five stones when he only needed one? The Bible doesn’t say, so it’s up to us to contemplate. I don’t think it’s because David thought he would need all those stones to take out Goliath.

If you go to 2 Samuel 21:22 it says there were four sons born to the giant of Gath (that would be Goliath). So perhaps the four other stones were available in the event David also had to take them out.

Instead, the Philistines high tailed it out of there!

What this all means to me.

The story is inspiring, and our takeaway might be that with God by our side, we can take on the giants of this world. That’s cool.

But I think it all goes back to the Gospel. You see, when our enemies or storms of life come our way, we tend to be fearful and anything but courageous. At least that’s usually true of me.

God incredibly used David! David was weak and sinful, just like the rest of us. David knew he needed the saving grace just like you and me. He acted out of BOLD faith!

The pastor from our church says it this way; that Jesus is the greater David. And our greatest giant? Our own sin.

Who are we in the story?

We’re the five smooth stones!

Over time, those stones were made smooth by the forces of nature. You know, those geological processes called weathering. They found their way to the brook, where the water rubbed them together and rolled them over each other for a really long time, making them smooth and rounding their sharp edges.

That’s us. The Lord shapes us by a natural process He created. The really neato part of it all, like the stones, is that we’re shaped by rubbing up against one another. And we’re shaped to take on the giants that cross our path, through the power of the greater David; that would be Jesus.

And what about the water?

The water moves the stones, especially after a significant rainfall event. So, the water is the force behind the process that makes the stones rounded, with less jagged edges. That represents the work of God in our progressive sanctification! That’s gradually making Christians more and more like Jesus. It occurs over a long period of time, just like the geological process of weathering.

Remember, God created us to live in community with one another. My five smooth stones are a reminder of this to me. The next time you come across a streambed filled with smooth rocks think about rubbing up against your brother or sister in Christ. And about the unwavering faith of King David!