5 Smooth Stones
Finishing what we start is not an easy discipline to implement in our lives. For a variety of reasons it can be all too easy to abandon things and leave them unfinished. Sometimes it’s boredom that undermines our good intentions.
Or It’s an urgent matter that takes priority over what we started. Other times, it’s a lack of encouragement or recognition from others, that would have us quit. So often it’s just that we over extend ourselves and commit to things we can’t possibly finish. We even take on responsibilities and burdens we never should have accepted in the first place.
Any of this sound familiar? We can definitely learn to do things differently. The Bible shows us that it is important to take on tasks, roles and responsibilities by prioritizing what’s most important to God and putting that first.
David was still a Shepherd when Israel was challenged to war. His role, responsibility and priority was tending sheep. It certainly wasn’t taking on the giant Goliath. No one expected anything from David or even demanded it. Yet, every decision David makes, tells us something different. That even though it wasn’t his problem or even his burden to carry, if it hurt the heart of God, It hurt his own and he was going to do something about it. David’s priority was putting God first.
In 1 Samuel 17:40 (NLT) we read this about David; “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.” A shepherd boy is acting like a warrior and a King. He’s taking on a role for himself that no one asked him to take. David here is going to finish what he starts with what he’s got and fully trust God for the outcome.
David picks 5 smooth stones. We don’t understand this when he does it. We only discover his intentions later on. David’s eye wasn’t just on one giant Goliath in the present. But also, on all the future Giants he would face. That tells us that what we need to finish the task will require more resources than we originally think and more faith than what we first thought was necessary. The task before us is already a Giant, but there are other Giants that may present themselves as well.
That’s why in 2 Samuel 21:15-22, we uncover that the other four stones were for the other giants of Gath. Ishbi-benob who had a spearhead that weighed more than 7 lbs, Saph was another descendant of the giants, Goliath’s brother whose spear handle was as thick as a weaver’s beam, and “Twenty-Four”, a giant known for the six fingers and six toes he had on each hand and foot.
We now know that when David picked up the 5 stones, he set out to finish what he started. When no one else would go to battle against Goliath. David was going to war, defending God’s name in battle, not just against one giant, but against them all.
That story changed me. It changed my perspective on starting things and finishing them. Although David only defeated one giant that day, by using one stone, he eventually got to see the other 4 giants killed at a latter time with help from his friends. I believe every enemy was defeated because on the day he was to fight one Giant, he picked 5 smooth stones to defeat them all.
When we commit to starting something, and put God first, He is right there with us. His promised presence and power making sure we succeed. God is there to guide us when we are making our choices. So that each stone we pick, will go perfectly with each task, so we can then watch as every Giant before us goes down. To God be all the glory, for the victory won in Jesus name.