Sling Shots and Stones
**I’m in the middle of prepping for some speaking engagements so I decided to recycle a post I wrote in my CaringBridge journal. Hope it encourages you today.
I’m camped out in 1 Samuel and Hosea these days and today I was reading in 1 Samuel 17 about the familiar story of David and the giant, Goliath. Even though I’ve read the story many, many times, God keeps it fresh through His Spirit and meets me in my current circumstances. I love how God’s Word applies to the here and now and how new lessons or principles pop up even in the seemingly familiar.
Quick summary of the chapter: The Philistines had this really huge guy over nine feet tall in their army who challenged the Israelites day and night for 40 days. His armor weighed 125 pounds, the tip of his spear weighed 15 pounds. He was intimidating, big, a killer, and the people were afraid of him. David was a teenager in charge of his dad’s sheep. He was sent by his dad to check on his three older brothers who were in the Israelite army. He reaches the camp just as Goliath comes out to taunt the Israelites and decides to go up against the giant. He brings with him his sling and stones and ends up knocking Goliath out with one of the stones landing it right between his eyes. He then goes over and lops off the Goliath’s head with a sword. The Philistines start running away after their hero dies. The Israelite army pursue the Philistines and enjoy victory and plundering. David goes from shepherd boy to army hero.
The things that spoke to me from this chapter were:
- David was just doing his thing, trying to be faithful in his responsibilities. He wasn’t looking to go into battle and fight giants, he was just following his dad’s instructions. I think what resonated with me was the idea that I was just moving along in life, trying to be faithful in my responsibilities when the cancer thing came out of the blue–it was not a battle I was looking for.
- But God had prepared David for the battle with Goliath through his brushes with the lion and the bear. In the same way, I trust that the other “lion/bear giants” I’ve encountered over the years have prepared me for this current battle I’m in.
- David used what he knew and was comfortable with–his sling and stones to go up against the giant. He didn’t have fancy armor or even a sword. Lots of times I think I need to be farther along in my journey or more equipped in order to battle well, but I was reminded today to rely on God and use what I already know and am comfortable with.
- David had great perspective: he knew that the battle was the Lord’s–God would fight for him (v. 47) and his purpose for fighting Goliath was for the whole earth to know that there is a God in Israel (v. 46). For me I was relieved to read that this health battle I’m in is ultimately the Lord’s, the outcome is in His hands. I think cancer can be like Goliath–intimidating, big, a killer, and people are afraid of it and can start doubting God’s character when confronted by it. I was renewed in my perspective of wanting the whole earth (or at least the people I come in contact with) to know of God and who He really is.
We all have battles we have been in, are in, or will be in that we didn’t plan on. For those of us not currently battling, may you be found faithful in whatever it is that God has called you to. For those of us currently in a battle, may you and I be reminded of the “lion/bear giants” that have prepared us for this current challenge. Let us take up our sling and stones and go up against the giants who seek to rob us and those around us of seeing and knowing God and who He really is. Thank you for battling with our family all these months. It is profoundly comforting to know that we are not alone.
What battles are you fighting? What are your lions and bears? What are your slings and stones?