King David is known for many things in the Bible, but I personally admire him for his faith in God throughout his life. You’ve probably heard one of the many retold stories from his life, from the time he was anointed king, to his friendship with Jonathan, and yes, probably the most told story of them all, David and Goliath. I love reading about David because it seems that every time I read a story, one that I thought I knew like the back of my hand, I learn something new that can be applied to my life.
I was reading about David and Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17, again a few months ago and was puzzled by something that I just didn’t understand and couldn’t come up with a good guess for. My confusion stemmed from these questions, “If the story of David and Goliath is about David’s faith in God to defeat Goliath, then why did David select five stones instead of only one? Did he think that he would miss four times before God drove the one stone into the giant? Did he have faith in the one, but just needed additional assurance in the four others hanging at his side?”
No matter how I tried to answer these questions, nothing seemed to be the answer. Then, not even a full month later, my former youth pastor spoke about David and Goliath during a Wednesday night service, and guess what the topic was on? The five stones. My youth pastor spoke about the metaphoric meanings of the stones, which I’m not going to be talking about, but he answered my question when he said, “David didn’t choose five stones because he thought he would miss four times, he chose five stones because he knew that there were four other giants in the camp!” David was not only prepared to fight the giant that was defying and taunting the Israelites, but he was ready to take on the other giants too!
But wait, 1 Samuel 17 never mentions more giants, so where are these additional giants referenced? Well, after cross referencing verses and doing some research, I found several verses that talk about the Philistines and Gath, Gath being the place that produced Goliath as their champion (1 Sam 17:23), and all of the verses mentioned “persons of great stature”, so it is plausible to believe that Gath was a city known for its giants and the Philistines could very well have been a people capable of producing giants regularly (see 2 Samuel 21:15-22, also 1 Chronicles 20:4-8).
The reference in 1 Chronicles 20 actually mentions Goliath having a brother, who was also a giant, so it is very possible that he was there when David killed Goliath. But because the Philistines fled after Goliath fell and the Israelites pursued them, there was no other documentation of David using the other four stones in 1 Samuel 17.
Why did I want to tell this about David and Goliath today? Well, because I think there is a hidden message in this story about achieving our goals. The goal set before David at the time was obviously, to be the tool that God used to defeat Goliath, but instead of settling to just achieve the one goal, he was prepared to go above and beyond, and I believe that kind of faith is what allowed God to move in the miraculous way that He did.
But what’s doubly encouraging is that God didn’t only honor the one stone because David picked up four extras, God honored all five stones of faith over the course of David’s life! If you read the two passages that I referenced earlier about the stories of the giants, you’ll notice that David and his servants were able to save Israel from four additional giants over the course of a few years!
Having the faith to overachieve the one goal set before us will not only put our hearts in the right position to meet that goal, but God will certainly not forget that faith for the rest of our lives. It’s an incredible cycle of blessing!
So next time we have a goal to meet, let’s challenge ourselves to pick up some extra stones and aim to meet those as well! It builds our character and grows us to be more like David, the man after God’s own heart!
I encourage you to go read the passages that I reference in your spare time and marvel at the intricate way that God molded David’s life. Have there been any ways that you have seen your faith rewarded that you would be comfortable sharing?
Rayleigh Gray – Web Manager & Editor Intern