“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:40, NIV)
Perhaps the most famous underdog victory in history—young David eschewed King Saul’s armor and sword and chose instead a sling with five stones to take on the giant Goliath. The rest, as they say, is history.
Someone asked me this week why David took five stones; did he think he might miss the giant? I don’t think so. I always say that most people thought Goliath too big to fight; David thought he was too big to miss!
Maybe there was a deeper, spiritual meaning to choosing five stones instead of one? St. Augustine who was famous for these sort of things said that the five stones represented the Pentateuch: the first five books of the Old Testament. I don’t think young David was thinking about esoteric things when he was facing the champion from Gath.
The question caught me off guard, but then I remembered.
There is a passage in 2 Samuel which lists some of the battles fought and won by the Israelites under David’s leadership against the Philistines; several of the battles were in the region of Gath (Goliath’s home) against giants, the brothers of Goliath and then this statement, “These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.” (2 Samuel 21:22, NIV)
Did you catch it? Goliath had four brothers. David grabbed five stones: one for Goliath and one for each of his big, ugly, foul smelling brothers!
So when you go into battle, make sure you are prepared. Put on the FULL armor of God. Fight the good fight of faith. And when it comes to the enemy, show no mercy and give no quarter. Any enemy you leave on the battlefield is an enemy you will have to fight again someday.
And if by some chance you can’t take on five enemies by yourself, make sure you have some mighty men/women in your life who can watch your six and take care of the other four for you! That’s why God invented the Church!