Five Smooth Stones - The Equipment of Faith
1Sa 17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head;
also he armed him with a coat of mail.
1Sa 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them.
And David put them off him.
1Sa 17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand:
and he drew near to the Philistine.
This was my attitude in life, and service to God in my youth:
Excerpt from Alexander Maclaren
"Saul meant to honour as well as to secure David by dressing him in his own royal attire, and by encumbering him by the help of sword and helmet. And David was willing to be so fitted out, for it is no part of the courage of faith to disdain any outward helps. But he soon found that he could not move freely in the unaccustomed armour, and flung it off, like a wise man. His motive was partly common sense, which told him not to choose weapons that his antagonist could handle better than he; and partly reliance on God, which told him that he was safer with no armour but his shepherd’s dress and with only his sling in his hand. So there he stands, drawn for us with wonderful vividness, in one hand his staff, in the other his sling, both familiar and often used, and by his side the simple wallet which had held his frugal meal, and now received the smooth pebbles that he picked up as he passed the gulley to the Philistine side of the valley.
How graphically the contrast is drawn between him and Goliath, as the latter conies forth swelling with his own magnificence, and preceded by his shield-bearer! He was ‘brass’ all over; note the kind of amused emphasis with which the word is repeated in the half-satirical and marvellously lifelike portrait of him in 1Sa_17:5-8; ‘brass’ here, ‘brass’ there, ‘brass’ everywhere; and, not content with one shield dangling at his back, he has a man to carry another in front of him as he struts. David seems to have crossed the ravine, and to have come close up to Goliath before he was observed; and then, with almost a snort of contempt, the giant resents the insult of sending such a foe to fight him with such weapons. Perhaps he was nearer the truth than he thought, when he asked if he was a dog; and any stick will do, as the proverb says, to beat that animal, especially if God guards the hand that holds it.
The five smooth stones have become the symbol of the insignificant means, in the world’s estimate, which God uses in faithful hands to slay the giants of evil. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty. Faith unarmed is armed with more than triple steel, and a sling in its hand is more fatal than a sword. Sometimes in kindness and sometimes in malice, the world tempts us to fight evil with its own weapons, and to put on its unfamiliar armour. The Church as a whole, and individual Christians, have often been hampered, and all but smothered, in Saul’s harness. The more simply we keep ourselves to the simple methods which the word of God enjoins, and to the simple weapons which ought to be the easiest for a Christian, the more likely shall we be to conquer. Goliath is not to be encountered with sword and armour which is, after all, but a shabby copy of the tons of brass which he wears, but he does not know what to make of the sling, and does not see the stone till it crashes his skull in.
Note faith’s anticipation of victory. The dialogue before the battle has many parallels in classical times and among savage peoples. Goliath’s bluster is full of contempt of David and truculent self-confidence. Its coarseness is characteristic,-he will make his boyish antagonist food for vultures and jackals. It is exactly what a bully would say. David’s answer throbs with buoyant confidence, and stands as a stimulating example of the temper in which God’s soldiers should go out to every fight, no matter against what odds. It fully recognises the formidable armoury of the enemy,-sword for close quarters, spear to thrust with, and javelin to fling from a distance, every weapon that ingenuity could fashion and trained skill could wield. Goliath was a walking arsenal, and little David took count of his weapons as they clanked and flashed. It is no part of faith’s triumph to ignore the number and sharpness of the enemy’s arms. But faith sees them all, and keeps unterrified and unashamed of the poor leathern sling and smooth stones. The unarmed hand which grasps God’s hand should never tremble; and he who can say ‘I come . . . in the name of the Lord of hosts,’ has no need to be afraid of an army of Goliaths, though each bristled with swords and spears like a porcupine.
The great name on which David’s faith rested, ‘the Lord of hosts,’ appears to have sprung into use in this epoch, and to have been one precious fruit of its frequent wars. Conflict is blessed if it teaches the knowledge of the unseen Commander who marshals not only men, but all the forces of the universe and the armies of heaven, for the defence of His servants and the victory of His own cause. The fulness of the divine name is learned by degrees, as our needs impress the various aspects of His character; and the revelation contained in this appellation is the gift of that fierce and stormy time, a possession for ever. He who defies the armies of Israel has to reckon with the Lord of these armies, whose name proclaims at once His eternal, self-originated, and self-sustained being, His covenant, His presence with His earthly host, and the infinite ranks of obedient creatures who are His soldiers and their allies. That is ‘the Name’ in the strength of which we may ‘set up our banners’ and be sure of victory. Note how David flings back Goliath’s taunts in his teeth. He is sure that God will conquer through him, and, though he has no sword, that he will somehow hack the big head off; and that it is the host of the Philistines on whom the vultures and jackals are to feed to-day.
His faith sees the victory before the battle is begun, and trusts, not in his own weak power, but only ‘in the name of the Lord.’ Note, too, the result which he expects-no glory for himself, though that came unsought, when the shrill songs from the women of Israel met the victors, but to all the world the proof that Israel had a God, and to Israel (‘this assembly’) the renewed lesson of their true weapons and of their Almighty Helper. Such utter suppression of self is inseparable from trust in God, and without it no soldier of His has a right to expect victory. To fight ‘in the name of the Lord’ requires hiding our own name. If we are really going to war for Him, and in His strength, we ought to expect to conquer. Believe that you will be beaten, and you will be. Trust to Him to make you ‘more than conquerors,’ and the trust will bring about its own fulfilment.
Observe the contrast in 1Sa_17:48 between the slow movements of the heavy-armed Philistine and the quick run of the shepherd, whose ‘feet were as hind’s feet’ (Psa_18:33). Agility and confident alacrity were both expressed. His feet were shod with ‘the preparedness of faith.’ Observe, too, the impetuous brevity of the account in 1Sa_17:49, of the actual fall of Goliath. The short clauses, coupled by a series of ‘ands,’ reproduce the swift succession of events, which ended the fight before it had begun; and one can almost hear the whiz of the stone as it crashes into the thick head, so strangely left unprotected by all the profusion of brass that clattered about him. The vulnerable heel of Achilles and the unarmed forehead of Goliath illustrate the truth, ever forgotten and needing to be repeated, that, after all precautions, some spot is bare, and that ‘there is no armour against fate.’
The picture of the huge ‘man-mountain’ fallen upon his face to the earth, a huddled heap of useless mail, recalls the words of a psalm, ‘When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell’ (Psa_27:2). Is it fanciful to hear in that triumphant chant an echo of Goliath’s boast about giving his flesh to the fowls and the beasts, and a vision of the braggart as he tottered and lay prostrate? Observe, too, the contemptuous reiteration of ‘the Philistine,’ which occurs six times in the four verses (1Sa_17:49-51). National feeling speaks in that. There is triumph in the sarcastic repetition of the dreaded name in such a connection. This was what one of the brood had got, and his fate was an omen of what would befall the rest. The champion of Israel, the soldier of God, standing over the dead Philistine, all whose brazen armour had been useless and his brazen insolence abased, and sawing off his head with his own sword, was a prophecy for the Israel of that day, and will be a symbol till the end of time of the true equipment, the true temper, and the certain victory, of all who, in the name of the Lord of hosts, go forth in their weakness against the giants of ignorance, vice, and sin. ‘This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Alexander Maclaren"
Ah, but you may say "I'm not a youth any longer, age has overtaken me-I'll refer you to Caleb-who conquered his mountains, and won his victories at 85 years of age.
I've acquired his attitude in my own life now-at almost 70. If I don't make it to 85-it will still be my mindset till God takes me home. These verses are a good reference to use, when discouragement comes-and it does to all of us:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Caleb's Request and Inheritance
Jos 14:6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
Jos 14:7 Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart.
Jos 14:8 Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God.
Jos 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.
Jos 14:10 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.
Jos 14:11 As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in.
Jos 14:12 Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said.
Jos 14:13 And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.
THE MAN WHO WHOLLY FOLLOWED HIS GOD
The lot was doubtless adopted to obviate cause for jealousy or charges of favoritism. It denoted God’s choice, Pro_16:33; Pro_18:18. It could be used only with very evident reliance on Him, and in our day has been superseded by the sending of the Comforter to teach us all things, Joh_16:13.
It was long since Caleb had cut down the bunch of grapes near the spot of his choice, but he had never forgotten it; and now God, who had read his purpose, arranged that what his heart loved best his hand should hold and keep: “Him will I bring into the land whereinto he went,” Num_14:24.
Out of entire surrender to God springs a faith that dares to claim the realization of an olden promise, Jos_14:12. The fact that the Anakim held Hebron did not stagger the old veteran. It was enough that God had promised! How strong and vigorous, even to hoar hairs, are those who walk with God, Isa_40:31! F.B. Meyer
Caleb had another spirit; not only a bold, generous, courageous, noble, and heroic spirit, but the Spirit and influence of God, which thus raised him above human inquietudes and earthly fears. Therefore he followed God fully; literally, "and he filled after me:" God shewed him the way he was to take and the line of conduct he was to pursue, and he filled up this line, and in all things followed the will of his Maker. Fear was not in the equation, his faith overrode every obstacle, and every enemy.
Give Me This Mountain
I've learned some very hard, clear lessons in life since my husbands death, that I saw many seniors go through when I took care of some of them. Doing this outreach ministry has also opened my eyes, and taken off the blinders, and the rose colored glasses. Like spirits attract like spirits-and here in my area, the troublemakers and scheming manipulators run together like a pack of wolves. The kids they have are raised to be just like them, you can get the picture.
People like their sin-they want the booze, the drugs, the party life-and if your in the way-you will soon find yourself a target of their tricks, scheming troublemaking, and they'll gather together to achieve their goal-see how far they can push you, till you lose your temper and get a reaction out of you; it's their entertainment. The worst part of this is, many times it's older people, men and women both, who've taught the teenage kids, to be just like them. Devious, deceitful, liars, scheming troublemakers, both male and female.
I've been harassed, targeted, and threatened to have my house burned down, and numerous other ongoing insults over the years. If my house does burn down-I'll go immediately to my insurance company, and give the people who've made the statements, and they will hire an arson investigator. I've prayed against it, and stand in faith for God's hand to cover me. He knows what's going on, and I'm not afraid. I also am not asking for sympathy, or pity-I'm simply stating facts of what life is here for me, on a regular basis. My armor is on, and will stay on-my only source of love, understanding, and companionship-is God. And, God is enough. I'm sharing this much here now, for other's, not myself-who may read this, and are going through the same battles, and you can know; someone else understands and cares. And, I'll direct you to the Lord Jesus-who knows and can help you in your time of need.
A couple of times I've lost my temper, and retaliated, and had to repent, asking for God's help to not turn into the same kind of hardcore person. Last night was one of those times-I'm not perfect, and sometimes it takes a lot of self control to not do, what I'd like to do. It's at these times-prayer is the greatest weapon. I've read comments from many Christians across the country who are dealing with the same kind of troubles; violence, brutality, and coldhearted conduct is rising everywhere. I post articles on this problem on the news page of this site.
My mind is just as clear and sharp now, as it was in my 30's, but I'm treated many times as if I have dementia, or am senile. The conduct and behavior of many is rude, and cold. The snotty nosed kids old enough to have cars on the roads-are a dread. Go ahead-put me on your hate list, along with many other's who have. I really don't care.
Like Caleb-I've set my face like a flint, and am going to stand this ground, and look the enemy-whoever it may be-square in the face, and deal with it.
This is my answer to the critics, and enemies.
In this page there will be devotions/poems
music and inspirational material
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: