FIVE STONES AND ONE BOY: INSIDE THE POWER OF STORY WITH DAVID

So I was thinking about David the other day.

You know, the little shepherd boy 🐑 with the sling and the stones.

I was hanging out in the kid’s choir room 🎶 on Sunday with a dozen or so hooligans ages 3 to 10. All the songs had been sung, and the natives were getting restless.

So I did what I always do when we have a bit of extra time before their next thing starts.

I told them a story. 📘

Now, we’d already done Jonah 🐋 (in 3-part mini-series style) and Noah 🦒🦓🦏 (nothing like a floating zoo to spark the imagination). It was time for a story on land … and my mind immediately went to a broad open valley in the middle of nowhere.

With the ☀️ sun beating down and the vultures circling overhead (drama, I know), two armies faced off.

And day after day after day, both armies suited up in their heavy, hot armor, gathered at the battle line, and had a stand off. ⚔

There was a good guy (the Israelites) and a bad guy (the Philistines) of course. And I don’t know why they didn’t just go at it and have it out, but they didn’t.

Instead, every morning for 📅 40 days in a row 📅 the same thing happened.

A giant named Goliath strutted out of the Philistine camp in full armor (that itself probably weighed more than you or me), stood in the middle of the valley, and roared a challenge.

“Hey you dogs, let’s settle this! Here’s your one chance. Send out your best warrior. We’ll do this one-to-one. If you win, we’ll be your slaves. If I win, you’ll be ours.”

Dude was over nine feet tall and probably ugly as sin. Bad breath too. 🤢Guess how many Israelite soldiers jumped at THAT attractive offer?

Right. 😱 They all ran and hid. 😱 Every day for 40 days in a row. And now not only were they starting to run out of hope, they were starting to run out of supplies.

And there they sat on their side of the mountain looking across the valley at the other army that wasn’t going away and whose champion seemed to get taller every day.

Enter David. He wasn’t in the army. In fact, he was just a shepherd who took care of his father’s sheep. But he had some older brothers in the army, and his dad was worried. They’d been gone awhile, and Dad knew they were probably starting to get kinda hungry.

So he packed up some grub 🍗🍕 and sent David off to deliver it, Door Dash-style. 🐪🐪

I like to imagine that David was excited about his little road trip. He probably didn’t get out much … besides always being out in the elements protecting the flock. So this was something fun and different. He probably had a great time right up until he popped out onto the hillside where Israel was camped and witness Goliath’s daily shake down.

First impression 💪😲 “Whoa, that dude is jacked! What’s he yelling about?”

Second impression 😡😠 “Hey — who does he think he is to defy God’s people?!”

Third impression 🤷‍♂️ “Wait. Where are you guys going? You’re not going to just go HIDE, are you?” (Yep, they were.)

Now granted, David had just arrived on the scene. He hadn’t endured 40 days of endless taunting and insults, 40 days of being faced with his biggest (literally) fear.

The soldiers had.

And it had gotten to them.

David was experiencing Goliath for the first time, but after spending lots of time out in the wilderness with nothing but sheep and God for company, he had a different perspective.

How. Dare. He. How dare this big ugly ogre think he can just waltz in here and think he can intimidate God’s people?

So David started going from soldier to soldier, starting with his big brothers.

“Did you hear that? Did you hear what he said? Come out from under your tent! He can’t talk to us like that! What are you going to do about it??”

“David, look at him. He’s huge. There’s not a man in our army that could defeat him. If we send someone out there, he’ll get eaten for lunch, and we’ll be the Philistines slaves forever.”

“So you’re just going to let him talk about us like that? You’re going to let him insult GOD?”

And David realized something. The Israelites feared becoming the Philistines’ slaves … but by doing nothing, ⛓ they ALREADY WERE. ⛓

David was different. He looked around, realized no one else was going to volunteer, and stepped up. “I’ll do it.” 🙋‍♂️

“Wait — what? David, I’m sorry. I think I have 😵 sun stroke. I thought I just heard you say, ‘I’ll do it.’ “

“Yeah man. I’ll do it. I’ll fight him.” 🙋‍♂️

Obviously, everybody thought he was nuts. Certifiable. Crazy as a loon. And his brothers were super annoyed.

“Dave, you’ve spent too much time with the sheep. Go back home to Dad. You’re embarrassing us. Seriously.”

He didn’t. Instead, he hiked down to the stream, picked out five smooth stones, loaded up his slingshot (Yes, slingshot.) and ran out to meet Goliath.

And Goliath laughed. 😂😂😂😂😂 “What is this. Kiddie play land time? What, you’re going to throw rocks at me now? Ahahahahahahahaha — -OW!” ❌💀❌

Nothing like a well-placed rock to the noggin to bring a giant down to size. And face down in the dirt, Goliath had met his match in a scraggly teenager with nothing but a little slingshot and a whole lot of faith.

👉So which one are you in this story?👈

Are you Goliath? All talk but no action. Willing to say you’ll take on any challenge, and even dressing the part, but never actually doing anything. Willing to ridicule and harass anyone standing in your way to get what you want.

Are you the Philistines? Really brave when standing behind the big guy. But when the big guy falls, they’re left with nothing to stand on, eating their words as they’re chased all the way back to Philistia.

Are you the Israelites? Terrified of the giant. Only able to see what’s standing right in front of them. Frozen in fear and unwilling to act, even though they had a big God defending them. Slaves already if only in their own minds.

Or are you David? Full of faith. Willing to step out because he knows Whose he is. Acts in spite of what the circumstances are, using what he has to do what he can.

Most of us don’t have a physical giant staring us down for 40 days in a row. Okay, probably NONE of us have a physical giant staring us down for 40 days in a row.

But how many other things have we let immobilize us for much, much longer? Fear. Uncertainty. Unworthiness. Doubt. I know I’m guilty.

Be David today. Act with what you have. Use the skills you’ve been given. Throw some stones at the enemy.

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