Quick - Where in the Bible do we read of four useless stones?
Answer - In the story of David and Goliath. As young David prepared to square off against the giant, “…he…chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch…and…approached the Philistine… Then David...took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead…and he fell on his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone… (1 Sam. 17:40; 48-50).
Because David required only one stone to defeat Goliath, some might conclude that the four remaining stones were “useless”. Some have even asked, “If David had faith that God would deliver Goliath to him, why he pick up five stones? The simplest answer - David knew that Goliath might have relatives (He did, in fact, have a least one giant brother, Lahmi – 1 Chron. 20:5).
Furthermore, David’s likely selected five stones because it was customary for ancient warriors to bring extra “ammo”. (Can you imagine an archer going into battle with one arrow?) Although David believed that God would empower him to defeat Goliath, he knew that he needed to utilize every tool at his disposal – his skill, arm, sling and several stones. David did not expect God to do all the fighting for him; he had a personal responsibility. Bringing extra stones was a part of it.
This is a valid lesson for many people today. Some ask and expect God to do almost everything for them, as if He were a genie awaiting their next command.
- “Save me from my sins while I recline on my couch.”
- “Give me a job while I run around with my friends.”
- “Help my kids go to heaven while we attend another game or go camping.
- “Heal my marriage while I watch TV or go golfing.
- “Help the church to grow while I check the latest news on Facebook.”
In Phil. 4:13 Paul wrote, “I can DO all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Although Paul believed in the remarkable power of Christ, he also knew that he had an obligation to DO. So it is with us - “…it is God who works in you both to will and to DO for His good pleasure” (PHIL 2:13).
Do everything you can; then trust God to do the rest.
Jesus, always Jesus!