A Vivid Memory, A Sling and Stones
Updated: Mar 17
In prayer, one recent early morning, deeply troubled about matters of the heart, I told my Father that I did not want to be like the Children of Israel who—more often than not—feared and fretted, worried and what-ifd when faced with present-day crises, even though they had personally experienced past deliverances—deliverances that resulted from looking to God in their distress. . .of appealing to the only One who could change the outlook of their crippling situation. . .of crying out to the Most High and His covenant-keeping character.
No, I desire to be like David, the young shepherd boy who assuredly declared, “God delivered me from the lion and the bear. He’ll deliver me from this uncircumcised Philistine” (I Samuel 17:37). I want to imitate this anointed servant who looked at present-day problems with a rearview mirror memory. As a result, David confidently faced Goliath, the enemy's roaring, terrifying champion, the one others had repeatedly trembled before.
In dramatic storytelling style, God’s Word tells us that this lowly shepherd boy—the anointed future King of Israel—triumphed over the daunting adversary with just a sling and a stone. Full of faith, this youth overcame the Philistine’s blasphemous warrior; then, with Goliath’s own sword, cut off his head, igniting confidence in Israel's army and securing its victory.
I am nothing—just a mere shepherd boy—when facing the giants in my own life. Giants that scoff and spew lies to try and convince me I don’t have a fighting chance. Giants that mock the great name of my Holy God. Giants that so many others have been beaten and broken by, time after time.
Yet. . .just like David, I possess the arsenal needed for a decisive victory: a vivid memory and my sling and stones.
Because of my position in Christ, through His death and resurrection, the writer of Hebrews declares I can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that [I] may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:17). And because I’ve experienced my faithful God come through time and again, as I’ve cried out to Him at other times when the enemy has strategically "gathered his forces for war," I must choose to look back, purposely fixing my thoughts on past victories.
I must choose faith over fear.
I must choose to remind myself that in my life (and the lives of loved ones I’ve interceded for) God has never failed. Not one time.
Then bolstered by this faith (my shepherd boy's bag), which such remembrances stir within me, I must choose to use the resources—my sling and stones—that I’ve been given: prayer's power, partnered together with the Word's promises and precepts. Truly, this is proven strategic precision, equaled to David’s sling and stone. And this is what enables me to defeat the Goliaths I encounter on my personal Christian journey.
God, in His awesome, unequaled power, could have knocked Goliath down stone-cold dead with just one breath. There’s no denying this. However, He chose a lowly shepherd boy—not great in stature but great in faith—to deliver the knockout. When challenged by a present-day crisis, young David, with only a sling and a stone, remained calm and confident. Instead of being filled with fear as all the others had become, he was consumed by faith because he had considered the victory of his past deliverances.
In every uncertain situation that naturally evoked fear, David had come to know God as the Unrivaled Rescuer that He truly is.
David truly understood what Apostle Paul would pen over a thousand years later: that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12). Unlike Israel’s army of so-called fighting men—"servants of Saul”—this humble, young servant of the Most High understood that “it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s" (I Samuel 17:47), not man's.
As Goliath stood proudly and taunted loudly, “every morning and evening,” defying Israel's army and demanding an opponent, David knew that it was really God whom Goliath was defying. It was the Holy One of Israel who this "uncircumcised Philistine" dared to mock and deride. And David knew that Goliath would have no chance whatsoever against the God of angel armies (Revelation 19:14).
Fellow sojourner, I don’t know what particular matter might be weighing on your heart this day, or what Goliath-sized challenge is spewing and scoffing and mocking, tempting you to be fearful and defeated. I don’t know if there’s a giant in your midst, persistently shouting its “usual defiance”—relentlessly taunting both morning and evening, taking its stand against you or another you’re doing battle for.
But, most assuredly, I do know this: that just as David had all he needed to defeat the overwhelming giant that others were too weak to overcome, you have all you need for the battle. You have your shepherd’s bag, slingshot and stones. With your rearview mirror faith, prayer’s power, and the Word of God, you have all the weaponry needed to upset the enemy’s relentless threats and calculated schemes.
And just like David, when you and I know to whom we belong, and when we utilize the weapons we’ve been given, God comes to our rescue, fights our battle, and defends His holy name.
So, let’s keep remembering.
Let’s keep praying.
Let’s keep targeting the enemy with the crushing stones of God's true Word.
Victory is certain.