“… and Jesse the father of King David.”
Prepare to Listen. Light the pink with two purple candles. Prepare to listen with this reminder: Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised.
Prayerfully Read 1 Samuel 17:31-40
[When David arrived to visit his brothers, soldiers in Saul’s army fighting the Philistines, Goliath came out with his challenge that evoked fear in Israel. David dared to ask, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (v26), implying that the soldiers were lacking trust in their God. It got Saul’s attention.]
31When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul; and he sent for him. 32David said to Saul, ‘Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.’ 33Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.’ 34But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.’ 37David said, ‘The LORD, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.’ So Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the LORD be with you!’ 38Saul clothed David with his armour; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. 39David strapped Saul’s sword over the armour, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, ‘I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.’ So David removed them. 40Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.
We know this story well; heard it many times. It captured our imagination and pulled us in. The powerless and unprotected underdog, stood up to the powerful and well-armed Goliath. The story’s so well-known we no longer give it much attention, relegating it to children, and thus risk impoverishing our spiritual lives. Let it capture your imagination again and nourish your life.
As David walked towards Goliath, dressed only in shepherd’s clothing, he paused at the wadi (riverbed), knelt down and “chose five smooth stones.” The impatient Goliath, mocked, shouting across the valley. “Am I a dog that you come to me with sticks?” King Saul and his army grew anxious as the unprotected boy remained on his knees, an easy target. There’s nothing particularly significant about five smooth stones, except David took his time to choose them. It’s not that he needed five. If he missed with his first one, the chances are Goliath’s javelin would have hit and killed him. David only needed one stone, so why did he stall at the river on his knees to choose five?
On his knees was the humble posture of prayer, the posture Saul’s entire army should have taken the first day Goliath mocked and issued his challenge. David took his time to pray and each smooth stone was a prayer to God for victory against this giant who dared to defy Israel’s God, the LORD of hosts.
Kneel down and imagine choosing five smooth stones, offering each one as your prayer to God.
Respond in Prayer
David exercised a confident trust in you, Lord, but that didn’t stop him from bending down and taking his time. May I, like David, take time out to wait on you in prayer. Amen.
Live Obediently. Take time on your knees before rushing into a difficult task.
 1 Samuel 17:43.
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Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.