This past Wednesday afternoon 88 of us from our Crossroads’ family, returned from another magnificent trip to Israel — the land where JESUS walked. It’s impossible to share everything we learned, every place we went or everything we experienced.
But there is one thing I have to share.
It has to do with the five rocks in the picture above and one of the best loved stories in the Bible. It’s found in 1 Samuel 17. It’s the story of David and Goliath. This past week our guides took us to a place I had heard about and read about, but never dreamed I would one day stand there.
This week, I did.
It’s the Valley of Elah between Succoh and Azekah (1 Samuel 17:1), near Gath. It’s the place where one of the most famous battles of all time took place. The battle of David and Goliath, the nine-foot giant.
In verse 40 it says, “Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.”
You know the rest of the story. Goliath mocked David when he came out to meet him. But David “took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him” (1 Samuel 17:49-50).
Our guide led us down to the same brook where David picked up five stones and encouraged us to do the same. I never dreamed what I would feel when I picked up five smooth stones from that brook and put them in my hand. David put his in his bag. I put mine in my backpack and in that moment, God put courage in my heart. For what? To face the giants in my own life.
David knew it wasn’t his slingshot or the stones he picked up. Rather, it was God who would help him defeat this giant. Here’s what he said to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Samuel 17:45).
David knew it wasn’t his slingshot or the stones he picked up. Rather, it was God who would help him defeat this giant.
You and I don’t need slingshots. But we need God. Because, without Him even the smallest things can become giants to us and defeat us.
If the Lord allows us to go back to Israel, I hope you’ll consider going with us. It’s an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience every Christian should have. I’m not promising you’ll get to go to the Valley of Elah and go to the brook where David (and I) got our five smooth stones.
What I am saying is … you never know.
© 2019. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.