Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Friday, September 22, 2017
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2017.03.12

March 12 – March 18   


Scripture Passage:  “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.”  I Samuel17:40  


   Dear Friends,  

     In the draw of my desk, I have five smooth stones from the brook of Elah.   The valley of Elah was where David met Goliath and killed him using a sling and a stone.  One of the last days we were in Israel we traveled by bus through this valley which is located between Tel Shochoh and Tel Azekah.  (I Samuel 17:1)  The driver stopped the bus and our Israeli guide led us through the field and gullies to the brook where David would have gathered his stones.  There were some puddles of water, but for the most part the brook was dry.  The valley is wide and very beautiful this time of year with grass and blooming flowers.  I also saw a Carob tree.  This is important in the story of the Prodigal Son who would have gladly eaten the husks (Carob pods) the pigs were eating.  This is also where we get the term carat when weighing out diamonds.  A carob seed was a small measure of weight and one carob seed equals a one carat diamond. (Don’t you just love how smart I got?)  The guide warned us not to get the mud on our shoes because it would be difficult to get off.  It was sandy and nothing like the red clay we have here in Sweetwater, so it wasn’t hard to get off.  When we got down to the brook, we heard the Sermon of David and Goliath while standing in the bed of the creek.  It was so funny because some of the people were gathering softball sized rocks from the brook to take home with them.  The guide shouted, “No, no, no.  David would have used a small stone like you would skip across a lake back home.”  He acted like he was slinging one of those heavy rocks in a sling and dying with laughter.  He was having a good time at our expense.  When we got back on the bus and headed across the mountain range, there was a public utility vehicle parked along the side of the road and a utility worker shoveling gravel into the bed of the truck.   Yaniv laughingly said, “We shovel those rocks up and put them back in the brook for you tourists.”  That was hilarious because most of the time he was very serious. 


     I cannot describe how beautiful and touching this site was to me.  There would have been no sneaking down into the valley by David.  Goliath would have seen him coming the minute he came off the mountain.  Once he got down into the valley, help would have been a long way off even if they had wanted to help him and “cover his back.”   I doubt very seriously if David could have even made it across the valley wearing Saul’s armor.  So David went with what he knew and was accustomed to.  The simple dress of a shepherd and the weapon of choice for a boy used to long hours of boredom and plenty of time to practice.  His greatest asset however was his undying faith in the God he served.  This same God had taken care of him in the midnight hour when no one else was around and had delivered him from the paw of the bear and lion.  These had been formidable foes for a young lad, and David viewed Goliath no differently.  David remembered something that we often forget, the battle belongs to the Lord.  Vs. 47   David did not go out and fight in his own strength and ability but fully depended upon the Lord to fight for him.  So the sling became a rifle and the stone a bullet.  Goliath’s forehead became a bullseye and his own sword a carving knife.  The battle became a rout for the Israelites and the cheese and crackers from Bethlehem were supplemented with the delicacies from Gath. 


     So the next time you are faced with an enemy bigger than you are, do what David did. Meet it head on using your faith in God to back you up.  Realize that the sovereign God you serve has placed you where you are and has a purpose for the giants in your life.   Use the abilities God has gifted you with.  You sling the stone and allow Him to direct where it needs to go and determine the results.  Finally, give God the glory when he allows you to experience victory.  Who knows when others see a shepherd boy, God may see a king. 


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny