Questions of the Week

Question: I’ve always wondered why David picked up five smooth stones in order to face Goliath (see 1 Samuel 17:40). Did this mean he didn’t have enough faith to believe that God would only need one stone to defeat Goliath?

Answer: Even though David was depending on God in his confrontation with Goliath, he went into battle prepared. Had he taken just one stone, it would have been as if he were testing God. By grabbing five stones, he was still trusting, but not limiting God to a single result.

There is a lesson here for all of us in our journey of faith. We can pray for something and strongly believe, based on the promises in God’s Word and our own experience with how God has acted in the past, that God is going to help us. But we don’t know exactly how.

For example, you may be praying for someone who is sick, and you may firmly believe that God is going to heal that person. Does that mean you don’t consult with medical professionals and do everything you can to help the healing process? Of course not. Withholding medical care would be irresponsible. It would be putting God to the test. Now, God may choose to heal that person without medical treatment, but he may also choose to use medicine to heal.

The reason for picking up “five smooth stones” when we face difficulties (or opportunities for that matter) is that God expects us to do our part to prepare for the challenge. And it is a reminder that only he knows what’s best for us. Sometimes what we think is the best result isn’t what God knows to be the best result. When the Bible says that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28), we need to remember that God always knows what’s best for us. Only he sees the big picture. We need to trust him as we prepare ourselves in heart and mind to serve and obey and glorify him in all things.

4 Responses to “What is the significance of David’s Five Smooth Stones?”  

  1. 1 Larye Flynn

    No matter how often we pray, “Lord, do this in this way!” it’s usually when we stop, and pray “not my will, Lord, but Yours” that we see the Hand of God moving in our lives.

    All too often in our lives, we ask God to do something, and then we limit Him. We forget that He is Almighty God, and that He does things in ways that we don’t see comming.

    David was a man after God’s own heart, and he not only trusted God, but used wisdom in choosing 5 smooth stones, not limiting God.

    Thanks, guys, for sharing this with us….

    Giving glory to God,
    Larye Flynn

  2. 2 YY Lam

    I had just attended a church service last Sunday where my pastor kept emphasizing how he had trusted God by relying on his faith in God to heal him instead of choosing medicine. Though he also mentioned that it did not mean to discourage believers to consult a doctor, he never did explain the way you put it here. I had encoutered instance where a person died from illness because she was not given due medical attention on the basis that if there was faith, the illness would be healed. I find the way you explain why sick people should seek medical help so simple and yet refreshing and no one should test God by limiting HIM.I hope your message could reach as many believers as possible so that they are correctly guided by your wisdom.

    Warm regards and may God bless you.


  3. 3 sorry cant say it

    i was always taught that david grabbed the five stones for goliath’s brothers in case goliaths brothers attacked david

  4. 4 Mark McCullagh

    I’ve always wondered if the five stones represented the five lords of the Philistines being defeated with just one shot.

    1 Samuel 6
    16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day. 17 And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one; 18 And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.