Five Smooth Stones

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1Samuel 17-18; Luke 11:1-28

 

40 He then grabbed his staff and chose five smooth stones from the streambed. He put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s bag and with sling in hand went out to the Philistine.

41 The Philistine got closer and closer to David, and his shield-bearer was in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked David over, he sneered at David because he was just a boy; reddish brown and good-looking.

43 The Philistine asked David, “Am I some sort of dog that you come at me with sticks?” And he cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said to David, “and I’ll feed your flesh to the wild birds and the wild animals!”

45 But David told the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword, spear, and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel’s army, the one you’ve insulted. 46 Today the Lord will hand you over to me. I will strike you down and cut off your head! Today I will feed your dead body and the dead bodies of the entire Philistine camp[k] to the wild birds and the wild animals. Then the whole world will know that there is a God on Israel’s side. 47 And all those gathered here will know that the Lord doesn’t save by means of sword and spear. The Lord owns this war, and he will hand all of you over to us.”

48 The Philistine got up and moved closer to attack David, and David ran quickly to the front line to face him. 49 David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone. He slung it, and it hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 And that’s how David triumphed over the Philistine with just a sling and a stone, striking the Philistine down and killing him—and David didn’t even have a sword! 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine. He grabbed the Philistine’s sword, drew it from its sheath, and finished him off. Then David cut off the Philistine’s head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled. (1 Samuel 17:40-51, Common English Bible)

I was in the first summer of my seminary education. It wasn’t a master’s degree program. In the United Methodist Church it is called “Course of Study School.” It was four weeks of summer school.

One Sunday while I was there, my roommate and I attended one of the many United Methodist congregations in Dallas and while we were there we were invited to attend a play at a small Christian theater in the area. The name of the play was “David and Goliath in Cow Town.” It was a humorous take on one of the most beloved stories in the Bible. The cast was dressed in western attire and instead of five smooth stones, David used five smooth horseshoes.

I don’t remember much of the play beyond what I have already said. What I remember most took place after the play. Several actors, after taking there bows, came out and shared with the audience. The actor who played David, I don’t remember his name said, “David went down to the river and got five smooth stones.” As he was telling this he held up his fist and said, “His F-A-I-T-H” and with each letter he counted off with one of his finger. Each letter represented one of the stones. Then he said, while patting his chest above his heart, “He placed them in his shepherd’s bag and then when trouble (Goliath) came, he took out a stone and put it into his sling.” When he said sling, he pointed to his mouth. He concluded by saying, “David knew that with his faith in God, he could overcome the giant.”

There are giants in all our lives. There is the money than runs out before the month. There is the trouble with the spouse that drinks too much. There are the problems academic and/or behavioral our child is facing in school There are more problems, more giants, than we can count. Our faith in God can help us find a way.

I want to leave you with two other things to think about. From the beginning it wasn’t a fair fight. Think about Gary Coleman trying to fight Shaquille O’Neal. That would probably seem unfair but it isn’t what I’m talking about. It wasn’t a fair fight because David had God on his side. I think David would agree with Paul’s words, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Second, David had faith in God, but he also knew he was involved. What if David had missed with the first stone? Well, he did get five from the stream. God wasn’t going to miss but Peter’s faith shook as he walked on the water. The same could have happened to David. Had the first shot missed, he would have slung another stone and taken aim once again.

Our problems can seem to big. They can seem gigantic. But faith in God can overcome even the biggest problems in life.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s