Tidbit Thursday: The Sling and the Stone

David vs. Goliath is one of the most iconic stories in the Old Testament. Our culture has latched onto this story to describe any time we root for an underdog. But the original story is much more dramatic considering the weapon used.

As the Philistines square off against Israel, Goliath steps out to engage the Israelites in a battle technique known as “representative combat.” Each side picks one man to represent their army and whichever man triumphs gains victory for the entire army. There is a lot at stake.

Goliath taunts Israel twice a day for forty days, but King Saul only cowers. Then a small shepherd boy shows up on a cheese run to bring refreshment to his brothers and check on them at the battlefront. David was like an old school Uber Eats.

David shows up as a courier, not a warrior.

As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him” (1 Samuel 17:23).

David had probably never heard anyone curse God. I mean who would have the nerve? As David demands to know what will be done to the one who insulted God, Saul overhears the fuss and summons David.

And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:32, 36). 

Saul knows the stakes are high. If he sends David into representative combat and David meets defeat, they all lose. And even though Saul is the tallest Israelite and looks most capable, God looks at the heart. Saul finally agrees to send David to face Goliath. I wonder if he started dictating his last will and testament as soon as David stepped onto the battlefield. And can you imagine the Israelite army’s reaction at their representative? Wait…what?

Years ago I watched a documentary describing weapons used in ancient times. The demonstration regarding the sling and stone was riveting. The scientists set up a watermelon on a pole to represent someone’s head. Then they picked up a sling and stone similar to what David would have used. The stone would have been anywhere from a golf ball to baseball in size.

The scientists placed the stone in the sling, backed away to a good distance, wound it up, and let it fly. The cameras clocked the stone at over 100 mph. The watermelon exploded on impact.

Goliath literally never saw it coming.

Goliath relied on his size. David relied on the size of his God.

The next time you face a battle of any kind, remember that God has gifted you with special tools that the enemy severely underestimates. Love, compassion, forgiveness, and His mighty power within you that provides the strength you need to be victorious.

The enemy may see you as a courier, not a warrior.

But God looks at your heart.

Stand strong, mighty warrior!

Ministry Update

I’m excited to share with you very soon about amazing new developments at Artesian Ministries. As I have transitioned into full time ministry, God has opened many wonderful opportunities, including ways we can partner together. I’ll be reaching out soon. In the meantime, please meet my new Board of Directors here. I am so honored to serve with them and you. God’s blessings!