So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
1 Samuel 17:50-51
When we read the story of David and Goliath, many of us want to read ourselves into David's role. We are the underdog fighting an epic battle, and whoever or whatever opposes us is our Goliath. If we will only trust God, then we know we can defeat our problem with His help.
I once heard a pastor note that this reading of the story is all wrong. David foreshadows the Messiah, not the modern believer. If anyone is David in the story it's Christ. He is the great warrior who saves His people from the enemy who is too big for them.
Well, if I can't be David, then perhaps I can be the stone.
The above passage goes out of its way to point out that God ordained for this mighty warrior Goliath to be killed not by a sword or a javelin or a spear but by an ordinary stone. Verse 50 tells us that there was no sword in David's hand when he killed the giant. And verse 51 re-emphasizes that Goliath was already dead (from the stone) before David cut off his head.
It was an ordinary, small, smooth stone which was hurled at that giant and killed him. A stone which had sat in a stream bed being rubbed smooth by the passing of water and time for who knows how long before its day of glory came.
I'm not saying that this is allegorical. This is a real story. And the stone doesn't represent us in an allegorical sense. Rather, this very real stone reveals something to us about how God works and what types of things (and people) He uses. God often uses small, overlooked, weak, and despised things and people to do glorious things to advance His cause. We see this in countless other Bible stories and characters as well. I could recount stories of fishermen who turned into apostles, of a small boy's lunch that fed 5,000 people, of a prisoner who became second in command over all Egypt, and a nursing cow who proved to the Philistines that Israel's God was real. But today it was this little stone that resonated with me.
Lord, I may be more of a blunt instrument than a sharp tool. I may be ordinary, but I know that You make a habit of using ordinary people and things to glorify Your name. Let me be a stone in Your hand, Lord. For even a little stone in Your hand is far superior to the sharpest weapon in the hand of the enemy. Send me out to do Your will. Keep me on the narrow path, aimed directly at all You would have me do. And when my life is over, Lord, when my purpose has been served, let none of the glory fall on me. Let me be as forgotten as that stone in Goliath's forehead, so that the name of my Savior may abound more and more.