Why did David take 5 stones when he went to defeat Goliath?
Who doesn’t know the story of David and Goliath? The young boy who takes on the seasoned giant of the Philistine army. Anyone who has read the story well knows that David looks for 5 smooth stones and puts them in his pouch before challenging Goliath to a fight. (read 1 Samuel 17:40)
It might seem like David is just bringing some extra ammunition to the battlefield. It seems very normal and even wise for young David to take his precautions and find some extra stones for his sling. After all, it is human to miss the mark at such a moment. Imagine a great trained warrior like Goliath standing in front of you with heavy armor, none of the army of Israel dared to fight him.
You might be surprised if I tell you now that David didn’t bring any extra ammunition at all. It is indeed correct that he collects 5 stones, but he does not do so because he is afraid of missing his target and thinks he will need several stones to defeat Goliath.
The answer to the question of why David collected exactly 5 stones we read in 2 Samuel 21: 15-22, in which we read about 4 giants that were part of the Philistine army that King David fought against on different occasions. All 4 were killed by David’s army. There is mention of Ishbi Benob, Saph, the Gathite Goliath and a descendant of Rafa who had 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot. So along with the Goliath who killed and beheaded David, there are 5 giants in the army of the Philistines. The Goliath mentioned in 2 Samuel is indeed a different Goliath than the one who was defeated and beheaded by David, he was the brother of the first Goliath.
David had expected that after he defeated Goliath, the 4 others would also enter the battle scene and challenge him, but this did not happen because the entire Philistine army fled.
That is why the other four were only reported at a later stage.
If you keep this information in mind, the courage and strength of David will be even greater, because this means that he was so confident in defeating the 5 giants that he took only one stone per giant to the battle scene. What confidence in God, what faith that young fellow had. He knew with absolute certainty that God would give him the victory and acted accordingly.
How about your faith? Do you dare to face your enemies with such certainty? Do you insist on God’s promises with such determination?
We live in a very different time and do not have to fight like ordinary soldiers, but we have to fight against the dark forces that want to keep us from serving God. Soon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ will come back and take his bride home, but until that day let us fight the forces of evil. Be encouraged by the attitude of David and fight the battle of love for the Lord. On our knees by God’s Spirit we can overcome every dark power, the victory is for the Lamb!