The story of David and Goliath in I Samuel 17 takes place in the valley of Elah–‘oak’.
Perhaps there were strong, towering oak trees there, a visual reminder of the stirring story that unfolded when Goliath challenged the mighty men of Israel.
Young David, the shepherd, was overcome with Goliath’s insolence, “Why, he has defied the armies of God!” and vowed to fight this mighty, swaggering Philistine.
David, the youngest, motivated by a holy zeal, left the sheep to be tended by someone else because there was a job to do.
There was a job to do and King Saul had the perfect solution–wear my armor.
He placed a bronzed helmet on David’s head, clothed him with a coat of mail and put his armor over it all.
All that protective clothing was heavy. HEAVY.
David remarked about Saul’s suited layers of metal, “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested them.”
I haven’t tried walking around in your armor.
So David took everything off.
Instead, he took his staff in his hand, the one item he had years of experience with.
THIS had been tested and tried against the bear and the lion, this one he used to guide and guard the sheep–the familiar tool that felt comfortable in his hands.
Then David stooped to the ground and picked up 5 smooth stones.
From the earth–the land he knew, from where he had spent his youth… Familiar weapons–God-provided, simple rocks.
And David stood in the power and the anointing and in the name of God–“for the battle is the LORD’S,” he declared.
He ran quickly toward the battle line to meet Goliath, reached for a stone and destroyed the mighty Philistine who dared to defy the God of Israel.
Are you in the Valley of Elah with a Goliath?
Before you go into battle,
Don’t try to put on someone else’s armor to fight.
Their gifts won’t fit you.
Their power style won’t be right.
You haven’t tested what they have and you probably won’t be able to walk in it.
Pick up the tools you know right in front of you.
Put on the armor of God that was made for you.
Clothe yourself in the wardrobe of your King.
The one that fits the who you are with the where you are and the what you are.
Use the five smooth stones, aim well, call on God and be prepared for victory.