Posted by: arieliondotcom | August 29, 2010

The Significance of Smooth

Scripture: 1 Samuel 17:40 “Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.”

According to 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”

For that to be so, each verse of the Bible (the only Scripture for Christians) must consist of three layers: Contextual, Contemporary, and Christological. That is, what it meant in the context in which and for whom it was written originally, how it applies to the person reading/hearing it today, and how it applies to JESUS Christ, since (as He said), the Scriptures are foundationally about Him. (John 5:39).

It’s with these thoughts in mind that the phrase “smooth stones” struck me (no pun intended) in the story of David and Goliath.

The true story of the young shepherd who killed the gigantic enemy of Israel is one of the most well known stories around the world, to Bible Believers and non-Believers alike. And everyone knows David used a slingshot to kill the giant. But why does the Bible emphasize that they were smooth stones that David chose to use?

The contextual sense is intuitive. You can guess that smooth stones would fly better from a slingshot than oddly shaped ones and you’d grab the smoothest stones you could find, too.

The Hebrew word for “brook” suggests that this was not just any water formation but was in the bottom of a gully formed from the water running over the same path for a long time. The context in the chapter repeats this happened in a valley. And the Hebrew word for smooth (pronounced khal·lük’ ) even sounds like running water that would smooth stones over time.

And that brings us to the contemporary issue. Unless you’re a slingshot hunter the above information isn’t very helpful until you consider that it has a practical, spiritual side for handling the issues in your life. Goliath was a real, powerful, seasoned warrior nearly 10 feet tall being opposed in face to face combat by a real, young shepherd. And the future king of Israel literally killed Goliath by throwing a rock that sank into Goliath’s forehead. That mustn’t be spiritualized away by talking about “giant” problems in your life as if the physical battle never happened. But in addition to the battle that happened historically we can apply the principles to what we face today. The significance of the smooth stones David used is in the well-worn way we can apply today.

David alludes to this when he says earlier in the chapter that the same GOD Who gave him victory over the lion and the bear will give him victory over this evil oppressor and opposition to the people of GOD. Just as water wore the useless stones into smooth usefulness, the situations in your life are preparing you to be a tool in the Hand of GOD to accomplish His purposes. Every act of the Spirit in and through you, every situation that washes over you is smoothing the useless away and fitting you for your destiny, even if it is for eternal things you will not know until then.

Follow the well-worn way of faith that those of the Bible followed and you’ll find the victory they found through the same GOD Who not only saved them but uses the smoothness they were worn into to be of use to you.

Finally, what does all of this have to do with JESUS? As the Jewish song Deyenu says, “It would have been enough” if we could just depend on GOD to transform our situations. But He did more. The Bible says that because the Son of GOD, JESUS Christ, came to earth to live as GOD in flesh, He was tempted in all ways as we are as a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief. The circumstances of life washed over Him as well, and though He never sinned, He knew what it was to be obedient even to death on the cross though His humanity cried out against it. Knowing the faithfulness of the Father smoothed away the horror of JESUS literally enduring Hell for us so that JESUS chose to save us in spite of the pain and shame. And because He bore our sins in the process we have become the smooth stones to defeat the works of the enemy of the Kingdom of GOD. JESUS transforms not only our circumstances, but us, to be like Him.

The wearing of the water made stone fit for David. The wisdom of the well-worn way of faith can equip us to use every situation to GOD’s Glory. And with the willing, JESUS transforms us through His faithfulness and obedience into the Children of GOD.


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