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A huge Philistine soldier challenges any Israeli soldier to fight him.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Faith and Five Smooth Stones

As David arrived at the Israelite military camp, men were shouting and moving into formation. “Death to Goliath! Crush the Philistines!”

Soon the Israelite army faced the Philistine army. Only the Elah Valley separated them.

David moved quickly to greet his three brothers. He saw a gigantic Philistine soldier walk into the valley. Some of the Israelite soldiers began running for cover.

The giant’s voice boomed, “Do you need a big army to settle our differences? Choose one of your men to fight for you. I will fight for the Philistines. If your man beats me, then the Philistine army will be your slaves. But, if I defeat your man, then the Israelite army will be our slaves. I dare you: send a man to fight me.”

David looked around and saw terrified soldiers. One said, “We have no one defeat the giant Goliath. For forty days he has strutted into the valley and challenged us.”

One soldier said, “King Saul is offering a huge reward to anyone

who kills Goliath. The victor can marry one of the king’s daughters and his whole family will be exempt from paying taxes.”

David questioned other men. “Is it true that King Saul is offering a reward for killing Goliath and stopping his abuse? Who is this enemy that he can stand against the army of the living God?”

The soldiers replied, “You are hearing what the king said.”

Eliab, David’s oldest brother, was angry when he heard David talking to the soldiers.

“What are you doing here? Don’t you have a few sheep you are supposed to be watching? I know you. You’re conceited and a liar. You only want to see a battle.”

“Eliab, I brought food supplies from Father. I only am asking a few questions.”

David’s questions were reported to King Saul, who sent for David. David immediately told the king. “Do not worry about Goliath. I will fight him.”

“Impossible! You are only a boy. Goliath has been in the Philistine army for many years.”

David continued, “As I have cared for my father’s sheep, I have fought lions and bear. When a lamb has been snatched, I have taken a club after the attacker, and grabbed the lamb from the attacker’s mouth. If the animal turned on me, I clubbed it to death.

“I will do this to the Philistine who has ridiculed the army of the living God. The Lord who saved me from the claws of bear and lions will save me from Goliath.”

King Saul was silent. Then he spoke, “Take my armor.”

David put it on and walked a few steps. “King Saul, I cannot wear these. I am not used to them.” David took the armor off and picked up five smooth stones. He placed them into his shepherd’s bag. With his shepherd’s staff and sling he walked towards Goliath.

Goliath’s face curled with contempt. He called, “Am I a dog that you come to fight me with a stick?” He cursed David. “Come here. I’ll give your flesh to the birds.”

David replied, “You come with a sword, spear, and javelin. I come in the name of the Lord Almighty. Today He will conquer you and I will kill you. Everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue His people. It is His battle, not ours.”

Goliath moved to attack. David ran to meet him. Taking a stone from his bag, he hurled it from his sling. The stone hit Goliath in the forehead and he fell face into the ground.

Since David had no sword, he took Goliath’s sword  and cut off his head. The Philistines fled.

This is Barbara Steiner with a famous Bible story that encourages people facing mighty challenges.

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