Matters of Faith: A Giant, Faith And a Few Stones


by Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.


1 Samuel 17:4, 50 ‬ (‭NLT)‬

“Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall!


So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword.”


Especially in this season of holiday and holy-days, there are many giants that can challenge our lives. More than a half million Americans are challenged with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), according to Mental Health America. Others may be challenged by lack of employment, or underemployment, medical issues, housing and/or food issues, relational or familial issues, and, sometimes, decision issues where it seems that the challenge is impossible to overcome.


Whatever the giant(s) may be in your life, I want you to know that are no mountains too big, no ocean too deep, no problem or issue too big that you cannot overcome it. It may appear to be insurmountable, too cavernous, just too enormous to be defeated, but the faith of a mustard seed and a few smooth stones can defeat any sized foe.


In the story of David and Goliath, there was no one in Israel who could defeat the over nine-foot Philistine soldier names Goliath. The challenge was clear, “If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves” (v. 9). The least likely of people to step up to the challenge was David, a young shepherd boy who went up on the front line because his father told him to bring cuts of cheese to the captains of the army, and check to see how his brothers were getting along. He found that not one of the soldiers were brave enough to challenge Goliath, so he volunteered himself. The king thought he was being ridiculous and told him the same. But David responded by telling him how he slew lions and bears to protect his sheep, even snatching them out of their mouths and beating them to death with a club, if necessary. He concludes by telling King Saul that if the Lord can do this with lions and bears, He will most certainly will do the same with this pagan Philistine.


Isn’t it interesting how David, who had an intimate relationship with the creator and sustainer of life, was filled with confidence? Look and see how that confidence can enable access to the power and the awesomeness of our God. Is there anything too hard for God? David triumphed over Goliath.


When I looked at the Hebrew for the root word for triumph, or prevail, I found châzaq (khaw-zak’), which means to seize, to bind, restrain, to conquer. David not only defeated the giant, but he conquered him. There was no possibility of retaliation by Goliath. When he was defeated, he was completely and utterly destroyed. When the Lord fights your giants, you are more than a conqueror.


I’ve made a prayerful decision to run for the city council seat in the district where I live in the Bronx. While I was in service, delivering spiritual food to those who are on the front line, the Lord compelled me to take on the challenge of the giant, just as David was. I have faith and five smooth stones; one the Father, one the Son, one the Holy Spirit, the other two are you and you. With these stones, I can defeat the giant standing before me.


Like David, I am assured that it won’t be me, but the power and the might of the God who has sustained me throughout my service to His sheep, who will make me victorious. To defeat this giant, and whatever giant you might be facing, all it takes is faith and some smooth stones.


Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 626-226-1448.  


EDITOR’S NOTE: ‘Matters of Faith’ will be suspended until and through the upcoming February 23 special election for City Council in the 17th Council District.

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