WHO THREW THAT ROCK

By; Gary L. Rodgers

Throwing rocks can sometimes be fun, like when you throw a flat rock across a pond to see how many times it will skip across the water. Sometimes throwing rocks are a means of protection when we are about to be bit by an animal. Sometimes throwing rocks can bring us trouble, especially when you break a window or dent a car. We all know what trouble is, it’s when Dad comes outside and wants to know who threw that rock! Troubles: don’t we all have them! Trouble seems to have its way of finding us just when things seem to be going great. We don’t look for trouble but it seems to stick up its ugly head every now and then just to let us know that it is still around.

TROUBLES OR TRIALS

Not to confuse our thinking here, I wish to clarify that I am not talking about trials. I believe that there is a difference between what troubles are and what trials are. I believe that trouble comes to us from a variety of sources and is generally a result of sin either from our disobedience or from the sinful acts of others. Troubles are designed to strike fear in our hearts. Troubles are meant to hurt and will hinder our spiritual growth and affect our testimony. Sometimes troubles are brought on ourselves through our disobedience and our forsaking God by turning our backs on Him.

Deuteronomy 31:16And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go [to be] among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God [is] not among us?

18 And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.

When we provoke God to anger and jealousy we can be sure that troubles are headed our way.

THE SOURCE OF OUR TROUBLES

Sometimes they are direct attacks of Satan. Sometimes they come from people who hate us because of our beliefs, or from people who like to stir up trouble and would enjoy seeing us struggle or fall. Sometimes they come because we took a gamble on sin and as always with sin we lose.

Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.

One thing is for certain as written in Job 14:1 “Man [that is] born of a woman [is] of few days, and full of trouble.”

Troubles come our way for all sorts of reasons but God will give us the rocks needed to deliver us from our troubles if we bring our problems to Him.

TRIALS ARE FROM GOD

On the other hand trials I believe are typically things that God will use to test our obedience, strengthen our faith and bring glory to Him. It is important how we look at troubles and trials and at how we approach them. No doubt that Job faced some tough trials, and his so-called friends tried to search out the reasoning behind it. They believed that Job had done something serious to offend God and that was why he was facing what they saw to be troubles. They believed that what Job was facing he brought upon himself. But Job approached it as a trial, and although he lost his children and his wealth Job maintained his integrity as we read;

Job 1:21And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

I believe that we should take a moment when we are faced with these situations to analyze them to try to see if we can ascertain what they truly are. We should be asking ourselves whether or not we have sinned against God which has resulted in our being faced with trouble? Or, is our faith being tried so that we can advance to our next stage of spiritual growth, or is God preparing us for a specific task? Sometimes children and young people have a way of looking at things in a different light, like in David’s case with Goliath; and maybe it would be a good idea if we paid some attention to that. I’ll never forget the lesson that my youngest son taught me about praying bigger than our need when he was around five years old. My wife and children and I were coming back from New York State in the middle of winter late at night during a snow storm. We were coming down through the mountains in Pennsylvania and the snow was a heavy wet snow that clung to our wiper blades. The wiper blades were so coated with snow that the wiper motor got hot and quit working. I had a small clear spot on my windshield about 5 inches in diameter that I could see out of. The headlights shining against the snowflakes bothered me at times so I happened to glance down at my young son who was sitting between my wife and me. His little hands were folded and tucked between his knees, eyes shut and head bowed. I asked him what he was doing and in an agitated voice he said I’m praying dad! I said are you praying that Jesus will fix the windshield wipers? Well that was about all that he could take of my puny little faith; he looked up at me and in a really agitated voice he said no dad! I’m praying that the sun will come out! None of us could hold it back, we all burst out laughing at the way that he said it. It was kind of like; boy dad, you got some real faith there haven’t you?

FACING A PROBLEM OR A TRIAL

In 1 Samuel 17 we find the story of David and Goliath. Goliath stood in the way in what the men of Israel viewed as being a giant of a problem for forty days. I believe that David who was the eighth[1] son of Jesse the Bethlehemite viewed Goliath as something more than a massive problem. I believe that he was trying to get his brothers and the men of Israel to get their eyes off of the size of the challenge and view it for what it truly was, a trial of their faith.[2] They were looking at going out against this challenge under their own might with sword and shield. David looked at this as a trial that needed to be met head on under God’s direction. So David took his staff and chose five[3] smooth stones from a brook to go up against Goliath. Everyone, including Goliath looked at being taken down by a young lad with a slingshot to be a joke.

1 Samuel 17:42And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was [but] a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.

43 And the Philistine said unto David, [Am] I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

  44And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

When God sends us out in the face of a trial it is never a joke! He is with us and we can be sure that He has given us the rocks that we need for the situation at hand. David went out against what he saw as a nothing of a man, (“this uncircumcised Philistine” – verse 36) When David went out he faced this giant through God’s strength and not his own. David saw GOD in this trial; others saw Goliath, a giant, a problem.

There is something about the smirk attitude of an arrogant person that makes you want to chop them down to size.

1 Samuel 17:45Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands.

It doesn’t take a whole army to face a challenge. One man and God can defeat a whole mountain side of troubles. One man trusting God can stand victorious in any trial.

1 Samuel 17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but [there was] no sword in the hand of David.

51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

So who threw that rock? It was David a servant of the lord, and it was God that handed it to him.

CHRISTIANS GOING THROUGH TOUGH TIMES

Are you struggling with troubles and trials in your life? Then may this simple prayer be your key to victory. Lord Jesus I ask that you deliver this brother or sister from the challenges that they are faced with. If they come before you bound as a prisoner because of sin then I ask for their sakes that you would give them the victory to break those shackles of sin so that they can be freed from the fear and hurt that they are currently dealing with. If they are faced with a trial then I ask that you would help them to see what steps they need to take in order to grow and advance in their faith to please you and to prepare them for your service. Amen!

Suggested reading: James chapter 1

THE INVITATION

Are you faced with troubles and find yourself empty-handed with nothing to fight back with? Then I invite you to come to the one who owns the armory. He has everything that you need to have victory in your life. You will not face any trouble or trial that He can’t equip you for to make you a champion. He used a young Shepherd Boy to honor His name and take down a giant. And he will give you and me the rocks we need to face every situation in our lives. Simply bow your head and pray this prayer with a sincere heart.

Dear Lord, I come before you as a lost sinner needing a Savior. I lay all my sins before you and ask that you would please forgive me for each and every one of them. There is nothing so vile in our lives that your shed blood cannot wash away from us. I believe in you and trust you with my life. Please send the Holy Spirit into my heart to teach and train me in the ways of righteousness.

Amen!

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision.  Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!


[1] In a study that I have been doing on Bible Numerics I find it interesting that this number eight in scripture suggests the meaning of “New Beginnings or New Order of Things.” David was to become the new order for Israel when he would take the throne to become Israel’s new King. In looking back to 1 Samuel 17: 17 & 18 you will also notice the number ten is presented in scripture. The number ten suggests the meaning of “Testimony, Law and Responsibility.” David’s brothers and the men of Israel had a responsibility to take a stand against this Philistine giant; and to maintain their testimony as being the armies of the living God!

[2] The reason why I see Goliath as a trial is because of what it says in verse 16. “ And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.” The number forty in scripture suggest the meaning of Trials, Probation & Testing. I believe that Israel was being tested by God and it took a young Shepherd boy to show them that.

[3]Why five when it only took one stone to kill Goliath? Five is the number for God’s grace and God’s goodness. Grace has for itself a broad definition of the everlasting protective goodness of God’s favor toward us to help us steadily persevere in the Christian life. When God sends you out to do something, He always sends you out with the assurance that you can rely upon Him to get you through it. Hand in hand we go with Christ through the battlefield of life. Pressing forward in our plight; pressing forward day and night.