The Heart in Transformation: The Life of David
Rev. Dr. Mark Raeburn Johnston
The Well Placed Stone
Goliath, the famous giant of Gath, openly defied the armies of Israel with threats that
made every Israeli tremble! He was finally slain by a young shepherd boy who used nothing but a sling and a stone to bring down this eleven-foot-tall monster!
According to Scripture, David cut off the head of Goliath with the giant’s own sword and
this became the turning point in the life of this son of Jesse, who eventually became the king over Israel!
When faced with overwhelming problems, we may be tempted to run and hide! Our
difficulties can overshadow us like Goliath overshadowed the soldiers of Israel!
Italian painter Caravaggio captured this victory in a painted masterpiece that portrays a
young David holding the severed head of the giant in one hand, with the extended sword of Goliath in the other!
Caravaggio was himself a man plagued with problems from an early age. Orphaned at
age 11, he later had many encounters with the law. While in a dispute, he killed a man and began the life of a fugitive! He fled from city to city and kept moving between hiding places to avoid arrest. Over the years, intercessions on his behalf were made to secure the Pope’s pardon. A document finally granting him clemency arrived from Rome.
But it arrived three days after his death!
Some years later, it was discovered that the head and face of Goliath, so huge in the
hands of David, was actually that of Caravaggio himself! Caravaggio had given the giant his own face!
Sometimes our problems are the giants we ourselves create! Because of bad decision
making, poor judgments or a lack of discipline, we can be the cause of our own worst difficulties!
But problems, like giants, can be brought down through the sling and stone of faith,
when we’re willing to confront the issues. Then, we often discover that the very sword that threatened us can be used to behead the problem and render it lifeless!
Let’s confront the real problems that face us with faith and action! Then, let’s proclaim
our victory through the goodness and grace of our God!
Giants fall through the well-placed stone of faith!