Five Smooth Stones

By Roger Barcus

If you would please stand with me for the reading of God’s word. Please turn with me to the book of I Samuel. The seventeenth chapter of the first book of Samuel. Reading a little bit about the story of David and Goliath, one of the most famous stories in the Bible. Starting with verse number 40, “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine”. Now verse 49, “And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk in his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth”. Verse 50, “but there was no stone in the hand of David.

The Bible says in I Peter 2:5 that we are to be lively stones. It says if we don’t praise him the rocks are gonna cry out. I have yet to
see a rock praise the Lord because there are too many churches like Calvary that are full of people who want to get their own blessing and
don’t want it to go to anything like a rock.

There are pastures of excitement and adventure you have yet to explore. You might say, “How would you know? You are gray-headed”. I
remember sitting in church and wondering why I was and what I was missing, and then finding out that I was better off. I saw some of my friends and what happened to them. Some of them badmouthed Bro. Norris and I would go home and say something to my folks. My Dad defended my pastor and it shut me up because I had a deep down respect for my Father and a deep down respect for the pastor. But then he was way off up there on the platform or something. He didn’t live close to where I was.

Sis. Barcus sometimes tells about the three things that you must do in order to live successfully for God. You must first of all love
God, his church, and his people. There are all kinds of people here. Folks that come from all kinds of backgrounds. Ask God to give you a
love for everyone. Don’t seek that door because she goes out that one. Meet together at the altar. Go to someone after church, if you wish;
someone that you normally would not go to and hug their neck and say I’m glad we’re in the church together. You might not see eye to eye but that’s not necessary.

If God can give us a job description I will be very, very happy. If there are a percentage of people in the audience thrilled.

I watched some of the men doing what they were doing in the building. Each one of them seemed to know where they were going and what they were doing. One man carried, very confidently, a bucket of paint and he brought it into Bro. Larson’s office. He was going to paint that room. He put the roller in the paint and he was going to paint that very tall ceiling you’ve blessed your pastor with so he won’t bump his head. I saw the fellows cunning. He knew exactly what side it was to be. They knew exactly what they had to do. Now if Bro.
Larson or Bro. Brannan or Bro. Chuck Barcus sat me over there and said, “Why don’t you finish that over there?”. I would have to say, “Where do I go? Where do I start?”. The Lord said, “Go ye unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”, and we go, “Ha, how am I supposed to do that?”. Do you know when he said, “Go ye” he wasn’t just talking to me, he was talking to thee. Each of us in our own way has a little part to do with going into all the world. Only thing is, we’re losing. We’re losing! That’s not a very faith-filled statement, but it’s the truth anyhow. More people die every day than get saved.

When you had the choir up here and these folks. Just the choir would represent America. All the congregation would represent the world. We have got five thousand preachers preaching to the choir and three hundred preaching to the world. That’s a little off balance.
Maybe you would understand what I’m talking about. 94% of this world lives outside of this good old USA. You wonder how in the world are we going to reach them? I don’t have the answer, but I know one thing, there was a young boy one day who did not look at the impossible past, but looked at a God who said, “AII things are possible”. That’s what made the difference.

I want you to take a look at David. Then look at King Saul and Goliath. David was probably a teenage boy from what we understand; not fully grown and not fully in height. Back then a tall man, instead of being a six-footer, would be a five footer. From what we understand
David was probably 4 foot 10 inches. Saul was head and shoulders above everybody else, he was probably 5’8″ or 9″. He was big! That’s the way it was back then. Goliath, they say, six cubits and a span. Ezekiel calls a cubit two feet. We generally consider it a foot and a half.
Taking the smaller measurement plus the span, which happens to be nine inches. You have an almost ten-foot tall fellow. That is twice as tall as David. He’s probably in his late twenties; a warrior from his youth.

David was told by his father to go and see how things were doing. When he arrived on the scene he saw his brothers digging a foxhole trench faster than they ever dug for their Father on the farm. He saw others who were usually lazy, running a 440 in record time. The
Israelite Olympics. I mean, they were on their way. Others were climbing behind rocks and in caves; anywhere to get out from that big booming voice. It was about that time of the day that he would come out, for the last 40 days, to see what was going on and to tell the people. There he came out of his overgrown tent. He walked his number 26 shoe down the hillside to his place of poetry and he hollered, “Send me a man!”. So David was watching this and everybody was scattering and trying to get away from this big booming voice. Saul was in his tent hoping it would go away, but it didn’t.

David said, “What’s wrong? I’m not afraid of him”. .His brothers said, “Aw, you just came down to see the war”. He said, “Isn’t there a
cause?” Little pipsqueak. was a cause alright, but is there an effect? So David was telling his brothers about it and it got back to Saul.
Saul called him in there to find out about it and say, “now listen, I appreciate your confidence. I can recognize you’re not cocky, but you want to do something for the Lord. That’s good but he is a warrior from his youth and ever since they took his diaper off, they strapped a
sword on and he’s been making furrows in the dust ever since. He’s been slaying fellows, he doesn’t even bat an eyelash at it. He’ll cut you in three pieces and feed you to the birds.” That’s exactly what he said he was going to do. But David said, “King, live forever, listen to my story. I was taking care of my father’s sheep and one day when a lion came up and grabbed a sheep and took off and a bear came up and grabbed a lamb and off they went. I got the sheep out of the lion’s mouth and the lamb out of the bear’s mouth and they rose against me and I slew them.”

Now I want you to recognize the sequence of events. David did not go kill the lion and he did not go do a Jess Locker karate chop on the bear. He went to save the sheep and the lamb. That’s the most important job we have, to save the sheep. I’ve heard a lot of people get on their knees and spend, I don’t know how much time, praying to the devil rebuking him. That’s not your job. Even Michael the Arc Angel said, “The Lord do it, the Lord rebuke thee”. It is my job to praise the Lord, it’s my job to love him, it’s my job to worship him. I don’t have to worry about the devil if I get enough God around.

So King Saul said, “Well, we might as well get it over with, go on out there”. He said, “Please try on my armor first so you don’t get cut
in half the first slice”. David put it on and said, “Oh King, live forever and all that good stuff, but please take this stuff off before
I fall over and can’t get up”. He took it off and he said, “King there are two things I have going for me, number one God is with me, number two I’ve got a sling that I’ve proven”. You see God’s always got a man and he’s always got a method to get his job done. It might not be your way or my way, but if it’s God’s way and it doesn’t violate the good book then it’s alright.

So David went down to the brook in his unorthodox way of weaponry. We are going to imagine that rocks can talk and hear. The bible says if we don’t praise him the rocks are gonna cry out. If they have that ability maybe they can talk. The bible says in the book of revelation that the people are going to cry to the rocks and mountains to fall on them, so maybe the rocks can talk and hear, just maybe. If you
are scared of water, don’t worry about what we’re going to do because everybody’s got something to breath with. We’re all going to lay
down on our stomachs in the Philistine side of the brook. We’re going to look under the water, don’t worry, we’ll crowd everybody in.
We are imagining everything so you are just there.

David is walking toward the shore and he is going to pick up five smooth stones, but before he picks them up, I want you to watch a
conversation that went on with the rocks. One rock turned to the other rocks and he says, “You know I’m so tired of being at the bottom of a brook bed: and the other rock said, “You know there has got to be something more to life than just being wet all the time”. About that time he goes down to the brook, picks up five smooth stones and puts them into his shepherd’s bag. Goliath growls, “Send me a man that will fight, and if you win, we will be your servants, but you’re not going to win. You’re just a little kid. I’II feed you to the birds. Do you think you can fight me?”. There is really no way. There is no way he could’ve done what he’s gonna do. NO WAY! He’s not even half as big as him. Is he going to go over and clean him up? No way! The key is, David didn’t know the strength of Goliath, he knew the strength of his God.

It’s not important for us to look at the impossible situation of 94%. It’s important that we look at a God that made every one of those people out there. If we look at the impossibilities of it like the other Israelites did there was no way that they could help King Saul
and God, but David looked at his God. Let me tell you what, when you are busy taking care of sheep it’s a whole lot easier to have confidence in God. If you are up there worrying about warring with the devil, you’re going to get scared. Teach a home bible study, tell your neighbor, preach in Sunday School, help somebody at the store where you work, tell the kids at school if you’re not in a Christian School. If you’re not in a Christian School tell the kids in your neighborhood. Christian school isn’t supposed to be a cloister. We had one sickness our sixth year and that was our biggest need; to get out kids out and doing something, not just being little duckies behind the other one. Now I love Christian School very much because the only thing you can take with you to heaven is your kids and you have to take them while they are like wet cement. You’ve sot to form them before they get hard. I’m 100% for Christian School, it’s important that in our training we train them to be progressive for God.

David put all of those little stones in his shepherd’s bag. You know one day the Lord looked down in the bubbling brook of this world
of sin and he saw you and me and he picked us out and put us in his shepherd’s bag. If it wasn’t for the church you and I wouldn’t have an opportunity to be as happy as we are in this old life. Thank God for the shepherd’s bag. You know after a while the rocks aren’t intended to
be in the shepherd’s bag, they’re intended to be in the sling.

You say, “Well why did David pick up five of them?”. It wasn’t because he was gonna miss four times that’s for sure. Some say it was probably Jesus or Faith, that makes good preaching but it’s not it. The reason he did it was because he knew Goliath had four brothers, he was gonna take care of them too, if they came after him. You can read about the sons of Anach in Samuel, go ahead look it up. David had great confidence in his God. He was gonna do a job for his Lord.

That’s where you and I are. We are in the bag and we need to be in the sling. What’s a stone for? It’s to be used. You see the Lord chooses
and makes us smooth. When the preacher is preaching or whatever is going on in the service and you know good and well what he’s saying doesn’t apply to Sam across the aisle. It’s not to Bill behind you or Mary in front of you, but it’s me oh Lord standing in the need of preaching. When you got somebody who will tell you and look you right in the eye and say listen, I love you but you’re wrong. You got a pastor and a group of ministers that love you enough to be concerned. You had better thank God for it because they’re trying to make you smooth because the fastest way to get from here to heaven is without any deflections. As you skip a smooth stone on water, God is gonna skip us from here to glory.

Look back at that one stone now. Now David had that sling wrapped around his finger and it came down to a pouch. He got one stone from the shepherd’s bag, put it in the sling and swung it around. David said, “You come to me with a sword and a spear, but I come to you in the name of the Lord”. David released the stone and Goliath fell flat on his face. Then David ran over, pulled out that four-foot sword and chopped his head off. He wasn’t gonna leave a seed for the devil.

Let me tell you ladies, if you keep your slacks in the attic until you are backsliding, you will. If you keep your dirty books men,
undercover, until you need them, you will. Get rid of it. Serve God with all your heart. Don’t let anything get in your life that shouldn’t be
there, because sin is a force and I don’t care who you are. Sin doesn’t care whether you sit on the platform or sit in the pew, sing in the
choir or play a horn. Sin doesn’t care if you’re a preacher or if you are someone in the church. It doesn’t care whether you’ve been saved
five minutes or fifty years. Sin is a force and you’ve got to conquer sin or it will conquer you. David, with the name of the Lord,
conquered Goliath by a sling and a stone. One stone went up in the air and the giant came tumbling down. I don’t want to just be sitting in the shepherd’s bag. I want him to put me in the sling. “What sling are you talkin’ about the preacher?” I’m talkin’ about the sling of the biggest need we have in the Windward Islands. It’s obvious to everybody that knows about Calvary that it’s missions minded.

Our biggest need is not money. the biggest need that we have in the Windward Islands is prayer by you. I’m sorry but I know what it’s like, it’s so easy to walk by the plaques and say, “Oh God bless the missionaries”, and say, “whew, took care of them all”. That’s like punching a computer; God’s not a computer. Our biggest need is this; we need five smooth stones. We need people who will pray for five minutes once a week for five years, for the five Windward Islands where we are going to be ministering, and the five Barcus’. Five smooth stones. I’m not asking you for an hour. I’m not asking for every day. Just once a week five minutes, for five years. You say, “Five years is
a long time”, it’s not that long. Believe me, good habits will bless you. Aren’t you glad whoever you are sitting next to bathes? They’re in
the habit of it. If you pray five minutes once a week you’ll be surprised how much of a blessing that will be. I encourage families together, Mom, Dad, and the kids, if it’s that way. Maybe you are a single parent. Maybe you aren’t married yet. Whatever the situation is that’s fine. I encourage families as a whole to get on their knees together. If you do it once a week for five minutes you can rest assured that it will bless you and help you and change you. You see because when we say, “Prayer changes things”, it’s not just talking about the things you’re praying about. The biggest thing it changes sometimes is the one that’s doing the praying.

I need your prayer because there are some things I can’t do. How in the world do I try to evangelize young men who strip themselves
except for a loin cloth and grease their black bodies until they shine and they put Viking type horns on their heads and they take long snakes and put them in their mouths and they chew on them till their guts come out and the blood is oozing down their chin? How do I walk up to one of them and say you need Jesus Christ? I’m gonna need some prayer. I’m gonna need more than a few dollars.

It’s easier to pay five bucks in the offering than it is to pray five minutes on your knees. If you’ve got to make choice between the two, I’d rather you pray. The biggest need we’ve got is for people to pray. God says in the book of Psalms that `he bottles up our tears’. I hope God’s bottling up people’s prayers and he puts them in a bank of prayer in heaven because I’m gonna need some withdrawals when I’m over there. There’s gonna be some things that I don’t know what to do with and I’m gonna need your help.

Five minutes, once a week, for five years. That’s not very much, but you’ll be surprised how an army of prayer warriors behind us can
make a difference in our lives.

Constant; every week we can rest assure that people are praying. This is what we’ll do for you, we’ll send back a little paper with our picture on it. Five smooth stones, Windward Islands. It will have the prayer names listed below. So what I need today is your name and the day of the week that you will pray. The way we propose to do this is, we have some faith promise cards that if you’ll use that to put your name and the day of the week you’ll pray for us, that will help us. Let me tell you something about prayer. Prayer is a miracle. It’s not just a one-sided conversation.

Missionary day for me when I was an evangelist, was Thursday. I’d have my trailer set up. I’d take a little extra time in the church to pray. I was praying in the Chicago church one day and I went down the list of missionaries, naming them off and just asking God to bless them in any way 1 could think of. As I was praying for these men and their families, I came to Jim Woods who was in Iran at the time. A burden came on me so heavy that I got up and I tried to call him on the telephone. I’d never called a missionary before, but I tried to. The operator
said that it would take three days to get a call through to Iran. So I said, “No thank you”. I just dropped it and went back to pray until the burden finally lifted. Some of you know what I’m talking about.

I met Bro. Wood a few years later at the Indianapolis Conference, and over dinner, I was talking to him and asking him what was going on back in that time. I named the time, it was March. He got to thinking and he remembered. He said, “Bro. Barcus, my daughter was dying. Sheila was on her deathbed, but the Lord healed her.” It was years before I ever found out that while I was so burdened, that it was that girl who was dying. I didn’t know it.

Let me tell you what, the PIM letters that we send you are never gonna be on time or fast enough for the need in the island. We are gonna have some folks who are tuned to the God who can see both directions. A God who looks here in Indianapolis and a God who is seeing the Windward Islands. He’ll know what the needs are and can touch your minds and he can touch your hearts and you can pray.

What a thrill it is because Jesus said, “Go ye unto all the world”, and if you can’t go in person then you need to go in prayer and purse.