Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 8 August 2013
Page 15

Wisdom's Corner

David’s Sling

Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorterIn 1 Samuel 17, we have the account of David killing Goliath. Goliath was a giant Philistine warrior. He came out of camp every day for forty days and challenged any Israelite warrior to meet him in battle. None of the Israelites would do so. David heard the challenge and wanted to do something about it. Eventually, he went out to meet Goliath with nothing but his sling and some small stones. He brought Goliath down with an accurate rock thrown into Goliath’s forehead.

Unbelievers say this story is ridiculous. They laugh to think that a young man could be so accurate with a sling in the heat of such a moment. The Bible tells of 700 Benjamites who could sling stones at a hair’s breadth and not miss (Judges 20:16). “There was a regiment of slingers in the Assyrian army, and another in the Egyptian army, and they could cast a stone with as much precision and force as now can be hurled shot or shell. The Greeks in their army had slingers who would throw leaden plummets inscribed with the irritating words, ‘Take this’” (Talmage quoted in the 1920 Peloubet’s Select Notes on the International Sunday School Lessons, p. 207). David was a shepherd. He needed to use his sling to defend the sheep. It is not silly to believe that he was very skilled in using a sling. The Bible is accurate. The Bible tells us the truth, and David had one more thing on his side in being accurate with his sling. He had God on his side. God was with David as he went to battle with Goliath.

Study your Bible. Learn all you can from it. Obey God. Use your talents in His service. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Casting Lots

Robert Notgrass

In ancient days, several stones or perhaps precious gems called lots would have been cast or thrown from a clay jug to make important decisions. The casting of lots was a custom or rite used then to make important decisions, much as we practice drawing straws or flipping a coin today. Several examples of this practice occur in both the Old and New testaments.

In the Old Testament, lots were cast by the high priest to select the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:8‐10). This method was also used to divide the land of Canaan after its conquest under Joshua (Numbers 26:55-56; Joshua 14:2). Lots were further cast to select warriors to fight against the men of Gibeah (Judges 20:9-10) and apparently to choose Saul as the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 10:19-21). In addition, sailors on the ship bound for Tarshish, with Jonah on board, used lots to determine who had caused the stormy seas. In Jonah’s case, lots were used to narrow down who was responsible for the storm. “And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.’ So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah” (Jonah 1:7). It was heathens who were casting the lots, but the indication is that God used the occasion to manipulate the results to show that Jonah was the cause. Thus, God did so because it furthered His purpose.

In the New Testament, Roman soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ garments (Matthew 27:35). After prayer, the apostles used lots to choose Mathias as successor to Judas (Acts 1:24-26). The disciples were trying to find a replacement for Judas Iscariot. They narrowed the possibilities down to just two people, but they could not decide between them. Thus, they prayed that Jesus would make the final decision and the disciples cast lots. They prayed, “‘You, O Lord who know the hearts of all, show which of these two you have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place” (Acts 1:15-16). “And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Mathias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:25). Keep in mind that either man would have been a good choice.

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