The thing David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul. Saul sent for him.
"Master," said David, "don't give up hope. I'm ready to go and fight this
Saul answered David, "You can't go and fight this Philistine. You're too young and inexperienced--and he's
been at this fighting business since before you were born."
David said, "I've been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb
from the flock, I'd go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I'd grab it by the
throat, wring its neck, and kill it.
Lion or bear, it made no difference--I killed it. And I'll do the same to this Philistine pig
who is taunting the troops of God-Alive.
God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the
bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.
Saul said, "Go. And God help you!"
Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and
belted his sword on him over the armor.
David tried to walk but he could hardly budge.
David told Saul, "I can't even
move with all this stuff on me. I'm not
used to this." And he took it all
Then David took his shepherd's staff, selected five smooth stones from the
brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd's pack, and with his sling in
his hand approached Goliath.
THINK: What one particular event, character, or
feature of the story stands out to you?
Take time to concentrate on that.
Are you drawn to David's courage?
Are you repulsed by Saul's disbelieving "God help you"? Maybe you're surprised when David rejects
Saul's armor. Consider what your own
reaction would be, and then consider how the characters in the story
reacted. As you meditate, allow God to
show you more about yourself, him, and the way life is.
course, David's courage intrigues me.
But to be honest, what stands out to me in this passage is what he tells
Saul. "I've been a shepherd,
tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from
the flock, I'd go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I'd grab it by the
throat, wring its neck, and kill it."
Not many weeks ago, our newest Pastor - Mr. Ryan Cox - gave a sermon on
James and referenced the part of David's life he spent as a shepherd. He was "just" a shepherd. So unimportant in the ways of the world that
when Samuel went looking for a man to replace Saul - who had fallen out of
favor with God - David's father, Jesse, didn't even bother to call him from the
field. He was the youngest of 8 and only
tended sheep. But, from this passage, we
can tell that "only tending sheep" had served him pretty well.
times, I overlook what I've been through, thinking that it's "just"
me. If I can do it, then anybody can;
so, what's the big deal. But, I'm coming
to realize that the things I've gone through have prepared me for my life so
far, and they will continue to do so for the rest of my life, if I learn the
lessons available at each stage.
always been surprised that David rejected Saul's armor. Why on earth would anybody do that? But, mostly that reaction stems from the fact
that I have always tried to hedge my bets and make my life as safe as I
possibly can. Why…when you have a
perfectly good set of armor, would you walk out onto a battlefield without it,
to fight a person - a giant - who has slain every soldier that has ever come up
against him. What I'm learning about
God, the longer I walk with Him, is that there is NO ROOM for a Plan B. God's way is the plan. Period.
He is THE WAY. Putting on a suit
of armor in order to satisfy some "just in case" notion is the same
as telling God, "Yes, I know you SAY you've got this, but I think I should
help you out some." What
arrogance! What pride! To think that God has so little control over
a situation He placed us in that He would need us to help Him. And if we needed to help him, would He be a
God worth worshipping? Couldn't we just
find someone strong enough to help us if we couldn't do it ourselves?
PRAY/LIVE: Priest and author Henri Nouwen wrote,
"Make the conscious choice to move the attention of your anxious heart
away from [the] waves and direct it to the One who walks on them and says,
'It's me. Don't be afraid.'…Look at him
and say, 'Lord, have mercy.' Say it
again and again, not anxiously but with confidence that he is very close to you
and will put your soul to rest."
(To read the rest of the story, see John 6:16-21)
What do you feel anxious about, if
anything? What might happen if you
shifted your attention" away from [the] waves" and "to the One
who walks on them"? What concrete
thing could you do to help redirect your attention?
at this point in my life, I feel like I have plenty that I could be anxious
about. Oftentimes, I am, or rather, I
have been. FREQUENTLY. At times, I have given in to the helplessness
that threatens to overtake me, and I have spent the day (or two) whining in my
bed about how much I can't stand the way things have gone for me, for my
husband, and for our children. But…God
has been faithful. We are not just
making it. Given the circumstances, we
are thriving. It's hard to make sense of
it. It's hard to believe the words
coming out of my mouth even as I tell people that we really are fine, that we
are making it. But that's the
truth. God has not left our sides. He has led us through this and we are finally
to a point where none of us feels like this thing is going to define our
lives. Change them? Yes, absolutely. Change us?
How could it not? But, define
Defeat us? Absolutely not. So, when I'm done whining, I remind myself
that I have been through hard times before (none harder than this), and I made
it through, and had plenty of strength and faith to draw off of for later hard
times. I am convinced that this time
will be no different. But, this time, it
won't be because I have gritted my teeth and just endured. It will be because I have put my faith in the
One who has been leading us through this ordeal and who will continue to see us
through to the end.