Lessons from a King in the Making

Wisdom found in the story of David while he was on the path to becoming a king.

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14 David was the youngest. The three eldest followed Saul, 15 but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 For forty days the Philistine came forward and took his stand, morning and evening. 17 And Jesse said to David his son, “Take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to the camp to your brothers. 18 Also take these ten cheeses to the commander of their thousand. See if your brothers are well, and bring some token from them.”   

  19 Now Saul and they and all the men of Israel were in the Valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines. 20 And David rose early in the morning and left the sheep with a keeper and took the provisions and went, as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the encampment as the host was going out to the battle line, shouting the war cry. 21 And Israel and the Philistines drew up for battle, army against army. 22 And David left the things in charge of the keeper of the baggage and ran to the ranks and went and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, behold, the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, came up out of the ranks of the Philistines and spoke the same words as before. And David heard him.  24 All the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were much afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel. And the king will enrich the man who kills him with great riches and will give him his daughter and make his father’s house free in Israel.” 26 And David said to the men who stood by him, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And the people answered him in the same way, “So shall it be done to the man who kills him.”  28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.  31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”  1 Sam 17:14-37 ESV

Remain faithful in little – v14-15:  David was faithful in what he was already doing.  He was tending the sheep.  This was the task assigned to him by his father.  Even though his brothers left and went to follow Saul, David still went back and forth so he could continue doing his duty – tending his father’s sheep.  He didn’t forget the task his father had given him as he investigated the opportunity to kill Goliath.  Remain faithful to do what you’ve already been called to do as you explore new opportunities.

Age is not an obstacle – v14:  Age is irrelevant to purpose.  David was the youngest of his brothers but he was the only one who continued to do as his father told him.  The only one who didn’t get caught up in the glamor or follow the crowd.  God will use you regardless of your age or inexperience as long as you are yielded to Him, ready to do as He asks.  What you may lack in life experience, God will make up for in wisdom.  He will give you wisdom to carry you in your calling.

Persevere in the face of a persistent giant – v16:  Your giant will consistently present himself.  Whatever it is you’ve had to overcome to get where you are – whether it’s insecurity, fear or lack – know that the issue will try to rear its ugly head time and time again, morning and evening  – for forty days.  Forty days was used to denote ‘a reeeeally long time’ in the Bible.  You will have to persevere despite the tenacity of your problems if you want to live on purpose.  No matter how long it takes, no matter what scare tactics the enemy uses, keep pushing towards your purpose.

Obey your Father – v17:  David was obedient to his father.  Show me someone who can’t submit to authority and I’ll show you someone who is going nowhere. David’s father chose to use him because he was obedient.  When you are faithful in the little things and careful to do as your Father has said,  He will send you to places you’ve never been before.  To places you never imagined!

Don’t forget the sheep you left behind – v20:  David made provisions to ensure his sheep were taken care of as he went to fulfill his purpose.  He didn’t just abandon his sheep.  He didn’t scornfully cast the sheep aside as he pursued his calling.  He made sure that they were still cared for.  That they were in capable hands.  Ensure that you make provisions for continuity of whatever you started as God moves you into a new season.  Be sure that the duties you leave behind are in capable hands.

Show honor where honor is due – v22:  David ran to greet his brothers regardless of how they treated him.  He honored them because of their position in his life.  They were his older brothers so he honored them.  It’s that simple.  Don’t wait for people to be deserving of it before you give the honor they are due.  If you are faithful in this, it will keep you humble as God takes you into the presence of kings…into purpose.

Why not you? – v28:  There will be those who will not rejoice with you as you move into your purpose.  Those who feel you aren’t qualified…and they may be right!  But God uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise and the weak things to shame the strong (1 Cor 1:27). They misunderstand that the blessing they see came at a high cost.  They may feel jealous and confused about how you got where you are.  Some will even try to belittle you to remind you of your past, to intimidate you and stir up doubt in your heart.  When they ask, “Why you?”, let your response be, ” Why not me?”.

Turn away and speak God’s Word – v30:  David turned away from his brother when he mocked him and questioned his motives.  You  may have to disconnect from a few negative people to protect the thing that God is doing in your life.  You have to turn away from the voices of fear and doubt and keep your eyes fixed on the vision God has given you.  Write down Bible-based declarations regarding what God has said to you and repeat them often.  You have to use your voice to declare God’s Words and cancel out the voices of naysayers.

Your testimony is your resume – v33-36:  The trials you’ve overcome by God’s grace are the reason you’ve been chosen for the task.  So when you’re tempted to think of all the reasons you can’t or why you’re not good enough, remember that God has prepared you.  When life asks you why you should have the ‘job’, be ready to declare all that God has done.  Speak of how He qualified you through every hardship and test He helped you to overcome.  He used every experience to mold you and shape you to make you ready for the task.

God will do it…trust Him – v37: Be confident in God’s work in and through you.  Trust that the God who brought you this far is faithful not to leave you now.  Remember He is the One who will fulfill His purpose through you.  He is faithful to complete the good work HE started in you.  Take comfort that the outcome rests in God’s capable hands.  Let the certainty that it is God working through you to accomplish His plan embolden and empower you.


Love & Blessings,

Less Trodden






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