Pasture Faithful – Battlefield Ready

Lessons from the story of David and Goliath

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32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”  33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”   Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”  38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.  “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.  1 Samuel 17: 32-40 NIV

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.  1 Samuel 17: 45-50 NIV

 

I love David’s spirit!  We could really learn a lot from how he handled Goliath.  Even when David was given valid reasons for why he couldn’t fight Goliath, he knew God had prepared him for that very moment.  You see, David was the unlikely choice in the eyes of man.  He was the youngest of his brothers.  He was not a trained soldier.  He spent his time tending his father’s sheep.  Not quite the resume you pull out when applying for the job of killing an angry giant right?!

One great thing about David was that he didn’t put his confidence in his abilities.  He was confident because he knew God had prepared him for the task.  He didn’t despise the pasture.  So God could use him on the battlefield.  David knew that as he faithfully tended his father’s sheep, God was preparing him for something greater.  So he trusted God and stayed the course.  And at the right time, he launched out into what God had for him.  David had been trained in the art of fighting large animals.  He knew that each time he had to fight a lion or bear to keep his sheep safe, that it was God who had rescued him.  He knew who the real hero was.  And that’s why God could use him on the battlefield.

Being used on the battlefield, on the front line, to kill a giant many others tried and failed to do, could really make someone puffed up.  So God started David off, not with Goliath, but smaller things.  Lions and bears.  God chose to teach him in the pasture, caring for sheep, to make him ready for the battlefield.  He trains us in the obscurity of the pasture to give us the humility to handle the limelight of the battlefield.  So when Goliath came along, David was ready.  Not only to fight Goliath, but to give God all the glory for the victory, of which he was sure.

David was also careful to run his own race.  After trying on Saul’s armor, he realized he was deviating from the way God had trained him to fight.  You see, with the best of intentions, Saul put his own armor on David.  A king’s armor is a very personal thing.  Customized and tailored to his exact measurements.  Saul’s armor was made for him, not David.  And as soon as David put it on, he knew it wasn’t for him.  He knew that trying to walk in someone else’s shoes only slows you down.  He knew that God had equipped him for the task.  He knew he was able in God’s strength to overcome Goliath.  He didn’t need to put his faith in metal like the other men did.  His faith was not in the systems of men.  David put his faith in God.  He knew he was anointed for the task and so went boldly to face his largest opponent ever!

David was victorious because he not only knew who he was, but because he knew who went with him.  He trusted the God who had delivered him from death time and time again, to do the same for him on the battlefield.  He was unwavering in his faith though the stakes were much higher.  He did things God’s way instead of leaning on his own understanding.  David was careful to give God the glory every step of the way.  Goliath had all the natural weapons to defeat David.  But David had the greatest weapon of all – the name of the Lord God Almighty!

May we all stand boldly against our own giants, knowing that God has prepared us, equipped us and goes with us into battle.  May we run our own race, knowing that we each have been trained uniquely by God for whatever He’s called us to do.  We don’t need to try to fit anyone else’s mold…wear anyone else’s armor.  May we all remain faithful in the pastures yielding to God’s strategic and patient training.  So that at the right time, we can be ready to conquer our giants and give God the glory.  Today may we go forth declaring victory like David, before it manifests, because we know that with God on our side, victory is sure!

 

Love & Blessings,

Less Trodden

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