Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 16 – 17
Another Saturday, and to my surprise we are already at the end of March, so congratulations in keeping up the reading! For me, it is beginning to feel like my reading has become a part of my daily life that I look forward to. The thoughts and stories of men and women who lived normal lives like me seem to permeate my everyday life, popping up at unexpected moments with some valuable life lesson relevant to that moment of my day! Hopefully, this is happening for you too!
Today we have the famous story of a Bible character which remains well-known to this day! But first, Samuel, who is under God’s guidance, has to rise to the occasion to anoint David, the shepherd-boy, king! Not only does God tell him how to do the task, but quietly communicates to him that God doesn’t look for things like we do. He reminds Samuel that he looks at the heart. This sets Samuel back on track with his discernment and David is found and anointed! Found where? – Just doing his job as usual! Hopefully, the same will be true when God comes looking for me!
David serves Saul as harp-player, but he is also content to fade back into the background to tend sheep again. Notice that this happens so naturally that Saul (& Abner too!) has to wonder, who is this quiet shepherd boy? This is probably a good characteristic of someone serving well? Like an old man once said, “Serve others well, then move on!”
The lesson I come away with today is that when rightfully challenged with the query of why he would think he could fight a giant, he reverts back to foundational events in his life of encounters with a bear and a lion – 2 ferocious animals that one would not want to tangle with! Did you catch that he chased and killed them because of his sense of responsibility towards the duties he was trusted with? So I suspect that some of those trials and temptations which threatened to tear me to pieces like a bear or lion, when met with courage and help from my loving Lord, turn out to be stepping stones in my life to even greater challenges! David then proceeds to RUN at the giant! Am I reading wrongly the giant’s mind, (Was he thinking ‘what on earth is this weirdo doing?!?’ Now David’s skills which have been honed in private, are about to be put to use to produce a great public victory for God and the people of Israel. Only one of his five stones used but it hits its mark (100% proficiency?), following which, David takes Goliath’s sword, and as he has promised, chops off his head!
As I quietly ponder over the story, I find myself enjoying the part of cutting off the giant’s head (who doesn’t like doing that?!?), but I suddenly realize that perhaps the reason why I don’t have the confidence to RUN at the “Goliaths” of my life, is because I haven’t been handling the bears and lions in my private life. When no one else realizes what is happening to me or the fight I’m in, this is the most important time to stand firm because it’s the training ground for those emergencies later in life when ‘Goliath’ shows up! If I don’t have the experience which builds my confidence in God, than the fear of facing up to an unknown task or situation which I don’t particularly want to face becomes impossible to overcome!
Don’t forget to put the weapons of some ‘Goliaths’ in your life safely in YOUR OWN tent so that it may become a daily reminder of the God who said to Joshua, “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5