Everyone knows that God chose a shepherd boy to slay a giant, but why a shepherd?
God chose David and displayed His glory through David’s life, making unconditional covenant promises, “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” (II Samuel 7:16) But why David?
David did not ‘score points’ with God by slaying Goliath or championing God’s honor in the face of scorners. God was watching what David was doing when no one else was watching.
Most of us know that David was the youngest son of seven and given the lowly job of tending sheep out in the fields. We’re familiar with his bravery, fighting lions and bears who attack the lambs. Who doesn’t want that courage and strength? I really believe though, that God’s eye was on much more…
David was outstanding in a job that nobody wanted. A shepherd extraordinaire who:
- never bragged or broadcasted his exploits. No one in his family seemed to highly regard David – he was initially excluded when his brothers were presented to Samuel. In fact, his father Jesse could say nothing about David except, “he is tending the sheep”. David’s fierce courage only became known when he sought to convince King Saul that he could slay Goliath.
- risked his life with no apparent motive for reward or acknowledgement or even possibility of promotion! No sheep would celebrate when rescued, neither would David receive an award, trophy, or bonus.
- worshiped God in the dark and lonely places, praising and exalting without audience or witness except God alone. Although gifted, David did not perform, he worshiped.
I believe there are such ‘young Davids’ in the Body of Christ who may risk their lives as a servant extraordinaire for their Father. They may also risk reputation, position, and livelihood and find themselves in lowly places but it doesn’t matter. They have a task at hand and will excel even when no promotion is possible, no one acknowledges or esteems them and in fact, no one is even watching. And out in that field they will worship, without choir, without musicians and without special effects.
Perhaps we won’t meet these brethren until we get to heaven and even then they may be far closer to God’s throne! There we may find caretakers to the infirm, single parents, elderly believers, disabled brethren…and some whose only ministry was to pray – and giants fell because of them!
Most everyone imagines being a hero, catching the applause, and receiving an award. Only the Lord though, can change hearts to be like this David’s – fixed to excel at whatever task the Father entrusts, a heart that worships the Lord with exuberance, just because He’s with us and worthy to be praised.
God bestows gifts and talents to us all, perhaps they come forth and bear fruit through faithfulness in those lonely fields. But this communion with God prepares us…when the giant looms overhead, when the enemy encroaches, when crisis arises we’ll know as David did: ‘victory is mine’!
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep….”
What a resume! What God is fashioning and refining in us may be unseen to the whole world but He gives life to the given gifts within us…and He will be exalted through them, even if no one else is watching.