1 Samuel 17:47
“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.”
Here we see David a man of profound faith in God!
When the whole army of Saul is stupefied by the sight of Goliath, a mere shepherd boy comes up and proclaims the power of God of Abraham to people of Israel and march against the enemy.
I want to turn our attention today to the transformation of David from a Shepherd to a Warrior.
Stage1: Forgotten by Man but Chosen by God
In 1 Samuel chapter 16, we see the portion where Samuel chooses the family of Jesse out of the tribes of Israel. Jesse calls all his sons except for the youngest one who was doing his job of tending the sheep (1 Samuel 16:11). Probably, Jesse didn’t think David significant enough to be present in that assembly because of his age as well as his occupation. Jesse would have had no clue as to, ‘Why Samuel wanted to see David when there are my other sons so sturdy and fit to fight in the army of Saul? Why does he need this shepherd boy?’.
You may be forgotten by everyone else but God knows you by name and heart.
Stage 2: Anointed by the spirit of God
But God who looks at the heart wanted to anoint David. Even though his own father didn’t bother to call him, God summons for David and anoints the little one. Bible tells us that the spirit of God came mightily upon David from that day forward (1 Samuel 16:13).
Even though no one considers you important, God has called you for his purpose and He shall anoint you if you have a sincere heart to serve him.
Stage 3: Remains Faithful in His duty
But the interesting thing is that David doesn’t just go and go declare himself to be the king immediately after this incident. Instead, he continues with his profession until the time of God. But practically, we still see him to be a faithful shepherd rearing His sheep. The faithfulness and confidence of David is clear as David explains to Saul about the incidents of how he saved his animals from the wild animals,
1 Samuel 17:34,35,36,
“But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, 35I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”
David remains faithful to his job of taking care of his father’s sheep. Even though he was called into service by the king to play the tambourine he didn’t use it as an excuse to stop caring for his sheep. It says that he rushed back and forth from Saul to tend to his father’s sheep. David was a very faithful man who did his duties with great responsibility and care. As soon as he was anointed, he could have left the sheep and a do a show-off of what he has got. But instead, he remains in the place where he is placed at the moment and diligently continues his work until the appointed time of God. Even though he used to stay in Saul’s palace, he used to go back to Bethlehem from time to time to take care of his father’s Sheep. Also, when he had to go to meet his brothers, he left someone else in charge of the sheep and He never forsakes them (1 Samuel 17: 14,15).
God has placed us in this place for a purpose. And He expects us to be faithful in the duties that we have been given which might be our academics, workplace or anything else as it may be. No matter what other things we do, let us not forsake the primary duties on us. A lot of times we might feel ‘too busy’ to focus on other things, but it is not so. We need to sincerely pursue the work given by God unless and until it is no longer needed.
Stage 4: Become a Blessing
And incidentally, the spirit-filled David is brought to soothe the mind of Saul (1 Samuel 16:23). I’m sure David had no other magical powers other than the spirit of God living in him. The young man in Saul’s court gave a testimony of David that ‘the Lord is with him’ (16:18).
It is such a blessed testimony and how many of us would really say that about us?? I really wonder!
Stage 5: Facing the Enemy
As we read further in 1 Samuel chapter 17, we see a huge man named Goliath defy the Israelites and he was asking for a man to fight against him. The word of God says that Saul and all the Israel were dismayed and greatly afraid at this instance. Some time ago, Saul and his men were camped in the valley and drew up in battle array to encounter the Philistines. But when they saw this huge man they were literally scared. When the city of Jabesh was held captive and threatened, Saul filled with the spirit of God went and rescued them (1 Samuel 11:11). But now the same Saul is terrified of fighting a giant.
At that moment they couldn’t think of God’s power nor had any courage to go against Goliath in the name of God.
So are we! We make big plans and go out to fight. But as we face the reality of the problems, many times we feel taken back and stand stupefied. And we don’t know what to do.
Now turning to David, he is not even a bit afraid of Goliath, the gigantic Philistine taunting the armies of the living God. He says that he has even killed a lion and a bear and why not Goliath? It’s interesting to see His faith in God and He is so sure that God will accomplish it for Him. His brother tries to put him down but he is so sure of what he wants to do and what he trusts in that he doesn’t quit his talk easily.
We also should have a spirit that is not put down easily. And we can achieve that only if we can believe in God just like this young man David. We should be assured of His grace and then we can rest in His confidence.
Stage 6: Simple Humble but Lifted High
David makes up his mind to against Goliath by himself and the news reached the ears of Saul. Saul tries to give David his own military dress with all protection but David doesn’t feel comfortable in it and he immediately disagrees to wear it. He follows his own simple and humble style of killing as he chooses the smooth stones from the brook (1 Samuel 17:37-47).
Many times, we try to randomly copy other people’s lifestyles even within spiritual circles instead of seeking God and understanding His will about us. And we may end up being not satisfied with life. It’s important to ask and understand from God what he really wants each of us to do and he wants us to be used.
Indeed, it is impressive to see the confidence with which David runs to the battle line and shot the sling. He is indeed a spirit filled man anointed by God! He conquers the Philistine with just a sling and a stone (1 Samuel 48-58).
What would I have done? Would I run away when I see the Philistine approaching me? Most of the time, we try to run away from the situations we are not comfortable in and we forget that we serve a living God.
Stage 7: To a Warrior
David was a young shepherd tending his father’s sheep but God chooses him to be the king and places a much greater purpose in his life. God uses Saul himself (who would otherwise have killed him if he knew Samuel anointed David as King) to place him as the head of the men of war.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
1 Peter 5:6
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
David is humble and faithful in the places allotted to him and God raises him to be a leader at the right time. David achieved all this because he was a man of God anointed by the spirit of God and nothing else. Let us not trust in ourselves but on God! Goliath thought that he was the best, and nothing in the world could defeat him, that’s the reason why he challenged the nation of Israel. If he was wise, he should know that there must be always someone stronger than him. God looks at our heart, He knows all our desires and intentions. So, no matter what the world would think about you, God knows who you are, all our strengths and weaknesses. We need to seek God for His direction and trust Him. Let’s make an attempt to move ahead in life and fight for Christ!
Credits : Aashish Prateek, Karen Nimmy Stephen, Imrong Ikr, Feba Varghese