With all that is going on in the world at the moment, it feels like we find ourselves facing difficult times. But perhaps we could learn and take comfort from something from the past; by turning back into the Old Testament and taking a look into the early part of the story of David.
We read in 1 Samuel 16 of Samuel being prompted by God to go to Bethlehem to find and anoint the next King. To avoid retaliation from King Saul, God encouraged Samuel to take a sacrifice to hide his original intention. As the people gathered for the sacrifice to the Lord, Samuel was expecting God to indicate which of Jesse’s sons to anoint. They arrived at the sacrifice but none of Jesse’s sons that were present ticked the box. So, Samuel asked if there were any other sons of Jesse. Although Jesse considered David of no consequence, he was summoned from the fields. The rest is history: David was the Lord’s man and Samuel duly anointed him.
David may have been a humble shepherd and of no standing in Jesse’s family, but, as we are to discover, the Lord had great plans for David’s future.
David initially made a name for himself when visiting the army’s camp to take food to his brothers. David learnt that Goliath was giving the army a hard time. He approached Saul and volunteered to accept Goliath’s challenge. Saul gave his own tunic and armour to David. But David could not cope with the armour and took it off. Clothed in his simple clothes, he took his staff and sling and spent time with God as he collected his five stones. Then, David confronted Goliath in the Name of the Lord.
So, what can we learn from David’s story?
David, the humble shepherd rejected the tunic and armour of Saul, not allowing himself to be encumbered by the expectations of the time. As he walked into the Valley of Elah and knelt by the brook to pick up his stones, he was also spending time with God. Going into battle, spirit-filled with God’s empowerment, not in fear of Goliath.
And so, here is the challenge: do we trust in God’s plan for us? Or do we focus on meeting the expectations of people around us instead?
David was able to do this. But can we?
Joan and Michael Winwood are both PF volunteers based in North Wales involved in numerous programmes including Sycamore Tree and Chaplaincy Support.
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