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I Samuel 17:1-18:4

Interesting reading today indeed. It is fun and invigorating to see things in the text that I haven’t seen before. I had already observed in previous readings that David was not well liked by his family much less esteemed. After all, when Samuel came to his family’s home to anoint someone as king, David wasn’t even considered. He was only an afterthought after Samuel went through all the sons that were present only to discover that none were appointed by God. The rebuke to David by his older bother, Eliab, the one Samuel thought was the king because of his appearance, more than suggests that David was an embarrassment to them and bullied. “What have I done now?” is a response from someone who has been accused all of their life of doing something wrong. David was the butt of their “blame games.”

All of David’s time with his sheep shaped his character. His concern for the sheep would come to translate into concern for God’s people. His protection of those sheep would build him up to be a great warrior. No, there was not boot camp training in the building up of his body to handle the armor and all the weapons of war. He had no training in tactical warfare, no marching drills, no long hikes to build up stamina by carrying all his gear on his back. David had been trained by God and thus trusted God. David above all the men on that battlefield who were interestingly enough not in battle, though they carried the accoutrements of battle, had a relationship with God. God had his back.

Though Saul had David in his employ, he knew nothing about this young man. Yes, he may have known in his head David’s parentage and David by sight, but he didn’t know in his knowing who David was nor what David was about. I don’t think his family knew either. David’s defeat of Goliath shattered everyone’s perception of who David was. Like Jesus, David’s hometown reputation undercut his true value. Bad reputation, bad location etc, can cause us to be boxed into a role that everyone expects us to play; however, a relationship and fellowship with God will blow you out of that box. And let’s face it most will not like it. When our expectations of others are changed, we must do some things: change our perceptions and possibly apologize or keep trying to put that person back in the box we have created. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Can anything good come out of Brooklyn? Can anything good come out of Detroit, or South Central LA (California), or any place man has stated is useless, corrupted and defiled. Absolutely, YES! Our challenge is too see past our mental hang-ups and prejudgments and get to the true heart of the matter. Is God in the midst?

The story of David should empower everyone who was ever looked upon with contempt and called a failure. With God you can do anything, despised and rejected, yet Jesus was the light of the World. Will we close our eyes to that light either by rejecting to acknowledge there is light or look for another?

How humble was David! Once serving in the court of his king, he returned home to graciously tend his father's sheep. Not many men who at one time have been exalted can return to a humble existance!

"Before honor is humility". A lesson from David in this chapter of Holy Scripture.


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