Balanced Life

Vocation: How God Prepared David to Battle Goliath

In a previous post, I talked about how we are called to pursue excellence in all the stewardships that God has given us. We tend to neglect the smaller areas that we feel aren’t as glamorous – but if we aren’t faithful in those “small” tasks, how can we ask for God’s blessings in other areas of our life?

I want to continue that thought today by taking another look at one of the most well-known biblical stories. God worked through seemingly insignificant responsibilities to prepare David for greater things.

Lions and Bears

When we talk about David and Goliath, we often start with Goliath challenging the Israelites or with David coming to the camp. But that’s not where the story begins.

1 Samuel 17: 33 – 37
And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

David was a lonely shepherd boy out on the hills, given the undesirable task of tending to the sheep. But rather than sulk or daydream of a bigger and better life, David performed his duties to the best of his ability.

He was faithful in his vocation as a shepherd. Little did he know that his run-ins with bears and lions were God’s way of preparing him for much more.

Not a Sling, But Faith

And here’s something very important: Notice how David was prepared for Goliath. The text doesn’t mention shepherding as a chance to hone his sling skills. Instead, overcoming the wild beasts led David to know more about God and to have stronger faith in him as a deliverer.

That opens the door wide for the ways that God can mold and equip us. God can use a job experience to show truth to us that we can use in parenting. God can use our financial faithfulness to prepare our hearts to make disciples.

He can use any area of our life to teach us more about him: knowledge which can prepare us for trials in a totally different area of our life.

We can’t figure that out. We can’t determine which areas are OK to neglect and which ones we need to pay attention to.

We just have to be faithful stewards of the time and the responsibilities that he’s given us.

Are we as diligent and courageous as David in each area of our lives? Could it be that the very tasks we look down on as unimportant are the ones that God is using to mold us into a more effective tool for his service?

How has God used your faithfulness in previous responsibilities to prepare your for where you are now?

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