1 Samuel 16 – 18
Alright, I confess! I may have more than a slight obsession with King David as well. I mean, there are just so many admirable characteristics which he possesses which I myself desire to portray. On my last post, I expounded on the Spirit of Excellence. If you have not read it as yet, I urge you to first read before you scroll any further since I shall further delve in the matter. Since my message is a rather long one, I have opted to turn it into a series.
The hoary-haired prophet scrutinized the line of boys one by one. The sons of Jesse were strapping and mighty fine-looking lads. Choosing who was going to be the next king of Israel was not going to be an easy task for Samuel. However, despite their handsome appearance, God rejected them because unlike people who look at the outward appearance “the Lord looks at the heart”. After inspecting each of the seven young men, Samuel turned to Jesse.
“The Lord has not chosen any of these,” Samuel commented to the anxious father. “Are these all the sons you have?”
“Well, there is still the youngest,” Jesse replied wiping the beads of sweat from his forehead. “But he is out in the field watching the sheep and goats.”
“Well, what are you waiting for?” Samuel gruffly inquired. “Send for him at once! We are not going to eat until he arrives.”
Without a moment’s delay, Jesse sent out for his son. Alone in the verdant meadows, David strummed his harp. The dulcet melody harmonized with the bleating of the sheep that he was watching. However, the moment of serenity was disrupted by the urgent message from his father. Handing over the sheep to another shepherd’s care, he raced to the family meeting. He was rather startled to see the prophet. Samuel stared at him keenly. David was a handsome fellow – a radiant tanned complexion, sanguine cheeks, chiseled features, scintillating eyes. Yet, there was something else that distinguished David from his older brothers.
“This is the one,” the Lord pointed out to Samuel. “Anoint him.”
As David stood among his brothers, Samuel took out his flask of olive oil and anointed David with it. The bystanders gazed and gaped in awe. God had just publicly announced that He had chosen David. Thus, the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David from that day on.
Trust in His Timing
Okay, hold up, so God just chose a shepherd boy to be king?
What on earth was He even thinking!? Watching over sheep?
Not the most fascinating profession – rather mundane I would say. However, David maximized these seemingly trivial moments to their fullest.
In one of his sermons, Pastor Bill Wilson pointed out that David was “nurtured in silence”. Plus, as per Jewish history books, David was considered an “illegitimate” child. As a result, he was considered and treated like an “outcast”. However, this only drew him closer to God. Rather than sulking that his father did not recognize his potential, he used this time as an opportunity to spend time with God and writing songs. I find it strange that, before God publicly exalts someone, He first hides him in order to prepare him. It is somewhat like our word for the year “Prepare to be Established”.
Preparation is vital. For example, Jesus had to wait thirty years before He Himself performed miracles. As the saying goes, “timing is everything”. I know that “waiting” seems tedious and exasperating (trust me, I do!), especially in our fast-paced world. We want everything “now”. However, reminiscing, I am thankful regarding certain scenarios that I had “waited”. If I had not, I would have made a complete fool of myself – God knew that “my time had not yet come”, so to say. Even in the corporate world, failed market products are the ones that have not completely undergone the testing period. You see, sometimes we feel we reached and are ready even though we only fulfill a part of the “quality criteria”.
As advised in James 1:4 (AMP), “And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” Our God is a perfectionist. He wants everything to be just right! He does not want the world to see a sloppy job. Thus, He makes us wait. After all, we are supposed to represent Him. Therefore, as instructed by Peter in 1 Peter 5:6 (NLT), “Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor.” Thus, do not grow weary of the preparation period. God hides us before He shows us off! Then, He alone gets the glory that He rightfully deserves!
In addition, David took his responsibility very seriously. In fact, he guarded the fleeced flock with his life! Sometimes, there were either lions or bears who would steal a lamb. David would have none of that! In fact, he would grab a club and rescue the lamb from the mouth of the beast! If the predator ever decided to turn on him, he would grab it by his jaw and club it to death! As you can see, he took his job very, VERY seriously.
In the early spring of 2017, Pastor Bill would often tell us interns, “Your commitment must be stronger than your emotions.” I cannot say the exact statement crossed David’s mind, but I do know that he displayed it perfectly. He was not going back to dad crying, “Papa, I lost one of the lambs because a lion attacked the herd – I had no choice.” Rubbish! Pastor Bill would also tell us interns, “You don’t call in sick – you crawl in sick”. That was the mentality David had! He was going to use all he had just to retrieve that one lamb, even if it meant risking his own life. Wow – don’t you just see Jesus in Him? Jesus used every drop of His Own blood to save us from the jaws of death! He did not have to, but He chose to. “His commitment was stronger than His emotions.” By doing so, David was passing the tests God had assigned for him. In Luke 16:10 (NLT), Jesus reveals, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” It is “private victories before public ones”.
God watched David faithfully watching over the sheep. Therefore, He knew that he could trust David to faithfully watch a nation. As stated in Psalms 78:70-71 (NLT), “He chose his servant David, calling Him from the sheep pens. He took David from tending ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants – God’s Own people, Israel.” And guess what? Despite knowing that he was next in line for the throne, he did not get puffed up – he was not expecting royal treatment. Even after being anointed, he was back watching those sheep. Don’t you admire his dedication and his sense of duty? Yes, he knew he was one day going to wear a crown and all. Yet, he knew that his present place was with his father’s sheep. It is somewhat in line in with another of Pastor Bill’s saying: “Do what you know, and then you will know what to do”. Sometimes, we jump ahead of ourselves. We humans are flighty beings at times. Psalm 32:9 (NLT) warns us, “Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” You see, the psalmist is trying to communicate an important principle. A mule, which is an offspring of a female mare, has to be incessantly prodded in order budge. Being like a mule means that God has to force you to move by pulling your reins toward where he wants you to go. Whereas, a horse behaves quite the opposite. As an equestrian, I have perceived horses as easily excitable. Here, God has to force us to halt by tightly pulling back the reins. The problem with being like a horse is that when we get excited we get way ahead of ourselves; as a result, we move in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. If we move impulsively in a timing not ordained by God, we are entirely liable for making mistakes. As per Proverbs 19:2 (NLT), “Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.” So, don’t go about having that YOLO attitude unless you want to burn your fingers. In Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT), King Solomon notes, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” In Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT), he continues, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” Only when something is done in God perfect timing is it guaranteed to have splendid results. It’s like baking a brownie. If you pull it out of the oven early, you have a raw batter – not good. If you take it out late, you have a burnt square thingy – not good either. You will have the perfect brownie when you pull it out of the oven at the right timing.
Am I making you crave brownies? In that case, order one from “3D Designs”
– I’m messing with you!
Well, you get the point. How do we know God’s appointed timing? Just like in my delicious brownie example, you need to hear the alarm ring. In John 10:27 (NLT), Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” God does not want us to be like a horse or mule – He does not want to play tug-of-war. However, He has called us to be His sheep. David knew God had a purpose for his life and trusted in Him. Later on, in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT), he instructed his son Solomon likewise, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” For now, David knew that his place was still by his sheep. King-to-be or not, he did not mind getting his hands dirty. Pastor Paul Chase noted that its “pastures before palaces”. A proverb states that “if serving is below you, leadership is beyond you”.
Are you faithful in those “little” things? How serious are you? Do you maximize those seemingly little moments to their potential? Remember, every moment is God-given. You must treat it with the reverence it deserves. Yet, discern the time – wait for His signal. Don’t jump ahead of God.
To be continued…