In the last entry, we read about those who scouted the land for 40 days … as I re-read the entry, I found myself thinking, "it doesn’t seem to have a whole lot to do with David" … but actually, I finally came to the conclusion that it was a good introduction point. And so today as I began to read on, thinking I knew which thread to follow in this story, I was suddenly hit by a surprise in the words found in
1 Samuel 17:16 …
“And the Philistine drew near morning and evening and presented himself for forty days.”
I stop and catch my breath … 40 days ... again! "Where are You leading me today, L-RD?" So … there is a thread I am trying to follow as I search and seek the way He is leading … it is different to where my thoughts began this morning, so bear with me as we journey together … this is by no means a fast track forward, but much more the scenic route. Let us see what treasure we can find in the scriptures as we explore some of the life of David … the shepherd boy who would become king!
Remember what we said about the number 40 and its biblical significance? It represents a time of testing, a time of preparation and leadership and the harbinger of something new. A harbinger simply means a forerunner or foreshadow of what is to come. Let us look at some of the examples where 40 was significant in these contexts:
These may be only a few examples, but in all of these things … can I ask you ... what do you think … Was G-d doing a new thing? A harbinger of something new … a new beginning for G-D’s people?
Can we see the preparation for a new generation of leaders?
Those who seek to remain faithfully obedient and not bow down to foreign gods … a faithful remnant of G-D’s people! I am sure those of us who are walking closely with Him today are recognising the great need for G-D fearing leadership in today’s generation … my heart cries out …
“Where are they L-RD?! Abba Father … will YOU raise up a new generation of people who will stand in the gap for Israel and BE SEEN as YOURS … YOUR holy and righteous people who have found favour in Your eyes as we walk faithfully with You … that we would SEE YOU DO SOMETHING NEW IN OUR MIDST!!!" AND MY HEART CRIES OUT IN THIS WORLD OF FALSEHOOD WITH ALL ITS FALSE WORSHIP AND IDOLATRY … WITH ALL ITS FALSE PROPHETS AND FALSE TEACHERS … EVERYTHING WITHIN ME CRIES OUT FROM THE DEPTHS OF MY SOUL, CUTTING THROUGH RIGHT TO MY VERY SPIRIT … THE VERY WORDS OF ELIJAH IN
1 KINGS 18:36-37…
“L-RD G-D OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND OF ISRAEL, LET IT BE KNOWN THIS DAY THAT YOU ARE G-D IN ISRAEL!!! And that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, L-RD. Answer me, so this people can know that You are the L-RD G-d, and You have turned their heart back again.
My prayer is that Your fire will fall and consume the burnt sacrifice of my life … the wood , the stones, the dust … that out of the ashes in which I find myself ... YOU would create something truly beautiful that the world would SEE YOU!!! AND FALL ON THEIR FACES AND PROCLAIM … “HE IS G-D. THE L-RD, HE IS THE G-D!”
Did I say this was going to be about David?! I did tell you this would be the scenic route *giggle* … so … let us turn our eyes back to David, if we can.
I believe David was being tried and tested … prepared for leadership even before Samuel arrived in obedience to the L-RD to anoint him for the place G-D had prepared for him as king over the kingdom. It warms my heart so much to read that David was actually keeping the sheep … I find it amazing that Moses also was tending to sheep before the L-RD called him to step into the leadership role He already had prepared for him. I have often felt that one of the keys to Godly leadership is to have a heart for G-D's sheep - a heart for His people. It calls to mind another place in scripture that is very dear to my heart … Yeshua asks Peter three times, “do you love Me?” And each time, the L-rd speaks to Peter about feeding and tending to His lambs/sheep … and He goes on to tell him something of the cost he would pay for following Him whole-heartedly. John 21:15-19
We live in a world where so many want everything yesterday … a world that is “instant,” where self-gratification rules … where “we should have a right to do whatever we want whether it be beneficial or not, whether it be constructive or not” to the human soul or those around us; so many want bigger and better before ever having learned to manage the smaller things they have already been given. We would do well to take heed of Yeshua’s teaching on what it is to be a faithful and wise steward … I would encourage us all to read it again … it is actually quite something … finishing with these words: “And to everyone to whom much was given, much will be sought from him, and to whom He entrusted much, He will ask him more.”
You see, there was something that struck me while reading about David and his going out to visit his brothers on the battle field … his eldest brother asked him “why did you come here?” And then accuses him of just wanting to watch the battle. That is after he questions what he has done with the few sheep in the wilderness? One has to wonder whether David’s brave response to the men in 1 Sam. 17:26 caused his brother to feel a little intimidated or even jealous? What was his reason for questioning David’s motives in coming? He was the youngest brother … was there a little bit of “who do you think you are anyway” going on? Whatever the case may be, I find it incredible that David who was keeping those few sheep, the man who G-D says was after His own heart … he was the very same man who ended up leading the many sheep of Israel!
We could even look at it another way ... could it be possible that HaShem might even be saying to some today, "what have you done with the few sheep in the wilderness?" There are some who become so focused on becoming what is known as a "mega church" ... longing to have huge numbers of people who will make up their congregation ... but the question begging to be asked is this: "what have you done with the few?" Have we been found to be trustworthy with the little so that we can then be trusted with much?
David was tried and tested … proved and found to be trustworthy with the little as he tended to his father's sheep. And yet, there he stood ... looking upon the experienced warrior of Goliath ... did he see his hugeness? Or how intimidating he was? It seems not! All it appears he saw was the faithfulness of the One who had rescued him from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear during his time of tending sheep ... 1 Samuel 17:37. This young shepherd had every confidence in the G-D of Israel to rescue him from the hand of the Philistine just as He had rescued him in times of the past. As we know, David became trusted with much as the L-RD prepared him to take his place as king. Yes, David made mistakes thereafter but even then, the scriptures tell us that he was a man after G-D's own heart. I have often wondered why ... what was it precisely about David's heart that was after G-D's own? I am not sure I can give a definitive answer, but I am often pointed in the direction of Psalm 51 - a psalm of David after he had sinned with Bathsheba. David recognised that his sin was against G-D alone and he sought forgiveness and cleansing ... that ultimately his relationship with G-D would be restored. And then I was pointed in the direction of Acts 13:22 which says ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ Is it that David was a man who would still seek with his whole heart to do ALL G-D's will? A man who was willing to go the full distance with Him no matter what ... no matter how fierce the battle, no matter what mistakes he made or how many times he fell, was it that he was determined to continue to seek the full will of G-D in His life? I am inclined to think this is what made him a man after G-D's own heart ... what say you?
“From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior - Yeshua HaMashiach!
* Coming soon ...
"A Pure Heart" - the history of David & Bathsheba and
"5 smooth stones" that can bring down giants in our lives!
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