34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock,
35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death.
36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God!
37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”
1 Samuel 17:34-37 (NLT)
I am breaking my norm today. Instead of moving on with the story, I am doing a deeper study on the previous story because there is a lot of lessons, which we can benefit from. When David first asked Saul for his permission to confront Goliath, the answer he got was a straight “no”. The reason was simple. Saul did not want David to die. There was no way in the natural for a boy like David to defeat a giant warrior like Goliath.
David did not give up. He persuaded and convinced the king that he was not new to fighting. In his job as a shepherd he had fought lions and bears. According to David, when a lion or a bear came to steal a lamb, David would run after it to rescue the lamb. It the lion or bear turned to attack, David would catch it by the jaw and club it to death.
This passage gives us a new perspective on a relative boring part of David’s early life as a shepherd. If we are to see David’s life biography as a huge jigsaw puzzle picture, I am sure the part of him as a shepherd must look like an insignificant piece. However, the truth is without this piece the rest would not have existed.
It was during his job as a shepherd that David had developed his faith and fighting skills. His faith must have caught God’s attention that had resulted in him being chosen as a king. Otherwise, his dynasty would never have started. His courage, confidence and fighting skills were developed when he was fighting lions and bears. In other words, if David had never fought lions and bears, he would never be in position to fight Goliath. He would never be a legend. His highest achievement would be the king’s musician and armor bearer.
David must also be very serious in his job as a shepherd. When a lion or a bear came to steal a lamb, David did not run away and hide somewhere. If he did, it will be understandable. After all, how can you expect a boy to fight lions and bears? At the same time, David would have never learned how to fight. His daddy did not send him to any martial arts school. I doubt if there were any in that region in the first place. This means David’s commitment in his job had made the difference in the later part of his life.
How are we going to apply this principle in our lives?
Being a shepherd in those days was not very glorious. It came with heavy responsibility, hard work, dangerous working environment and bad pay. In David’s case, I don’t think he was paid at all. His daddy must have wanted to save cost.
I am sure there are many of the equivalents of shepherds in today’s world. We call those “dead end jobs”. You may be in one yourself. Are you in a job where you have a lot of responsibilities, have to work hard but got very little pay? If you are, you are not the only one. David had been through those as well. Yet God had turned the entire situation to his advantage. David became a great king. If God could do that for David, he can do the same for you especially if you are a Christian. Please note that David was not even a Christian.
So, what must we do when we are in the equivalent of a shepherd’s job. The first thing to do is to think positive. Stop focusing on the bad environment, low pay and how unfair it is. Focusing on the negative will get us no where. We must always remember that God is on our side. There is nothing he wishes more than for us to prosper and be in health as our souls prosper. He even sent Jesus to die poor for us to live rich.
Why then is God not doing something to get you out of this bad situation? The truth is, God is doing something right now. We cannot see it now because God is working behind the scenes. The seemingly bad situation you are in right now must be an important piece of jigsaw puzzle God is using for your future prosperity. So, you your job well and learn whatever needs to be learned. As long as you keep believing and don’t give up, you will see your prosperity manifesting before your eyes.
If there are lions and bears coming to steal the lambs, go after them even if you think your salary is too low for you to justify such actions. It does not matter even if you don’t get a bonus out of the extra efforts that you have put in. God knows what he is doing. Those extra efforts could be the vital pieces of jigsaw puzzle that will give birth to your great prosperity in days to come. How long will it take? If you are prepared to keep standing and don’t give up, it will not take very long. The day will come when you will walk up to Goliath and get his head.
Your days of prosperity, health and success will come very soon. Don’t ever let go of those pieces of jigsaw puzzle.