Updated: Aug 20
“Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock of your inheritance, who dwell alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land; let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.” Micah 7:14 (ESV)
Most of us know the story of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 16 –18. To set the scene, the faithful shepherd who had been anointed king of Israel boldly stands up to face this Philistine giant, takes off the armor, picks up his shepherd’s staff along with five smooth stones and his slingshot in hand (1 Samuel 17:40).
Let’s pause a moment to remember some background knowledge about David. He had served most of his young life as a shepherd and the occasional harp player for King Saul. Looking at David’s early life, we might view him just like the Israelites did, and we could forget that David had been defending sheep by fighting off bears and lions with his bare hands. We forget that David had already been anointed king. We forget that David had been preparing for this battle all of his life.
After reading through this story recently, I want to bring out something that was new to me and caused me to pose this question: Why did David bring his staff with him to the battle?
David is commonly known as “the man after God’s own heart” because despite all he faced, he never left God out, and that day on the battlefield was no exception.
Before David even took his place to physically fight he declared, “You come to me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted”(1 Samuel 17:45).
David knew what he brought to the battle. He did not need to bring the shepherd rod or Saul’s armor because he had the one thing that he needed to face this outside enemy: his faith.
After David was anointed king, he still needed to prepare in the pasture because it was not yet his time. He had all of those years of shepherding in what most people would call a dark place. Instead of dwelling on his position, he chose to spend time with God in a place of preparation so that he could be developed for his purpose. All of those years in waiting, what seemed like forever, led to this triumphant moment of victory. David’s character was refined because he chose to follow the call. He chose to walk in God’s authority in the pasture and in the battlefield. He chose to walk by faith and not by sight.
What about you?
Despite what your circumstances look like today, I encourage you to stop and lift your hands to the Lord to boldly surrender and declare your faith in Him to fight for you. Walk in the presence of the Lord by daily putting on His armor and declaring His faithfulness within every season and circumstance. God wants to partner with you to develop your character, purpose and calling just as he did with David.
“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9
May you thrive in His presence every day.