1 Samuel 17:15
15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
1 Samuel 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
In all the years that I’ve read of David and Goliath, I never remembered making the connection between these two verses. It was like a laser zeroing in on this the other day. Is it possible that the attack of the lion and the bear occurred after David returned from Saul? I had always assumed that these events were unrelated to the other. I do not know the answer to that, but, what if they weren’t?
David had been anointed. He had also been appointed to play for Saul. Now he returned to Bethlehem to feed the sheep. We don’t know for sure why he was sent back. Could Saul have sent him back for protection from the war that was on the horizon? Perhaps he had been recalled by his Father. Maybe for an unknown reason, he had felt the need to voluntarily return home. No matter what the reason for the journey, it was where God intended for him to be.
I have wondered why in the past, but if it was for the case of these two animals, now I understand. They were preparation for a much larger foe. When your life is on the verge of a breakthrough, and you have finally arrived where you want to be; please don’t misunderstand a battle that may pull you back to your roots. It can be the perfect launching point for your next level.
David was able to fight two fierce foes, in the confines of a familiar setting. We know that from his older brother’s jibe, the sheep were in the wilderness. Years later, while running from Saul, David would need to know every crevice of the wildernesses to survive.
If he had been with Saul already, he may not have had the opportunity to fight Goliath. If King Saul had left him at the palace, he couldn’t have faced him either. The only perfect location for David to receive the opportunity to face Goliath, lay at home.
Jesse was his launcher. The Father that had, for whatever reason, been reluctant to introduce his youngest to Samuel, now sent him to his brothers. He sent The Chosen to the un-chosen to save them all. It is a wonderful type and shadow of The Gospel. Aren’t you glad that one day, The Chosen found you and I? We who, could never have faced a giant called sin, now were rescued by The One that could.
I’ve faced setbacks in my own life at times. Perhaps your setting or circumstance has recently changed. Your triumph appears to now be, if not a tragedy, anticlimactic. You were hoping for fireworks, instead, you just survived to fight another day. Fireworks are wonderful, survival is a necessity.
We cannot allow yourself to become infatuated with the fireworks. Instead, let us fall in love with The Fire. Our God is a consuming fire. He will work through us to enable our survival. Moses went from seeing a burning bush to having a glowing countenance. God will complete what He starts in us.
God has taught us not to despise the day of small things. Why? Because small things grow! The tree you planted isn’t big enough to produce fruit yet, but it is growing. God wasn’t interested in only positioning David. He was planning use the giant’s defeat as a way to plant him into the hearts of Israel.
Never give up just because you are facing a setback. Pray to The Father, and ask Him to strengthen you to fight what you are facing. He will not only give you the victory, He will set you up for the next victory. A harp couldn’t defeat a giant, a slingshot could. If only to send David back with the right weapon, returning home was worth the delay.
David comes from the sheep with a slingshot, a shepherd’s bag, and a staff. There are certain tools we can only get from time with The Shepherd and His Sheep. What have you left behind that you might need? Don’t be so quick to go forward that you leave some necessary things behind. Take a moment, and return to the sheep. The Shepherd will send you to the palace, even if it is by a round trip to the wilderness.