Special Edtion
January 2002 / Shevat 5762
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Fighting Lions


When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God (1 Samuel 17:34-36).

Before King David ever fought Goliath, he was a shepherd - just a shepherd. While his older brothers were all serving in the army, he had to take care of a bunch of sheep.

No one had any idea that David would one day fight the giant, much less David. He just watched sheep. Every day he watched sheep. He made sure they had enough to eat, that they didn't get lost, and that they were protected from wild animals.

Little did he know what he was being trained for.

He didn't even know he was being trained.

All David knew is that he had a job to do, and he did it.

I imagine no one would have blamed him if a bear or mountain lion would snatch a sheep or two. Most people understand the need to look out for ourselves. But I guess David didn't understand that. He took his job seriously.

Little did he know what he was being trained for - until the day came.

His people were in trouble. The army of Israel was being made fun of by the champion of the Philistines. No one thought they could beat him.

But when David heard what Goliath was saying, he couldn't believe his ears. "How could anyone talk that way about the God of Israel?" he wondered.

David wasn't aware of it at the time, but his work as a shepherd was actually teaching him to trust God for greater things.

When you learn to trust God facing lions and bears, you learn how to face giants too.

God knew he didn't need fighting-giants-in-battle training; he needed fighting-wild-animals-while-watching-sheep training.

We often think that we need to know our future in order to properly prepare for it. But only God knows what lies ahead for us. Thankfully he also knows what will best prepare us for it.

If David would have had an idea of what he would have to do in the future, he may not have been able to learn the lessons he needed to learn.

I don't know what God has you doing today, but whatever it is, I suggest you make the best of it. You never know what God is preparing you for. You may not have such a hard job as David had, watching sheep. That's God's business, not yours. Just remember whatever wild animals you are facing today, they are preparing you to fight giants later on.

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