Yesterday, Josiah read to me the story of David and Goliath. He read it very well, even dramatizing it a little with different voices for each character and special sound effects such as the whoosh of David’s sling going round and round, and the heavy thud of Goliath as he fell to the ground. It is frustrating how many illustrators get it wrong; you see all these drawings of the scene showing him flat on his back with a stone lodged in his forehead. One of the most fascinating aspects of the account is the fact that Goliath fell face down to the ground even though the stone hit his front side. It was as if God said, “Good job David, you did your part: now let me take care of this.” Then he thumped Goliath in the back of the head hurling him face first into the dirt! That’s how I see it anyhow; nobody messes with a child of God and gets away with it!
There is a part of this story that I have never paid much attention to before; and that is that David hit Goliath right in the forehead with the first shot. Have you ever thought about that? Can you imagine how much time David must have poured into practicing slinging stones to be that good? We know what happened when Saul offered David his armor and sword: David told Saul he couldn’t use them because he had not “proved” them – he wasn’t used to them. David would rather use his sling and stone. (Me? I probably would have gone for a catapult… but only because hand grenades had not yet been invented.)
Is there anything wrong with armor? Does God have something against swords? No, of course not! Why would David choose the sling? Because he knew how to use it, he had spent time practicing to be able to get the stone to strike where he wanted. God knew what David was capable of, he didn’t expect David to do something he wasn’t used to. All God needed from David was faith and the ability to do what he could do well.
A similar thing happens a little later in David’s life when King Saul is plagued by the evil spirit. You would think Saul might ask for a physician, or maybe a priest. (Masseuse anyone?) But wait, David can play the harp! This is not to say that God chose David in these instances because of his talents. None of us can do anything to impress God; he is no respecter of persons. The point I am trying to bring out is not that David was exceptionally talented but that he was faithful in the little things… and we should be too.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:” Luke 16:10a
David was faithful in the small things when he was young, he was not lazy: he was diligent! He did what was required of him faithfully. It would have been easy for him to be out having himself a little pity-party while watching the sheep… “I always get the boring job, my brothers are out having a battle with the Philistines and here I sit watching these old sheep again!” No. His father needed someone to look after the sheep and David was willing to step up and fill the void.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”? David surely believed it. He was not an idle young man. Not only was he faithful to protect the sheep even risking his own life for them, he also learned to do useful things when he had free time. (Such as becoming skilled with his sling and harp.) Our Father needs someone to look after his sheep too… is there some void that you could step up and fill?
The tasks you have to do may seem small and the things you undertake may seem insignificant but just remember that no matter what it is, God deserves your best. David’s ability to sling stones may not have sounded like much before but when he gave that ability to the Lord, God used it to slay a giant. His ability to play the harp may not have made him popular with all the neighborhood boys, but when he gave that ability to the Lord, God used it to bring him into the courts of the king. God doesn’t expect anyone to do everything but he does expect each of us to be faithful in what we can do and to do it to the best of our ability.
Hear ye the Master’s call, “Give me thy best!”
For, be it great or small, That is His test.
Do then the best you can, Not for reward,
Not for the praise of man, But for the Lord.
Every work for Jesus will be blessed,
But He asks from every one his best.
Our talents may be few, These may be small,
But unto Him is due our best, our all.
(This is one of my favorite hymns. It is written by S. C. Kirk and found in “Songs & Hymns of Revival”)