All the stories about “only a boy named David” have caused me to ponder just what type of mother did this boy have! I mean really now!
“Hey mom, you’ll never guess what happened last night while I was watching the sheep! A BIG hungry bear crept through the fog after one of our little lambs! But, no worries, I did not allow him to feed on our flock; I clobbered him!” Then there was the time at breakfast, “Mom, one of the little lambs did not make it to the fold last night, so I grabbed my staff and club and went searching. I could hear a faint bleating sound as I approached this shallow cavern. When I peered over, a HUGE lion was ready to make his move. But he certainly did not stand a chance against my club!”
I wonder if she ever said anything like, “Jesse, out of all our sons, you’re sending the youngest to watch the sheep tonight?”
How did she handle Jesse sending little David to the front lines to see how his older brothers were doing? What happened when he returned and announced: “Mom, you’ll never guess what!! While King Saul, Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea and the rest of the army troops stood shaking from the taunts of the giant Goliath, I started picking up rocks to hurl at him. No way was I going to stand idly by and let him talk about my God that way” (1 Samuel 17).
Well, my respect for her has risen immensely! And then of course, I wonder, what made David different? What made him “stand up” for sheep and “stand out” for God (1 Samuel 13:14)?
David was a young boy watching his father’s sheep and just a youth at the time of Goliath’s slaying. Since he was not in Saul’s army, he must have been under 20 years of age, and since he is the youngest of 8 sons, the oldest 3 being in Saul’s army, it is possible he is 15 or less. And he is announcing to the King that the pagan Philistine has defied the armies of the living God, and the LORD who rescued him from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue him from this Philistine (1 Samuel 17:36-37). Where did David acquire such confidence at a young age?
Not only did he watch his father’s sheep, but he also played the harp for King Saul. I believe he learned to “stand up” and “stand out” because of responsibility that was given to him as a youth. And while caring for sheep, he had oodles of time to ponder just Who the God of Israel was to him. Every circumstance that he found himself in was an opportunity for strategic tutoring to be king one day. And his mother did not interfere with that process.
Years later, while in the rugged wilderness on the run from King Saul, he writes Psalm 63:
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek you earnestly” (verse 1a, NASB). “For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” (verses 7-8)
If David’s mother had interfered and tried to rescue him from watching sheep, he would not have been able to write those words. Do we rescue our children from lessons that might teach them to “stand up” and “stand out”? Or do we encourage them to spend time with God and work through the challenges of life?
David sought after God and wrote:
“. . . I have seen You . . . to see Your power and Your glory Because your lovingkindness is better than life.” Psalm 63:2-3a
Have you seen Him and His power and glory? Can you testify that it is better than life? Get alone with God, study His Word, and start considering His greatness. Practice faithfulness to this pursuit, and then one day, you too, will be “Standing Up” and “Standing Out”!