This is the story of David and Goliath revisited… perhaps in a way you’ve never thought of it before!
Homework! Yuck! Who of us really liked homework? Little did we understand when in school that homework was a vital part of receiving a good education. (The teacher can teach. It’s up to us to receive it.)
Homework teaches much more than simply the scholastic facts of the lesson. It also helps in teaching us discipline, responsibility, and maturity – as well a being an excellent tool in hammering information into our brains.
So? What does this have to do with David and Goliath? I believe it has much to do with this, perhaps the best known and best loved story in God’s Word.
First, let’s go back in time, and take a closer look at the setting of the story. David was just a lad, not yet considered to be a ‘man.’ He was a shepherd boy, tending the family’s flock. And shepherding took place outside of town, out on the hills and planes surrounding Bethlehem. Sheep are ‘skittish’ animals. Sheep are not fighters. Sheep are basically defenseless. David was their defense. This is where David spent most of his time. You might say, this was his open-air school house.
The other boys, back home in Bethlehem, were ‘city boys.’ I know, Bethlehem was NOT a thriving CITY by any means! It was a small town. But even in a small town, one is surrounded by social interaction. There were homes, there shops, there was commerce and activity. If you tripped and fell, there was someone near to lend a hand and help you up. If you were in danger, a scream would alert others of your need for help. Assistant was near… assistance in the form of other humans much like youself. David, on the other hand, was alone… surrounded by helpless sheep… or so it would seem!
David surrounded himself with God! Perhaps, to put it in perspective, he allowed himself to be surround by God by continually welcoming God’s presence!
And here lies the reality of the difference between David and similar youth of Bethlehem. David had a ‘need’ of God. Yes, the other lads did also. But David was acutely aware of it, whereas other boys were not. The time would come when David would find himself in need of help and assistance… and he turned to his closest source of strength and comfort, God!
God is known for His unlimited strength and immeasurable power. But God was not content for David just to know this as head/heart knowledge. God, the great TEACHER of teachers, God gave David a little (what I like to think of as…) HOMEWORK. It was like God was saying, I’ve told you. I’ve shown you. Now you go home and ‘work’ this problem like I’ve instructed you. The ‘problem’ came in the form of a BEAR!
David had listen to all of God’s lessons intently. He had soaked them up eagerly. So as the bear approached, David was ready. His weapons of defense were hope, faith, and a secure trust in God. And those weapons did not fail! The bear was slain, and the sheep were saved! And David got an A+ on his homework!
A similar insadent happened with a lion… and again, David prevailed. David was learning!
I like ‘catch phrases.’ One of my favorites is LET GO AND LET GOD! To me, that perfectly illustrates David’s victory over the bear and the Lion.
What I’m trying to say here is that before David ever stood before and up to Goliath, he had to stand before and up to his own personal weakness! He had to learn the lesson of letting go and letting God. Before Goliath came onto the scene, David had done his homework, and David had experienced what God could do!
Yes, when you read the story, some might think that David was speaking with a bit of pretensios braggadocio in telling those around him that he would take on Goliath. But consider that moment, there in the Valley of Elah. King Saul’s army was facing battle and blood, life and death, swords and spears, and an angry giant who towered over everyone. Their minds and hearts were fixed on fear and not faith. They were not of the mind-set to hear a testimony from a kid of God’s amazing grace and mercy. But King Saul was! It was he who made the decisioin to allow David to confront Goliath.
In truth, it was NOT David who stood up to Goliath, but God working with and through David. David walked into the fray, but with God before him. David took along his sling, but God gave that sling it’s power. David picked up the stones, but God directed that stone to just the right spot to fell Goliath flat on his face. And it was God who gave Goliath’s own sword into David’s hands… with which to sever the giant’s head!
Was this a ‘miracle?’ On the human-side, it sure meets the requirements. But what we call ‘miracles’ are simple matters for God. All too often God uses ‘just kids’ to do His work. And just what kid God uses is more often than not, the one who has ‘done their homework.”
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us… Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. And remember, study often comes with homework.