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Sheep, Lions and Bears Come Before Giants

Look at the battle scene.  Two armies at a stand off.  The Israelites and the Philistines.


Standing on opposing hillsides with the valley of Elah in between them.  The valley of Elah is a long, shallow valley in Israel and the West Bank.

Each day, the champion warrior of the Philistines, would make his presence known.  His name was Goliath.  Each day, he would insult and challenge the Israelites to send someone to fight him. Winner takes all. But the Israelites have no answer.  No one who is brave enough and skilled enough to match up with Goliath.  

And so the standstill goes on for 40 days.  Neither side willing to take a military risk.


Until this kid named David shows up.  He came to bring food to his brothers, but when he saw what Goliath and the Philistines were doing, a cause rose up in his spirit.  This shouldn't be happening.  God's name should not be belittled and His people cowering in fear.


Something had to be done.  And God was telling him that he was the "something" that should step in and make it happen.

Even though David had no previous experience in fighting a giant, God had been preparing him for this moment his entire life.  Look what he says as recorded in 1 Samuel 17...

34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 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. 36 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. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

God had been preparing Him for this his entire life. Notice he says God had helped him kill a lion and a bear.  Now he would help him win this battle against this crazy, threatening giant of a man.

Here are few thoughts from this narrative. 

Be faithful when no one is watching. David came from a thankless job that was performed in obscurity. Faithfully caring for the sheep and protecting them from danger. Faithfulness is a prerequisite for the spotlight.  

God uses difficulty and challenges to prepare you for your destiny. Lions and bears may not be as formidable of a challenge as a giant soldier, but they are still no walk in the park.  To kill a lion and a bear by hand is a big job.  

Facing some big problems?  Dealing with some scary situations?  Struggling with some lions and bears?  Feeling overwhelmed?  

Don't quit.  Be reminded that it's part of the preparation and training so you'll be ready to see success in the big job God is preparing you for. He is positioning you for your destiny.  Have courage...keep walking forward even when your knees are knocking.

People will try to discourage you from pursuing God's plan for your life.  David's brothers questioned his motives and told him he would never survive the battle.  The truth is...I don't know if any of the Israelite's believed he could do it.  All David heard was "you're going to die...you're no match for this seasoned warrior...you're only doing this with the hope it will make you a hero."


Don't listen to people who try to divert you from God's plan for your life.  Let your decision to advance be based on what God has revealed to you.

Little comes before big. There are no shortcuts to the big opportunity.  You have to be faithful with the little opportunities before God entrusts you with the big opportunity.  Remember what Jesus says in Luke 16:10.

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.

Trust in God. David reminded his skeptics that God has been faithful to help him prevail over the lion, bear and other dangers that come with watching sheep.  And now he would trust God to help him prevail over Goliath. 

When God stretches you...trust Him.  When God challenges you...trust Him. When God tells you to do something you don't think you can do...trust Him.  When you are afraid to do what He is asking...trust Him.  

God has some "giant" opportunities ahead for you.  Just remember it starts with the sheep, lions, and bears first. 


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