In 1 Samuel 17:20 & 28, we can interpret two different perspectives. David perceives his position as shepherd as one of value and worth, his brother seems to have a different perspective.
1Sa 17:20 “And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.”
1Sa 17:28 “And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.”
In verse 20, David took the time to find someone else who would care for his sheep, while he was away. We see the 2 perspectives. David’s brother saw David’s job of keeping sheep, as small and menial in comparison to fighting in Israel’s army, but David thought about his sheep enough not just to leave them, but leave them in someone else’ care while he was gone. GOD USED the sheep TO EXPOSE DAVID (what his brother saw as small and insignificant) with the experience of killing a lion and a bear. It was because of the sheep that David had the faith and courage to stand up against Goliath. It was because of the small things, that he was equipped and supported by God to deal with the big things. God will use the small things in our lives to get us through the big challenges. God will work HIS impossibilities through us when we do not despise the seemingly small things.
When my husband and I visited Israel, we saw a young shepherd youth tending his sheep. I watched him leading his sheep along a field, as our tour bus passed him. This was an amazing scene to me because it reminded me of the story of David as a young shepherd. The young man looked to be between 12-15 years of age. He was alone with his sheep. This may have been how David would have looked in today’s time. Just an ordinary youth, not looking the part of a warrior ready for battle. It must have been utterly shocking, even for David’s brothers when he was willing to take on Goliath. Even Saul said to David in 1 Samuel 17:33 “You can’t go and fight this Philistine. You’re too young and inexperienced—and he’s been at this fighting business since before you were born.” David seemed too young and inexperienced. David spent his time tending his sheep, but he also spent time with GOD. When we abide in The Lord behind closed doors when no one else is watching, GOD will strengthen us in our weaknesses. David’s abiding and shepherding the sheep produced strength and ability that would save the entire nation of Israel.
Pay attention to the small things in your life. Take care of the small things. What others see as menial and insignificant are the things we should be giving our attention to. The small things gave David a different perspective from all the other men on the battlefield that day. No one was willing to stand up to Goliath, including Saul, and Saul was no joke because Saul did not mind fighting. Saul died fighting while in his seventies. David had taken the time to allow God to invade his thinking in the process of caring for his few sheep, and a seed had grown that was big enough to take on Goliath. Not despising the small things made him think like God. THINKING WITH A HUMBLE HEART. His brother could not stand up against Goliath because small and insignificant things in his sight, were not worth his time. Don’t despise the days of small beginnings. Give small things respect. Don’t despise what God has put in your care for granted. That’s what he uses to help us grow and mature to where we can take what we learn through the process and grow our faith to slay the Giants in our lives. God will put things and people in our hands to care for and to nurture. Don’t despise small faith, small hope, because if there is any sign of it being there, there is potential for growth. All seeds start out small. Even if your seed is big by some standards, if it’s a seed to God, then it will produce more. Seeds increase, seeds grow unless we don’t water, nurture and take care of them.
Eliab spoke as if being on the battlefield was more important than David tending sheep. David tended sheep, but that’s where he learned how to walk by faith, and face giants. That does not sound like a menial place. It was also in the wilderness. The wilderness can represent a place of loneliness, and dryness. Seemingly not much going on, but it’s in that very place that David was growing stronger and maturing in faith. God didn’t see that place as small.
Decide what you will do with your seeds. Some seeds we should water and tend to so they can grow. Other seeds should be demolished and not given a chance to grow. The fruit of the spirit seeds versus the seeds of the flesh. Every seed starts out small. When we don’t despise the small, God will work HIS impossibilities thru and by us.
By the time anyone realized it, David was already a warrior. By the time the big challenge came, David was ready for the challenge without anyone knowing it. Did anyone even know that David had slain the lion and the bear?
What’s in your life that appears small? Take a second look. God may have placed it there for the purpose of taking you to a higher place and to help others in a way you never dreamed. He is God and will see us through the metamorphosis times in our lives.