The tension on the sling felt strong as David released the stone.
Olive juice soon dotted the ground as the target disappeared from the branch.
A quick survey of the flock showed a contented herd of sheep in an orderly array. David stepped over to the tree and removed his lyre from the broken branch.
He sat down and strummed the instrument letting his thoughts flow with the news of the day: God’s Spirit had been removed from King Saul.
Words soon flowed from his heart past his lips.
“How can a man lead God’s chosen without His Spirit as a guide?
Who can lead an army in battle if he’s looking for a place to hide?
Perhaps the prince will step up and take the throne away.
But, no, the anointed can’t be removed by any but Yahweh.
How can any other take the throne of Saul as God’s appointed?
Only one whom God commands and makes another anointed.”
The sounds of approaching steps shook David out of his thoughts. One of the family’s servants was running to the tree. He stopped at the tree, breathing deeply.
David put a hand on his shoulder. “What is it? Is everything all right at home?”
Between breaths the servant said, “Samuel’s at the house.”
“The Prophet, what does he want with us?”
“He wants all of Jesse’s sons in attendance. You’re the only one missing.”
David looked at the sheep as they stirred about.
The servant stood. “I’ll watch the sheep. GO!”
David ran down the hill at full speed. The sheep tried in vain to keep up.
He slowed his pace to a walk as he approached the house, bracing for the worst as he caught his breath.
The whole family was in the main room of the house. They all turned and looked at him. His brothers parted so David could see Samuel.
The old man stood and smiled broadly as he walked up to David. His hands held onto David’s arms. “At last, the man of God’s choosing.”
David watched Samuel step back and remove the top from the horn at his waist.
The old man walked behind David. “Look up for your source of wisdom and strength.”
As David tilted his head back he felt the oil moisten his scalp and run down his back. The fragrance filled the house.
The questions that swirled in David’s head were strangely replaced by peace and confidence. When David looked at his family their mouths were gaping.
The heifer Samuel brought was sacrificed as a feast ensued.
When Samuel left to Ramah David turned to his Abba. “May I go back to watching the sheep, now?”
Just another tranquil day of sheep tending turned a young life upside-down. It happened so quickly I wonder how many times David relived it and wondered if it was all just a dream. No, this was real alright.
The calling of God comes in many different ways because the creativity of God is so vast. He likes to mix it up when He gives someone the word that He’s ready to use them.
Even in the Christmas story Gabriel appeared to Zacharias and Mary while they were awake, but, to Joseph and the wisemen as they slept. This is no “cookie cutter” God we serve. Remember that.
It makes me upset when I see another book in the stores that promises so many steps to get God to answer your prayers more effectively, or some such nonsense. God uses each individual as He created that individual to be used.
He may heal one from stage 4 cancer while another dies from the flu. His ways are definitely higher than our ways. He answers to nobody because He is sovereign.
As soon as someone cashes in on steps-to-becoming-something-other-than-what-God-has-planned-for-your-life they’re overstepping their bounds for greed. I’m sure most of them have pure motives for what they’re doing, but, if they took the time to step back and analyze the ways God works they’d see the truth for what it is.
So, how does a teenager respond to his calling to become the next king of Israel? What would you do? Perhaps you’d walk right into the palace and demand the throne. “Alright, Saul, you’re washed up and useless to God. I’ve just been anointed to take your place, so step aside Old-timer.”
That’s not what the person who would later be known as “the man after God’s heart” did. David quietly returned to his place among the sheep.
Why? Because, that’s where God’s heart can be found. Not with sheep per Se, but in the solitude that accompanied the occupation. God speaks to quiet hearts. David had a quiet heart that heard God speak. The hustle and bustle of the house brought too many distractions.
I grew up in that kind of environment. I wrote about it in my early posts on this blog. I called it “the family farm on the edge of nowhere.” I took advantage of downtime to go for long walks that allowed my mind to focus on God and what He had to tell me.
My thoughts would usually focus on something I’d heard in church, or, on the Christian radio station we often had on in the house, or, something I’d read in the Bible. You see, God wasn’t working in a void when I walked with Him. I was filling my mind with Him whenever possible.
One of my early popular posts was titled Solitude. In it I showed the importance this had on my life and how God used it to form me into who I am today.
What about you? Do you have quiet time worked into your life? Are you filling your mind with God?
I know my life is lived as an extreme by today’s culture, but, I live for an audience of ONE. I hope you join me in this quest so you can be labeled:
A person after God’s heart.
I’ll see you later. Wade