Friday, 21 November 2008

Shepherd boy

Our home-bible study on Friday night is looking at the life of David.

Even today Palestine sees shepherds and soldiers - as the shot above shows - and sometimes the identities are shared and blurred.

But with David we see two remarkable things in 1 Sam 18.

Firstly he develops this deep soul relationship with Jonathan. A beautiful love and unity between kindred hearts. Who are our deepest friends? Are they people of noble character - who spur us on to deeper and more beautiful things? Or are they outwardly smart and successful but insecure, bitter and angry people like King Saul. Those whom we are intimate with are most likely to shape our future.

Secondly, despite his victories, David goes back to playing soothing music during King Saul's episodes of spiritual oppression. Not only that - he is around - twice - when Saul hurls the spear at him in his anger and jealousy. What are we like. Do we feel threatened by the success of others. Is our hope in our own achievements and victories? Have we reached our limits - only to see someone else - who may be younger / more gifted - pushing the envelope back some more?

Or is our hope and reputation safe in our Father's hands. David the shepherd boy - and David the King-in-waiting - and David the Regal Majesty all share in common a faithfulness to God and his heart. He was successful not because he set out to be successful - but because God was with him. His heart was God-ward - and the other things are a natural outcome of a God-pleasing life.

May God grant us the hunger to be ever more shaped and fashioned into His character. Let us be faithful at our shepherding - and ready to dream big - and act boldly when our heavenly shepherd commands us to.

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