The Faith of a Shepherd

Have you ever read a Bible story that gave you the chills? Have you ever been moved beyond words? I feel this way every time I read David’s response to Goliath’s defiance (1 Sam. 17). A sense of awe washes over me. Our God is the Almighty God, and David had such faith and reverence for Him that he was willing to take a stand without question. Let’s read what he says:

“David asked the men standing near him, ‘What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?'” (v. 26; emphasis added)

“David said to Saul, ‘Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.’ Saul replied, ‘You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth. 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, 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. 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. 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.’ Saul said to David, ‘Go, and the Lord be with you.'” (vv. 32-37)

Here’s the part that really moves me:

“David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.'” (vv. 45-47)

David had no doubt in his mind that God would have the victory. He had no doubt that the Lord God is the true God. He had no doubt that slaying this enemy was necessary because Goliath and the rest of the Philistines were defying God by coming against Israel.

Do we have such faith today? Are we a church that recognizes the holiness of God? The world defies Him. There are enemies coming in from every direction. But how many Davids are there? In 1 Sam. 17 the Israelite army was terrified. For forty days, not one soldier took a step forward. It took a bold shepherd to make a stand. But it only takes one to make a change.

Will we stand for truth and righteousness or shake in fear when the enemy seeks to terrorize us?

All we need is the faith of a shepherd.


©Lauren Heiligenthal