The Lion & the Bear
Updated: Jun 1
This Week's Scripture & Reflection: 1 Samuel 17:31-37
As visual creatures, we as humans tend to base our opinions of an individual’s skillfulness in a certain area on their physical appearance before we even see them in action! Consider two individuals walking into the gym: one weighs 160 pounds while the other weighs 240 pounds. It would be easy yet unfair to assume that the one who weighs 240 pounds can deadlift more weight than the person who weighs 160 pounds. Why? Because this assumption is based solely on appearance; it does not consider other significant factors that constitute a person’s overall ability to perform, specifically previous training and the person’s faithfulness to that training.
This is evidenced by King Saul’s assumption that David was ill-equipped to fight Goliath the Philistine due to his young age and stature in contrast to Goliath’s massive size and extensive fighting history. Unbeknownst to Saul, David was far from ill-equipped! He informs Saul of his previous encounters with both a lion and a bear while fighting to protect his father’s sheep: “When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.”
In David’s eyes, Goliath posed no challenge because David had already been fighting and conquering creatures larger than himself! This is why he could stand boldly before both Saul and Goliath and declare that the God who had delivered him from the paw of the lion and the bear would also deliver him from Goliath’s hand!
Ultimately, David’s faithfulness in shepherding his father’s sheep at all costs proved to be successful in preparing him to engage and defeat this Philistine giant in battle!
We’ve often questioned God’s purpose in allowing us to endure certain battles without realizing that He was using those very encounters to prepare us to conquer even greater challenges now and in the future! Therefore, we must pay close attention to the current circumstances God is using to equip us; they will provide insight into the nature of the assignments awaiting us as we continue to seek Him and follow His leading!