After days in the field with the flocks, King Saul’s tent seemed stuffy. The odor of sweaty men hammered David’s nose. His eyes watered. Whew! And people thought shepherds were smelly. One servant stripped him of his staff and pouch while another pulled the king’s tunic over David’s head. It hung past his knees. A third buckled on Saul’s armor. A helmet was shoved onto David’s head, and he could barely see as it wobbled over his ears.
King Saul paced nearby, overseeing the makeover. Abner, his general, stood at his side, shaking his head. “He’s nothing more than a boy. You can’t send him.”
The king, tallest in the room by a foot, leaned down and said, “Let it play out.”
David tightened the sword belt but it fell limply around his slim hips. He moved around the tent, flexing and stretching.
He shook his head. “I can’t go in these.” He dropped the helmet at the servant’s feet and unfastened a buckle. Servants moved forward to assist him. He stacked the armor and dropped the tunic on top. Glancing at the king, David picked up the tunic, folded it neatly, and placed it on the pile again.
Abner glared at Saul before turning his attention to David. “What do you plan to take, son?”
David picked up his staff, bag, and sling. “These.”
Abner rolled his eyes and looked to heaven.
“Go and the LORD be with you.” Saul clapped David on the shoulder and strode from the tent. Abner motioned for David to follow, before bringing up the rear. He sighed as the boy headed to the battle field.
We know what happened next.
“So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.” (1 Samuel 17: 50 NIV)
But what if?
What if David had caved to pressure? Several voices echoed in David’s head as he walked out to meet Goliath. Negative voices. Naysayers.
The Voice of Family
What if David had listened to the negative voice of his big brother Eliab and had, instead, returned home to care for the sheep? You can find dear brother Eliab in 1 Samuel 17:28. Eliab made fun of David’s work as a shepherd. He charged David with conceit. Eliab called David wicked and accused him of being there just to watch.
This was not a private conversation. Eliab humiliated David in front of all the other soldiers.
Hmmmm. Just sibling issues or perhaps a little jealousy over David’s anointing by Samuel?
Gee, thanks, bro. Love you too. The road back to Bethlehem is this way?
The Voice of Authority
What if David had listened to Saul’s negative voice and had gone to fight with a sword in his hand?
What are you thinking, son? You’re just a kid. He’s a warrior. Special forces type. Years of experience. I applaud your spirit, but seriously? Oh, you still want to go? Well, okay. Here’s my stuff if you want it. God help you. You’re going to need it.
Unqualified. Young. Inexperienced.
Go home or at least look like a real soldier.
The Voice of The Enemy
What if David had listened to the negative voice of his adversary?
Verses 41-44 give us Goliath’s point of view. He expected a champion, perhaps Saul himself, the biggest man Israel had.
Instead, a boy with no armor, no sword, and no spear walked out. Goliath was ticked. What a blow to his ego. He despised David.
I’ve been out here forty days and you send me some kid with a stick? Really? Don’t you know who I am? And who you are? A nobody.
Add your favorite curses and threats. Some of Goliath’s faves? Bird food. Vulture chow.
The Voice of God
Thankfully, David heard another voice. God’s.
But David had to face the other voices first.
And so do we. And—like David—voices ring in our ears and threaten to drown out His. Yet, His is the only one that matters. David knew that and he obeyed.
Has God placed a calling on you?
If so, write it out. If not, ask Him to reveal it. (For children, this can simply be seeking God and obeying Mom and Dad.)
Who’s in your head? Who is your Eliab? Your Saul? Your Goliath?
What is God saying?
What is your next step of obedience?
Tweetables: (The Click to Tweet issue has been resolved, so tweet to your heart’s content.)
What if David had listened to his big brother Eliab and had, instead, returned home to care for the sheep? Click to tweet.
What if David had listened to Saul and had gone to fight with a sword in his hand? Click to tweet.
What if David had listened to his adversary? Click to tweet.
Thankfully, David heard another voice. God’s. But David had to face the other voices first. And so do we. Click to tweet.