In the time of the Bible, shepherds were looked down upon. They normally were the lower part of society because of being in the pasture all day and smelling of sheep. They wouldn’t be the first to be chosen for anything, let alone a king. The Israelites wanted a good looking, strong, and mighty king, so God gave them Saul. He seemed to follow God for a short time, but ended up rejecting God, so God rejected him. In our look at God’s grand story, we have been seeing time and time again that God does not do what we think He should do. It’s normally quite the opposite. And so it was, the successor chosen in Saul’s place was not based on appearance or skills, but rather on his heart’s attitude and focus.
This is where teenage, shepherd David comes in. God chooses him as the next king, even though he is a shepherd AND a teenager! God tasked him with leading His nation on earth whose major purpose is to bring people to Him. And how would he do that since it would seem that David was unprepared for what he would face? A few months after being anointed king when he was with his brothers in the battlefield, he heard Goliath mocking God and knew God was calling him to slay the giant. David’s heart was God-focused instead of giant-focused because he mentions Goliath two times and God nine times. He knew the giant was there, but his thoughts were over twice as much on God. He knew that God had saved him in the past from the lion and the bear that attacked his sheep and that God was the great Rescuer that day. That focus led him to confront his giant rather than run away.
Of course the story doesn’t end there. David/shepherd/giant-slayer is called a man after God’s own heart. Why is that? What did he do? This week, we will specifically look at how David was a man after God’s own heart and how we can be people after His heart as well.