Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Shepherd's Bag

"Then he took his staff in his hand;
and he chose for himself
five smooth stones from the brook,
and put them in a shepherd’s bag,
in a pouch which he had,
and his sling was in his hand.
And he drew near to the Philistine."
1 Samuel 17:40

David's first beckoning to the battle field was foundational in his calling as warrior and king.  A shepherd at heart like his Father, David was encountering a human giant named Goliath.  His confidence was this:  "I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts...the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” (vv. 45, 47)

His foe, Goliath, who was heralded a "champion" by those in his own camp, made an impressive appearance.  He was bigger than life and was decked out in bronze and battle finery. He was intimidating and defied the Israelites to send out their best warrior (v. 10).  For forty days, this giant provoked the Israelites, and not one was willing to meet the challenge. 

Enter David. 

Fresh off the sheep pasture, David didn't seem like much of an opponent for Goliath.  The youngest in his family, David prepared for and approached the challenge with simplicity and with child-like trust in God.

“Let no man’s heart fail because of him;
your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:32

Not classifying himself as a champion or warrior, David contently lived and responded like a "servant".

Uncomfortable in the battle gear provided for him for the battle, David took them off the metal and bronze.  He preferred his shepherd's staff and his shepherd's bag.

His shepherd's bag.

David chose five smooth stones for himself and put them in his shepherd's bag.  And then David drew near to his enemy.  Courage while carrying the shepherd's bag.  This moves my heart.

My shepherd's bag.  When God presents me with a challenge or a battle, I want to put my smooth stones in my shepherd's bag.  Couched beautifully in His care, those precious stones will bring His victory. 

I want to bring honor to God by how I respond to and handle challenges and battles.  With my Shepherd's bag in my hand, and knowing the battle is really the Lord's, His purposes will be accomplished and His name will be magnified.  Doing everything in love for the tender care of His sheep, as I carry my stones in my own shepherd's bag, His peace will prevail.

The stone of God's Word, carried in my shepherd's bag.

The stone of worship, carried in my shepherd's bag.

The stone of prayer, carried in my shepherd's bag.

The stone of loving face-to-face conversation, carried in my shepherd's bag.

The stone of surrendering to His perfect plan, carried in my shepherd's bag.

As I draw near to a challenge in a response of obedience to God, I will cling tightly to my shepherd's bag filled with smooth stones for battle.  Confident that the battle is the Lord's, may He strengthen me as His servant and may He be honored.

My shepherd's bag...that's an accessory that will always be in style!


Anonymous said...

Sharon, that was really powerful. I am considering what stones may need to go in my shepherd's bag today. I suppose different stones may be required on different days.
The whole blogspot is beautiful and Son-kissed.
With Love, jenn (I don't know how you are supposed to sign off on a blogspot! : )

Amy Ward said...

I love how you related this to us. I've a good mind to grab a white marker and write those words on the five smooth stones we have in a bowl in our living room. They serve as the same reminder about which you wrote today.

Anonymous said...

That's an awesome idea Amy!!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

very encouraging! How awesome story! Love it! God bless you more..