Even a king needs a Leader to show the way - 5 July 2021

By Ewald Schmidt

The Lord had Samuel anoint David as the king of Israel in his father’s house. He was still a young boy. When Samuel left, nothing happened … The following morning, his father woke him up and sent him to take the sheep back to the pastures. I can imagine how David, as a teenager, would react and how he would have this emotional storm welling up inside of him. One moment the prophet of the Lord says he is the king of Israel, and the next moment, he is back in the fields again guarding the sheep. Not fair!

But great things happen in the classroom of life, often without us realising it. David needed to learn one of the most important lessons in life at a young age. That lesson needed to be learnt in the drag of guarding sheep, a most unglamorous job! David needed to learn to take good care of his father’s sheep. It would teach him the valuable skills needed when the time would come to be the leader of men. He needed to heed to their needs for food and clean water. He needed to guard them, in the wind and the rain, against thieves and wild animals. He had to protect them, whatever was needed to do to keep them safe. And so he learnt valuable shepherding skills.

One day, the shekel dropped … as he was spending time, protecting and guiding his sheep, so the Lord was busy doing the same for him. He realised that God was his shepherd. God gave him life. God gave him the food, water and shelter that he needed to live and grow. God protected him from the wind and the rain, and the enemies intent on harming him. Psalm 23 became his confession of faith, a blessing to all believers of all time. From David’s boring time guarding the sheep comes our confession: The Lord is MY shepherd! He guides me, protects me, and provides for every need. Later on in life, David would remember these lessons. He would have the power and authority as the king of his country. He would have a life of abundance. But he remembered the Source of it all. He remembered to live with gratitude. He still needed the Lord to guide him.

When we confess the Lord as our shepherd, we put our trust in him. Then we experience that we lack nothing – he gives everything we need to live, and to fulfil our destiny. Some of life’s greatest lessons are learned in our times of struggle.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for being the Good Shepherd in my life. Thank you for your care, your protection and your guidance in my life. Fill my heart with gratitude, open my eyes to see all your goodness in my life. Amen.