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Friday, April 15, 2016

Disciplined Boys Become Disciplined Men (1 Samuel 17:40, 49)

 "Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine . . . Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground."

No one thought much about David. He was the youngest of seven sons and a simple shepherd boy. His father discarded him as possible king material. David's older brother belittled David, "And whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert?" No one took him seriously and no one knew how many hours David had spent sharpening his skills to pinpoint accuracy with his slingshot in order to protect his little flock. Except God.

I wonder how many hours a day David had spent practicing hitting a coke can from a distance with a sling shot? Well, probably not a coke can, but you get my drift. He obviously became very skilled in his craft in order to have killed a bear and a lion. And he had no idea that this life skill would radically change his life. You see, God knew something about David that no one else knew, that he was disciplined and responsible. Though his sheep were not many David did what he could to protect them. And he became really good with a slingshot.

Lessons we can learn from David's boyhood:
  • You are never more in public than what you are in private.
  • God takes and uses disciplined people.
  • God uses what others belittle to mature.
  • God prepares in private those He plans to use in public.
Disciplined boys become men of importance. Because they are efficient at whatever tasks given them in boyhood they are able to handle greater tasks as adults. Because they are faithful in little they will be faithful in much. Never take lightly the need for discipline in your life. God uses disciplined women. Women who daily spend time in the Word and in prayer, and memorize Scripture prepare themselves to be used by God.
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading: 1 Samuel 17:1-58; Psalm 144
  • Describe King Saul and his army's reaction to the threat from Goliath and the Philistine army.
  • Why does David check on his brothers?
  • What is Goliath's attitude toward Israel?
  • What does King Saul use to motivate someone to lead the charge against Goliath?
  • What does this tell you about Saul's leadership in Israel?
  • How does David respond to the standoff between Israel and the Philistine army?
  • What is his view of the situation?
  • How has God uniquely prepared him to defeat Goliath?
  • What does Psalm 144 teach you about David's view of God?
  • List the benefits of having the Lord as your stronghold and deliverer.
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to show you areas in your life which are crippling your usefulness to Him due to the lack of discipline.