Lions and Bears as Training Aids

LionWhen David volunteered to confront Goliath to take away the reproach of Israel, Saul questioned David’s preparation for this task.

David responds by informing Saul of times when he protected his sheep by killing a lion and a bear (1 Samuel 17:34-36). This story triggered two thoughts as I read it today.

First, David was anointed King over Israel. In Verse 13 of the previous chapter we read that the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. David was prepared for the battle with Goliath by having the Holy Spirit come upon him.

Second, I see that God arranged experiences to prepare David for the battle with Goliath. God brought the lion and the bear to David and gave him the ability to defeat them. These animals were used by God as training aids in preparation for Goliath. David could sense the hand of God upon him as he faced Goliath just as he had felt it when facing the lion and the bear.

In the same way, we have the Holy Spirit to indwell us and provide the wisdom and strength needed to face whatever challenges come at us. God brings us through smaller battles to prepare us for the larger ones. He promises to keep us out of any situation that is too difficult for us. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13)

As I look back on events in my life that seemed difficult at the time, I can see how God was leading me step by step and building my confidence. Not confidence in my own ability, but confidence in God’s provision and support. As more difficult tests come, the knowledge that I survived the previous struggles prepares me for what lies ahead.

While we are not promised ease or comfort, we can have peace and joy in the midst of the battle knowing that we have been prepared and empowered to be obedient and victorious.