Today’s article isn’t the typical preparedness article. Trust me, it is related.
One of my Biblical hero’s has always been David. He was fierce in everything; his protection of his flock, killing a lion and bear, etc. He was fierce in his determination to be king once God chose the time for him to be king. We’re told of at least two times that David spared Saul’s life and many more times that he fled Saul to avoid the confrontation. He was also fierce in his seeking the Lord, writing many of the Psalms, giving God praise and seeking His protection.
One of my favorite stories is of David and Goliath. When David heard that the giant had been taunting Israel and the Living God, he was outraged. He convinced Saul that the Lord had helped him kill the lions and bear and would help him kill the giant. Saul gave David his own armor and weapons, which David was unfamiliar and uncomfortable with. He took his sling and picked five smooth stones. He then went to face the giant, who mocked him, to which David replied:
“You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!
And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues his people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and he will give you to us!”
Like I said, David was fierce, not because of belief in himself but because of his belief in God. God anointed David as the next king of Israel and, being that he was not king yet, David trusted in the Lord to save him and all of Israel from the giant. David’s faith was fierce.
I said this was preparedness related. Here are the preparedness lessons I have gleaned from this story.
David was a shepherd. He knew that sheep had natural predators that were dangerous and he knew he might have to defend his flock against them, so he always practiced Situational Awareness. There is always a possibility that someone around you means you harm. In fact, according to the FBI crime clock 2010 there was a violent crime every 25.3 seconds that year. Are you aware of your surroundings and looking for wolves?
As my friend Rob Robideau points out in his book “Tactical Bible Stories”, David had at his disposal the very finest weaponry and armor in all of Israel. King Saul had offered his very own. David instead chose to use what he was familiar with; a rod, a sling and stones. There is a saying, “run what ya brung”. It means that you should know how to use what you have.
David was well practiced with his sling. How many stones do you think he threw to become so accurate? He probably slung some for practice, some out of boredom and some out of the need to protect his flock, eventually slinging the stones that slain Goliath. Owning a firearm does not mean you are proficient with it, especially under stress. Under stress your body’s natural reaction could work against you. Only with training and practice can you become proficient and develop the muscle memory to fight against your body’s natural response. A small confession; I need more range time and more training classes. This is something I want to be more proficient at.
All of the mightiest men of Israel watched for forty days as Goliath and the other philistines taunted them, blaspheming our God. Only a young boy was willing to stand up to them. There is a saying “chance favors the prepared mind”. But I think God looks for the willing soul. God has called many of us to prepare, with reasons only He knows. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, my guess is that you are a willing soul. As I mentioned, David’s faith was fierce. He may have thrown the stone, but God used him to kill Goliath. Stay willing and be on the lookout for giants and always be fierce, for we serve a mighty God.
Side note: I read a commentary on this story once that said the reason David grabbed five stones was because Goliath had four brothers. He mentioned verses to back it up, which I can’t remember now. True or not, I thought it was pretty funny.