We can only develop people out of who we are, not out of who we want to be. That said, we may encourage those coming up after us to learn from our mistakes, but all too often, it is the human tendency to refuse such advice.
Regardless, the path to victory is often paved with struggles. One might say, the greater the calling, the more treacherous the path. Such was the life of David, anointed to be king over Israel. To say he lived a life of challenges, is an understatement; running from cave to cave, hideout to hideout and city to city.
Along the way, 600 men and their families gathered to him. “And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So, he became captain over them.” (1 Samuel 20:2, NKJV). Saul had rejected David, intending to end his life. For David and his men, theirs was a life of survival. It was not the life of a future king… or was it?
One day, David and his army returned to Ziklag, a city in the land of the Philistines where he, his men and their families lived, only to discover their city burned, their wives and families carried off, and David, facing his biggest challenge of leadership yet. Understandably, his men were beside themselves with grief, not knowing whether their families were alive or dead.
“Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep… Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters.” (1 Samuel 30:4-6, NKJV).
We don’t know how long David and his men wept over the loss of their families. What we do know is David’s response was crucial. Rather than flying off the handle emotionally, “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6, NKJV). And what did God say? “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.” (1 Samuel 30:8, NKJV).
This type of example led to the development of one of the most powerful armies Israel had ever known or would know. Out of the 600, there were thirty mighty men, but three stood out even among these: Jashobeam, the chief of David’s captains: he once killed 800 men in one battle with his spear. Another, Eleazar once fought alone alongside David until his hand clung to his sword. Finally, there was Shammah, a man so powerful, that he defended a plot of barley from an entire camp of Philistines.
Let’s not forget Abishai, the Commander and most honored of the thirty. He killed 300 men and the son of a giant. Then there was Benaiah: he killed an Egyptian giant, a lion and helped Solomon secure the throne upon David’s death.
Remember, it was David, who as a youth, killed Goliath. It takes a giant killer to produce giant killers. David regularly spent quality time with the Lord. If you will do the same, you will experience great victories and set a pattern for others to follow.
Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.