There Came A Lion And A Bear

Photo by Adam King on Unsplash

1 Samuel 17:32-37 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

Life Is A Gift From God

Life is a gift from God. The Lord does not want us to waste the life He has given us, but to live it fully WITH Him. This Sunday night I’ll be talking about abiding in Christ, and how the is the normal state the Christian is supposed to be in. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 90:12 {Lord}, teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Illustrate A believer died, and entered Heaven’s Gate, there meeting Jesus. Jesus said to him, “I gave you Grace, and called you into my family. Your sins are forgiven you. Your life was a stewardship, and as I told you through Paul, “every one of {you} shall give account of {themselves} to God” (Romans 14:12). What noble things have you done in My Name while on this earth?” The man replied, “I heard a woman in distress, and found a biker gang attacking her. I jumped in, and allowed her to get away.” Jesus said, “When did you do this?”. The man replied, “About a minute ago”.

I commend that fictional man for intervening – but I hope he, and every believer listening to me, do more than just ONE THING for Jesus. You were saved by the Grace of God in Christ to be light in the midst of a dark world. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

You, along with other believers in Christ, are to be the “light of the world”. You are not darkness. You walk before God the Son. Jesus said:

John 8:12 … I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

If you’re walking BEFORE THE LORD, and the LORD IS LIGHT, then you are light. Light is only light when it shines. When light does not shine, it is no longer light, but darkness. We are to live before God the Son daily. DAILY. Are we living for Jesus daily? Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Life lived in the presence of God is amazing, and every day an adventure.

So many Christians live as if they are not Christians at all. Dear ones, to do so is to rob yourselves of joy. We are to live our lives in the Presence of God. God told Abraham:

Genesis 17:1 … I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect

God said, “Abraham, you walk before Me – not ahead of Me, but BEFORE Me, in My Presence – and you will be {and here God uses the Hebrew תָּמִים tâmîym, (pronounced taw-meem’) COMPLETE or WHOLE”. The late C.H. Spurgeon wrote in his devotional Morning and Evening:

No promise is of private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one, it is that all may drink … Whether He gave the word to Abraham or Moses, matters not, O believer, He has given it to thee as one of the covenanted seed …”

We are to walk BEFORE God – in His Presence, under His gaze. We are to build this habit into our lives. God has said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). If you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you are saved. You are in the family of God. You are no longer a part of the darkness, but you belong to the Kingdom of light.

Ephesians 5:8 … but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Walk With God, Even If You Walk Alone

Very few people live what my daddy called “The Life Of Riley”, or my mama called “in high cotton”. There have been times when you, like I, have been devalued, treated as “less than”, or abused.

David was often devalued and demeaned. A young David tells King Saul

1 Samuel 17:34 … Thy servant kept his father’s sheep…

David was devalued and treated as “less than” his whole life. David was the youngest son of a man named Jesse. As the youngest son, David was given the job of tending the sheep. Now, tending the sheep is a lot like cutting the grass with a push mower. When I was a kid, I took turns with my other siblings cutting the grass. I always admired other kids whose parents had riding mowers. To mow the grass with a riding mover would not be bad, but a treat, as I wanted to drive a car. But no, I had to push a mower about.

David was the lawn mower.
He was the least of Jesse’s sons.

He was devalued and treated as “less than”. Unlike King Saul, who was movie star handsome and at least a head taller than anyone else, David was young, short, and a cast off.

But David walked before God. He loved the Lord.

King Saul had disobeyed God more than once, and God decided it was time to replace him with a better person. He told Samuel:

1 Samuel 15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.

Saul is not walking BEFORE the Lord. He is walking WITHOUT the Lord. So God sent Samuel to Bethlehem “to sacrifice a heifer to the Lord” (1 Samuel 16). God told Samuel:

1 Samuel 16:3 … call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.

When Jesse was called to the sacrifice, Jesse brought his sons (1 Samuel 16:5). Now, he did not bring ALL his sons. Jesse brought the sons he thought a lot of. Jesse had some wonderful, handsome sons. He had some strong sons. One by one Jesse trotted his seven “good” sons before Samuel. As each son passed, Samuel thought, “surely this is the one!” God told Samuel,

1 Samuel 16:7 … Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

The seven sons were not necessarily evil – but their hearts did not belong to God. Beloved, if you will be blessed of God, you must walk before the Lord. The Lord must have preeminence in your life. One by one God rejected these seven, strong, handsome men. Then there were none. So Samuel asks Jesse:

1 Samuel 16:11 … Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

Word Study There was one son that Jesse described as “the youngest”. This is the Hebrewקָטָן qâṭân, {pronounced kaw-tawn’}, which means “the lesser, the least, the insignificant, the unimportant”. David was the forgotten child. He was the youngest, and had not proved himself to his earthly father. But David had proved himself to his Heavenly Father. Samuel says Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

Jesse sends for David. Now David was a handsome young boy – and his heart was with God. The Lord said, “Arise, anoint him: for this is he”. David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22). David knew the primary spiritual law that all believers are to follow. Jesus said:

Matthew 22:37 … Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.

David loved God with his ALL. God saw his heart. Though David was the least important of all his sons, David was most important to God. “Arise, anoint David: this is the next King of Israel” (1 Samuel 16:12). David was anointed, and “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13).

William Cowper wrote the hymn, “God Moves In A Mysterious Way”. The lines I love best are:

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

David, undervalued David, was anointed to be the next King. He no longer belonged in a field watching sheep. So God put him … in the palace, playing the harp for the outgoing King!

King Saul from the day that David was anointed was plagued with an “evil spirit from the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:14). King Saul’s doctors thought that music would calm Saul’s suffering. So the doctors said:

1 Samuel 16:16-18 … Let our {King} now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. 17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Beth-lehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.

Now David had never been tested in battle. Perhaps these words are exaggerations, or perhaps they are prophetic – but in reality David was not known as “a mighty valiant man” not “a man of war”. David had been keeping the sheep of his father. David played a harp, and David loved the Lord. So Saul sent for David, and David came to play the harp for King Saul.

  • When David was devalued and made to stay with the sheep, he could have done a sloppy or half hearted job. David live his life before the Lord. If you are in a bad place, or are devalued, know that God values you. Bide your time. Wait upon the Lord. Remember the Scripture admonition:

Colossians 3:23-24 … whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

David could have chafed at being a lowly servant to an outgoing King. David did not. God put him in the palace, playing harp for the king. David honored God where he was.

Beloved, the grass is NEVER greener somewhere else. Honor God where God has placed you. Serve Him with all your might. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time! (1 Peter 5:6)

Walk With God In The Valleys Of Life

1 Samuel 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:

David was not only the least among his brothers, doing a job that no one really wanted to do, but trials and tests came his way. David says: there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock. Think about this for a moment. David is watching his father’s sheep, while his brothers are off doing whatever the favorites do. And sudden there came a lion AND a bear. Both of these creatures are carnivores, top level carnivores, and David is in a miserable job. He is by himself with nothing but a sling and a few stones. The lion AND a bear. Took a lamb out of the flock. Do you get that? A lamb. This may have been a newborn lamb. It wasn’t a full grown sheep, valuable for it’s wool. It, like David, was the least of the flock. David could have turned a blind eye to it. David could have reasoned it out, like many of us would do:

It’s just a lamb – who will miss it?”
both a lion and a bear – and I am by myself.”
“Who will know? I hate this job anyway.”
“Just let them have it.”

Let’s think about the lion and the bear for a moment. I believe David fought real creatures here, but I think something else. I believe the Lord sent the lion and the bear to test and strengthen David’s faith. David loved the Lord. But God had future plans for David’s life. God has future plans for YOUR life. So God sent the lion and the bear.

God sends trials to His children, not to break us, but to GROW us into what He will one day use us for.

The stepbrother of Jesus writes in James 1:2-4, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”. Trials grows the believer’s faith. The Bible tells us over and over:

Romans 8:28 … all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

If you are a Christian, saved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are called for a purpose. And everything – ALL THINGS – work together for good if you love God. All things are not good, but all things work together for good. The Bible says:

Ephesians 2:10 We are {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them

We are told in Isaiah 64:8, “O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou {O Lord} our Potter; and we are the work of thy hand”. Trials come to shape us, to make us into what God will one day use us for. Consider this: if David had run from the bear and the lion, would God ever called him to be King of Israel? I don’t think so.

David was confronted with a bear and a lion which took an insignificant part of the flock. It was David’s duty to guard the flock as a son, not of Jesse, but of God.

1 Samuel 17:34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear

David did not run from his trial. He ran WITH GOD toward the trial. David slew both the lion and the bear. Now, is David bragging on himself? No! He tells Saul:

1 Samuel 17:37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.

David was devalued by his father. He was devalued by his brothers. He was even devalued by King Saul, who previously said “Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.” (1 Samuel 17:33).

I was reading my devotions for Tuesday, February 23rd, and read from “Streams In The Desert” (by L.B. Cowman). I read this wonderful quote:

Through faith in God {David} conquered a lion and a bear, and afterwards overthrew the mighty Goliath. When that lion came to despoil that flock, it came as a wondrous opportunity to David. If he had failed or faltered he would have missed God’s opportunity for him, and probably would never have come to be God’s chosen king of Israel.

Walk with God daily, especially in the trials that will come. Trust Him and Him alone. He will see you through.

Do Not Let Others Rob You Of Your Faith

As we read this account in the life of David, it is easy to see the lion is emphasized over the bear. David said,

1 Samuel 17:35 I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear

Now only a LION has a beard. A bear doesn’t have a beard. But David killed BOTH lion and bear. Why did David emphasize the lion? I believe it is because the Scripture tells us:

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

God sends trials, but there are other times when God sends US to the trial, and the trial is the devil, a roaring lion. The Bible tells us that:

Matthew 4:1 … Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

Trials sometimes come to us. Sometimes, as we follow God, trials come our way. Yet we are to keep our eyes on Jesus. Beloved, the devil will often “try and help you out”. He will whisper a “common sense” solution to you which, if you take it, you will regret it. Right after Saul told David, “Go ahead and fight Goliath”, we read:

1 Samuel 17:38-39 … Saul armed David with his armor, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. 39 And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it.

Now Saul is a head taller than anyone else in Israel – and is certainly a lot taller than David. David politely tried on the armor Saul gave him. But David said, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.” (1 Samuel 17:39). David had proved the Lord, but he had not proved this equipment. I believe the devil, that old roaring lion, whispered in Saul’s ear,

Don’t you think it would be a good idea (and look good for your PR) if David wore your fine armor into battle?”

That battle armor looked fantastic! It was the best in the land. It was high tech for that day. But the armor David wore when he killed the lion and the bear was the armor of God, not of Saul. While David did a rough job in a tough place, the armor he put on daily was the armor of God. You know that armor?

Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The armor of God is the truth, God’s truth, the breastplate of His righteousness. Your feet are shod with the glorious Gospel that saves even the lowest person. There is the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:14-16). As you go to battle, all eyes are “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of out faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

David put to the side what he had not proved. The Bible says he instead went out to battle simply:

1 Samuel 17:40 And {David} took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, {“even in a scrip” is the Hebrew יַלְקוּט yalqûwṭ, {pronounced yal-koot’} a traveling pouch}; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

David took what he killed the lion and the bear with, and went out to meet Goliath. He had his shepherd’s staff, five smooth stones, a traveling pouch, and a leather sling. Oh, and he went with God. The battle was won before he even spoke a word. The Bible tells us:

Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

David ran toward Goliath and killed Goliath – but the battle was the Lord’s. What Goliath are you facing today? Take the Lord with you into battle. Trust Him. Serve Him with all your heart. He will defeat the roaring lion. He will defeat the bear. Let Him have all of your life, in Jesus name I pray. Amen and amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in 1 Samuel, Sermons Preached and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to There Came A Lion And A Bear

  1. Pingback: There Came A Lion And A Bear – Talmidimblogging

Comments are closed.