Summary: When David became complacent his heart for God turned to a heart for self.
I want to start today with a story entitled “Kierkegaard's Complacent Duck.”
According to his parable, one spring, a duck was flying north with a flock. In the Danish countryside that particular duck spotted a barnyard where tame ducks lived. The duck dropped down and he discovered these ducks had wonderful corn to eat. So he stayed for an hour....then for the day....a week then went by and a month. And because the corn and the safe barnyard were so fine, our duck ended up staying the whole summer at that farm. Then one crisp fall day, some wild ducks flew overhead, quacking as they winged their way south. He looked up and heard them -- and he was stirred with a strange sense of joy and delight. And then, with all his might he began flapping his wings and rose into the air, planning to join his comrades for the trip south.
But all that corn had made the duck both soft and heavy -- and he couldn't manage to fly any higher than the barn roof. So he dropped back to that barnyard and he said to himself, "Oh well, my life here is safe and the food is good!" After that in the Spring and in the Fall, that duck would hear wild ducks honking as they passed overhead -- and for a minute, his eyes would look and gleam -- he'd start flapping his wings almost without realizing it...but then a day came, when those others would pass overhead uttering their cry -- and the now tame duck would not pay the slightest attention.
As I read this fable I pondered whether the duck was content or complacent. Complacent means “to be pleased, especially with oneself or one's merits, advantages, situation, etc., often without awareness of some potential danger or defect; to be self-satisfied.”
While contentment means “to be satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.”
So it would seem the duck in the story had become complacent. The food was good. He felt his life was safe. He knew that he did not belong in a barnyard but it got easier each year to resist the call of the wild. He was truly self-satisfied. It did not seem to occur to him that the hand which fed him perhaps one day would butcher him for a meal.
The wild ducks were content. They migrated from the north to the south as they were designed to do. They would always find food, water, and a place to rest. There was a joy and delight that they shared with each other. They were satisfied with who they were and with what they had. And they desired nothing more.
So what does this have to do with David? Today we are going to discover what happens in a man’s heart when contentment becomes complacent.
Remember all that we have learned about David. At the age of 15 he was anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel. The reason wasn’t his looks or his stature but it was is heart. God saw a young man that had a heart for God. He saw a young man whose inner being was centered on pleasing God. It would be that heart for God that would give him the motivation, ability, and attitude to slay the giant Goliath.