Summary: David, Pt. 2
CHAMPIONS ARE MADE, NOT BORN (1 SAMUEL 17:21-49)
What makes a champion? Here are some quotes:
“A champion is a person who can achieve a difficult goal or overcome challenging obstacles.”
“A champion is a person who has earned the right and respect to be called a winner through an endless effort and desire to achieve a common goal.”
“A champion is a person who wants to be the best. They won’t give up until they beat the rest.”
“A champion is a person with passion to achieve — one who stands on principle and works hard every day to produce and accomplish.”
“A champion is a person that has the dedication that it takes.”
“A champion is a person who can put the whole season together.”
“A champion is a person who improves his strengths in battlefield irrespective of whether he wins or not.”
“A champion is a person or team who defends, supports, or defeats something.”
“A champion is a person who works the hardest and dedicates him or herself to doing the best job possible.”
“A champion is a person that gets up even when they can’t.”
Hockey’s Great One, Wayne Gretzky, was asked, “What is it that separates great champions from the near-great?” He replied, “My goodness, I don’t know. If I did, I’d bottle it up and sell it.” (“What do Jeff Gordon, Martina Navratilova, Bob Knight and Mariano Rivera have in common?” USA TODAY 9/22/06)
Leonard Ravenhill tells of a group of tourists who were visiting a picturesque village. One person turned to an elderly man sitting nearby and asked, “Were any great men born in this village?” The old man replied, “Nope, only babies.” (Preaching, Jan-Feb 1993)
People are not born champions; they are made champions. They have dreams, they work hard and they overcome failures. Goliath was the reigning champion (vv 4, 23), but David was the real champion. Goliath was naturally big, tall, strong, but David cut him down to size.
What makes a person a true champion? A champion trains in his spare time; he is tenacious in the course and his trust is in the Lord.
The Ball is in Your Court
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” (1 Sam 17:32-37)
According to a question posed by the University of Chicago to 1,400 respondents over the last 30 years, most Americans think adulthood begins at age 26, not when one is old enough to vote or drive. The study said that most people do not consider a person grown up until they finish school, get a full-time job and start raising a family.
The categories ranked from “least important” to “extremely important” in achieving adulthood are: having a child, 16%; being married, 19%; living independently of parents, 29%; being financial independent, 47%; supporting a family, 60%; being employed full-time, 61%; and completing an education, 73%.
According to those surveyed the average age someone should marry was 25.7, and the age for having children was 26.2. The average ages for other categories are: financially independent, 20.9; not living with parents, 21.2; full-time employment, 21.2; finishing school, 22.3; and being able to support a family, 24.5. (AOL News (AP): “Survey: Most Say adulthood Begins at 6.”)
David reached maturity quicker than other young people his age. To Jesse, the family and outsiders, David was nothing more than a gopher, a delivery boy, a food caddy (v 17-18). To everyone he was a youth, a boy or a lad – from Saul (vv 33, 55) to Goliath (v 42). The word “youth” in Hebrew can mean any age from baby Moses (Ex 2:6) to seventeen-year old Joseph (Gen 37:2) and Moses’ helper Joshua (Ex 33:11).
David might be young in age, but he was developed in every area of his life – in thought, speech, conduct and deed. According to a fellow youth, he was a man of war (1 Sam 16:18), even though he had never fought in a war up to that point. He did not spend his day doing nothing, nor did he begin doing great things all of a sudden. Lazing around and doing nothing was not an option for him. The fields, the country and the wild were his training ground. From a young age, the shepherd boy met head-on the challenges hard work, wild beasts and life’s uncertainties threw at him. He was tested time and time again by dumb sheep and beasts of prey – not just by a lion, but by both lion and bear weighing 400-500 pounds. Like a good shepherd, David was unwilling to lose a sheep to a lion or a bear, snatching them literally out of the jaws of death and the paws of beasts. The military has a saying, “If you train like you fight, you will fight like you train.”