January 28, 2021

The Next Right Thing

One of the most important tasks given to every one of us is very simple : do what's in front of you to do. 

How much of my life had been spent wondering who I'm supposed to be? How many hours spent pondering what's next? How many days wasted pondering hypothetical futures? All the while, neglecting what's right in front of me. Have you ever found yourself in a similar position?

I'm thinking about this in light of 1 Samuel 17:11. This chapter is famous for the one on one battle between David and Goliath, in which the boyish underdog marches out to meet the seasoned warrior of imposing resume and incredible size. Any first time reader expects the young idealist to be slaughtered, but instead he is delivered. God gives him the victory, and the legendary career of Israel's greatest king begins.

But if you're paying attention earlier in the narrative, it shouldn't ever come to David being a hero. His heroism, born of his firm confidence in the ability of God to save him out of any circumstance, is preceded by his dismay that the people of the living God are cowering in fear (v26). 

This responsibility lies upon the whole people, who ought to have the same faith David is displaying. But particularly responsible is Saul. This is the king who stands head and shoulders above all of his subjects (9:2), and who was selected for the very purpose of fighting Israel's battles for her (8:20). Now an enemy had come and defied the people of God. The role of the king, the role of the champion and military leader, is to defend the honor of the people and meet the challenge. And instead he cowers in fear. Just like everyone else.

What does this have to do with you and me, in 21st century America? I wonder how much of my time daydreaming or scheming about the future is just so much time spent ignoring what's right before me to do. I can spend time online researching my next career instead of pouring myself out where I'm at, and then investing in my family when I'm home. I can spend time hoping for tomorrow, and in the meantime I'm cowering from today. "Planning" becomes simple escapism of that old giant: real life. The life God has graciously given.

It's not a direct application of the text. It may not ring home for you. But it's got me thinking.

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About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (remsenbible.com).