This entire world is in critical need of a new style of leadership. And tomorrow’s leaders come from the young people of today.
Are you a teen-ager? Then you are involved. You are involved in history.
Just as the United States and Britain found themselves face to face with horrible odds in two world wars, Israel of ancient times often found herself at war, and usually against terrifying odds. Then, as in recent times, great leaders came to the fore, to lead the nation to victory. And as always, those leaders had been trained during their youth, the years you are living now.
King David was such a man. He was chosen for his enormous tasks while still a youth, the youngest of eight brothers, a shepherd boy.
Why did God choose him? There are reasons. And those same reasons, those causes for David’s success will give you qualities like David’s, qualities of excellence, leadership and eventual greatness!
Look again at the often-told story of the young David when he challenged and defeated the gigantic hero of his nation’s enemy, Goliath the Philistine. Most of the story can be found in just one chapter, I Samuel 17.
Note that although everyone can learn a terrific lesson from this event, it is most assuredly not a “children’s bedtime story.” It is rather an extraordinary account of a young man’s burning courage and of his convictions.
At that time, Saul was still king of the nation, a nation which for 40 days had trembled before the taunts of one man, Goliath, a giant (over 10 feet tall) and a terrifying warrior since his youth. Not one man in the entire nation of Israel had the courage to put the giant in his place.
But in sharp contrast with every other man in the nation, David saw Goliath in proper perspective. The giant just wasn’t all that big and powerful when compared to the great, omnipotent God of Israel. Armed with this vision, David was fired with indignation at “this un-circumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God”! (I Sam. 17:26). He never even considered failure.
And so, with the cool fury of controlled but intense anger, David placed the stone in his sling, and ran to meet this would-be champion. Powerfully this lithe, youthful figure whirled his sling, a weapon he had often used to protect his father’s sheep. And a split second after the stone hurtled out of the sling, Goliath fell on his face. And instantly, the entire Philistine army lost its own heart (as well as the head of their hero) and Israel gained both, heart and an eternal hero.
Where had David learned such bravery and valor, such powerful resolve against the enemy, such unbounded confidence in the great God of his nation? The answer will probably shock you, because David had dared, while a youth, to be different, very different from the average run-of-the-mill teen-ager of his day. And it paid off!
You see, David had been learning God’s word, and he had been striving to live by it! And that’s very difference. David was neither an “introverted religious hobbyist” nor an “ex-troverted religious nut.” Nobody ever accused him of being “sweetly sanctimonious” or “piously meek.” David was the personification of strength, a strength that came from God.
As a teen-ager, tending his father’s sheep, he focused his mind on the powerful promises recorded in those books of the Bible available in his day. What’s more, he knew that if he exercised the courage to obey God, then God would deliver him through any emergency. He wasn’t surprised when God helped him destroy the enemies of his father’s sheep -- lions and bears (I Sam. 17:34-37) -- rather he expected it! Remember, he knew Gods’ promises! And those same promises inspired him when he met Goliath.
David wrote, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and he knew what was expected of shepherds. It was their duty to protect as well as lead and care for, the sheep. David took that kind of care of his animals, and expected his Shepherd to do the same for him. So God honored David’s confidence.
How about you? Are you willing to learn to lead? Or are you the type who sits back, afraid, waiting for another David to come forward, to lead you out of your cowardice? Don’t be that way! If you have read this far, you probably are the kind of young man or woman who would like to help do something good, something right, for this misguided world. And if you are willing to become the kind of champion David was, and you can if you will, then you need to start building right leadership now! Tomorrow will be here too soon for you to wait a moment more.
Start learning from the one Royal Book that makes kings of other-wise ordinary men (Rev. 5:10). Young David took that challenge and became King David, an eloquent, eternal example for teenagers who care, teen-agers who are willing enough, with God’s help, to be different today, so that through the leadership they learn now, others can benefit tomorrow!
The whole world truly waits for you! Yes, you.