1 Samuel 17:17-20 17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.” 20 Early in the morning David left the flock with a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry.
Anyone who has a pulse has heard the story of David and Goliath. (Well, maybe not babies; just go with it will ya?) We have listened to sermons and Sunday school lessons about facing our giants. There are plenty of sermons in this chapter, that’s for sure. So I don’t want to talk about facing our giants or being equipped or anything like that today. What got me in today’s reading wasn’t the battle itself, but how David got there. You see, we often talk about facing our giants or going out to battle. But we don’t talk much about delivering cheese.
Yes, delivering cheese. This was not a conquest for David; it was not a journey to an epic battle that would define his life. It was a delivery. David was told by his father to deliver grain, bread, and cheese to his brothers and their commanders. So he left his sheep with a shepherd for hire and set out to find them. I wonder if David knew he would find a giant that day? I wonder if he knew he would become Israel’s hero? I doubt it. His greatest hope was probably that he would find his brothers. That is what would make this journey successful. All he had to do was find them and give them the food and dad would be happy. This whole David vs. Goliath grudge match was made possible by David following his dad’s directions. It says in verse 20 that he set out, as Jesse had directed. What if he hadn’t listened to his dad? What if he got indignant about having to be a delivery boy and blew his dad off? I’ll tell you: the battle would never have happened.
We want to be heroes like David was. I want to slay giants! But sometimes God doesn’t just call us up to the battle for a good fight. He sends us out on a delivery. He gives us the role of the servant. And it is in the midst of serving that heroism emerges. How unpredictable is that!? Think about it: David woke up that morning on a delivery expedition and went to bed that night having delivered more than just grain, bread, and cheese. He delivered a nation! This is the way of our God. So today, let us be willing to put our hand to the mundane and the mediocre. Let’s be willing to do less than we think we are capable of and simply serve. You never know where along the path Goliath will show up, but when he does, you will be equipped to take him out.