If you're going to take down your Goliath this week, you better be toting the right sword. David wielded a big one. I am not talking about the sword he used to finish off the giant. David's "mettle" was not the glimmering sheen of a fine saber, but rather the double-edged sword of character and competency. We catch its brilliance in Psalm 78.Charles Spurgeon calls Psalm 78 an "instructive Psalm."1 In it, the Psalmist recounts the history of Israel. This is no dusty narrative or pining for the "good-ole-days," it is a call to the nation to learn from their past mistakes. At the end of this song, we read these words:
70He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; 71from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. 72With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.
As I read this passage I am reminded that God can use anyone. David was a simple shepherd humming Bah Bah Black Sheep until God tapped him to rouse the flock of Israel. Talk about leading on a higher level! Overnight David went from kindergarten to graduate school, from go-carts to NASCAR, from obscurity to notoriety.
How does one lead on this level? For that matter, how does one lead well on any level? The Psalmist highlights two essentials: the character of an upright heart and the competency of a skillful hand.
Wherever you are leading today, take time to sharpen your sword. Our character becomes razor sharp as we do what Israel forgot: remember God's works, listen to God's Word, put our hope in God's power, and walk in God's ways. Our competency glistens as we surrender and steward our gifts and talents for God's glory.
How sharp is your sword?
1 Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Volume 2, p. 331.