We all love a good underdog story, do we not? Whether it’s The Karate Kid, Elf, or Braveheart, we love to see those who are seemingly destined for nothing courageously overcome the odds and win the day. This is one of the reasons I love the story of David so much. Born in the tiny town of Bethlehem and raised as a shepherd boy, he is later anointed, courageously defeats the enemy of God’s people (Goliath), and eventually becomes the greatest king in Israel’s history (1 Samuel 17:45). So often we read David’s life as one we are called to emulate, if we could only get our lives on track…
Yet, if we look at David’s life as one we are primarily meant to imitate, it will lead us to pride when we succeed, or despair when we fail. What if, rather than seeing ourselves as David, we recognize that we are the Israelites cowering in fear of Goliath? We are not the saviour, but the ones in need of saving. It is here that we see how Jesus is the true and better David. Jesus was born into an unknown family in the unlikely town of Bethlehem. He is the Anointed One and Good Shepherd over all His sheep (John 10:11). He is the Saviour who defeated our greatest enemy, sin and death, and now reigns supreme as King over all of creation.
The life of David is primarily meant to point us to the person and work of Christ. Though we are saved by grace, we often fall into self-reliance and individualism rather than dependence on God. In the story of David we witness God’s people trusting in and following a leader who would deliver them. In Christ, we follow the Son of God who has delivered us into his Kingdom, now and forevermore. Fellow sheep, let’s stop trying to be the hero and, instead, place our trust in the only true Hero, our Good and Faithful Shepherd.
“Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'” (Matthew 25:32-34)