David comes from a lineage of great men. He was the 10th generation in the line of Judah, one of his ancestors fled from Egypt with Moses and his great-grandfather was Boaz, a well-respected judge in Israel. So let’s just say poor David had a lot to live up to.
Despite his prestigious heritage his family did not think much of him. He wasn’t given the most important job in the family. He was simply cast aside to tend to the sheep.
David was in the fields doing what his father told him to do. He was tending to the sheep obediently when Samuel asked Jesse to summon his youngest son.
In I Samuel 16:11-13 the story unfolds as follows:
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
Samuel anointed David in private. The Spirit of the Lord came upon David and he simply returned to the fields to continue waiting and preparing for the Lord’s next move.
David was physically unchanged. His circumstances were also unchanged. But spiritually he was changed forever.
During my short 27 years on earth I have come to realize that God likes to do things in private. He likes to work in me in private. God likes to lead me into my green field and simply instructs me to obey His word, His instruction.
He doesn’t leave me there. He sits with me and teaches me what I need to learn.
God is like the potter who places your new mould into the oven. No one else is in the room. No one else is prepared to stand near the heat waiting for your mould to be set. Just your potter waits anxiously for you to set.
Although I would like to rush through my time in the field, I have come to realize that this is where the learning happens. This is His classroom and I need to be still in order to understand the lesson.
I will be honest and say that I find the idea of waiting around in a field frustrating. Actually the whole concept of waiting is frustrating, especially when I feel like others around me are moving forward in their lives.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
James 1:4 NKJV
But then I am reminded that David was a very young boy, some say he was 10 years old when he was anointed as king. He wasn’t ready to be king and he definitely wasn’t ready to lead a nation but this time in the field alone with God prepared him for the role.
Being in the field will develop you for the next season. It will teach you to trust Him when there is nothing left. Although David was anointed as king he would have to wait 15 years and continue working as a Shepard boy before he was ready for the job ahead.
I encourage you to read the remainder of David’s story to get a better understanding of what he endured along the road to becoming king.
David had a few lessons to learn before God would lead him into the next season.
Firstly, David was taught faithfulness in his work with the sheep. Leading sheep was preparation for leading God’s people. I admire him for being faithful to a daily routine. I am sure leading sheep wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Perhaps you’re like me and feel like you’re simply going through your daily routine. Don’t underestimate the value of faithfulness and sticking to the program. What you are doing now is going to serve to open a door, create an opportunity or take you to something bigger.
Secondly, David had to learn to trust God. In I Samuel 17 David shares his account of the attack from a lion and a bear. He killed both by himself, and he gave God the credit for helping him do so. David knew how to face threats and how to use the weapons God gave him because he was prepared. He trusted in God.
Finally, David learnt that the fields were preparation. God is all about preparation. The prophets prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. Even John the Baptist was sent to “prepare the way” for people to recognize the Messiah. Jesus Himself was sent into the desert of testing for a time of preparation before beginning His earthly ministry. He is all about preparation because He sees where we are headed. He goes before us.
I know that everyone’s “green field” is different. Some fields may be dry and barren and some may take longer than expected but remember this, God is the experienced Shepard and he knows exactly how much preparation time you need.
Learn to love your preparation time in the field. Learn to trust the process and most importantly learn to trust Him.