The lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of the sheep
By Sparta Live | October 8, 2018 6:16 am
By Steve Qualls – Christpoint Church
Have you ever been out in a field alone and heard the roar of a lion? Yeah, me neither. Since we don’t have lions lurking about in Middle Tennessee, it’s just simply not likely to happen. But think about the lion’s strategy when he’s on the prowl. He pierces the calm with a curdling roar that strikes fear into the herd. They begin to scatter and the weakest is chased down in the confusion to become the next meal for the lion.
The lion has one agenda and one only – to devour. He will use tactics that are fair and unfair to reach his goal. You see, I’ve heard it said that the lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of the sheep. He doesn’t change his plans because the sheep don’t feel like being attacked today.
There are a few lion encounters that I would like to mention, and one of those individuals was just a kid when he faced down more than one lion. His name is David, and, when we first learn of his face-to-face experience with a lion, we are also introduced to the fact that he is a very young in age in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 17. David is just a young boy and also the youngest of many brothers. He is a shepherd for his father’s sheep when his father sends him to the front lines of battle to bring food to his brothers and the troops. On the battlefield is where he hears a different kind of roar coming from the valley floor. It’s not a lion, but he’s heard this before. He looks around and sees the same thing in the Israelite warriors that he saw in his father’s sheep when the lion approached. He saw fear. He witnessed scared sheep on the brink of confusion. He heard the giant roar in the valley, and his shepherding instincts took over. David had killed a lion in the wilderness to protect the sheep, and now he would have to face a different kind of lion to protect men he didn’t even know.
Shepherds defend their flock, whether it be sheep grazing in an open field or warriors on a hillside shouting. David had a sling on his hip all the time. You can’t protect the sheep if you’re not prepared for battle. The sheep had to know David’s voice, because when the lion roared, the sheep would have scattered. They knew to calm and stay put. They trusted their shepherd. David went from the fields where he cultivated peace to a different kind of sheep that were led by a weaker king. Saul was big, good looking, and weak as a leader. David was small, ruddy, and a strong leader. David’s flock remained calm when the lion roared. Saul’s soldiers became fearful when the giant roared. David had heard that sound before and wasn’t intimidated by it. He had taught his sheep to trust him. David had another lion to kill to protect a different kind of sheep. This time it stood defiant in the form of a giant.
Now before we bring this thing home, I want to point out the men on that hillside in those days. They assembled for battle twice each day only to stand frozen in fear and eventually return to their tents and card games. They showed up under ritual.
No expectations. The soldiers approached the hillside expecting to go back to their tents the same way they showed up.
How accustomed have we become to the roar of the enemy? Have we become so conditioned to live in fear that disgrace is the new normal? The Israelite army became conditioned to be scared and scattered by the roar twice a day. Is this the way we show up for church in society today? Do we line up for battle and return uneventful and unchanged? David was well prepared for the lion. He had well prepared his sheep for the same attack. When the lion roars, the wisest of sheep knows to stay close to the shepherd.
Saul took a donkey chaser’s personality into the kingship of Israel. Chasing donkeys was confusing and chaotic. David carried a shepherd’s heart into not only kingship but servanthood. Saul scattered the flock like donkeys. David led as a servant, warrior, and shepherd and drew the entire country together under God.
Sometimes what roars the loudest is not the greatest threat. Most of the time our greatest danger lies in how we react to the roar.
Services are at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Christpoint Church. Pick one, and come on out. We’re located on the square, in Sparta, and we look forward to seeing you soon. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.