And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the LORD be with you.
“I want to see a bear on this trip, I have never seen one in the Smokies”. That is what I told everyone at dinner the night before our picnic up at Mount Pisgah. We had just gotten our picnic underway when someone said, “Look! There’s a bear!”, I looked up in stunned silence as I saw a black bear run through the picnic area and into the woods. Wow, it looked like the Lord gave me the desire of my heart! We continued our lunch, of course now it was all “bear talk”. “Whatever you do, don’t run if a bear comes after you”, someone said, “they are fast and will quickly catch you”. After lunch, I picked up an apple and started walking by the bushes near our table and I saw the bear moving around in the brush, he was only about 40 feet away. I cried out, “Look, the bear is over here!” That is when my daughter Grace came running past me with the camera, “trying to get a good shot”. Of course the bear didn’t like all of the activity. He snorted, rared back his ears, dropped his head, and made a short charge toward us. What happened next, you guessed it, Grace took off running and there I was staring at the bear. So much for the “don’t run” speech. Thankfully all the bear was interested in was our lunch, he turned around and disappeared into the brush.
As I thought about the bear that evening, my thoughts turned to young David protecting his father’s sheep with a sling and some stones. (I forgot to tell you about the stones, I had a handful of rocks in case the bear got a little closer. Maybe rock throwing is just some kind of urban legend.) David faced lions and bears and a giant with stones, but David had more than stones when he saw the bears advancing on his sheep. In in his famous words to Saul he said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” David understood the protection of the Lord. You see, David was a shepherd. He cared for his sheep with his life. David had also met his heavenly Shepherd. He knew that the lions, bears, and yes, even giants had no chance against the Good Shepherd. He knew nothing, not even a bear, could pluck him out of his Shepherd’s hand. That is what I saw on Mount Pisgah, the Lord will give us the desires of our heart, at the same time He goes in to shepherd mode to save us from our urban legends.