Thou Art But a Youth 1 Sam. 17:33 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Saul’s concern about David accepting Goliath’s challenge was that David was a youth. But David’s age was of no consequence in the fight because he had prepared himself as a young man to do a grown man’s job. He was mature beyond his years. It seems today that young men are less mature than their predecessors were at the same age. In other words, a 20 year old man 30 years ago was as mature as a 25 or 30 year old man is today. And that is a bad trend. Our young people ought to be more mature than that. They ought to be like David. But in order to accomplish that they are going to have to work at it. Notice what David did in his youth that developed him into a man at a young age.
He cultivated his own relationship with the Lord – 1 Sam 16:18 – young people get saved but they don’t usually begin to develop in their relationship with the Lord until they are older. They do what they do for the Lord because someone [a parent, a Sunday school teacher, a youth pastor] is making them do it.
He developed good study habits – 1 Sam 16:18 – he increased his knowledge and developed in wisdom and understanding so that he could prudently handle matters. Many young people simply learn to make a grade. Few learn to use the knowledge they are accumulating to become skillful in that knowledge.
He pursued useful extracurricular activities – 1 Sam 16:18 – he learned to play an instrument well and he became a valiant soldier. Both of these served him well for his entire life. He was a prolific psalmist and he was an excellent military commander. Children today waste hours in front of a TV or a computer watching movies and playing video games and neither has any lasting or redeeming value.
He handled his chores responsibly and obediently –1 Sam 17:15 – David, the youngest boy, had responsibility for his father’s sheep. Notice that he did not go to the battle until he had assigned his chore to a keeper. He treated the flock as if it were his own.
He knew how to handle himself in the presence of the king – 1 Sam 17:32-37 – he developed conversational skills that were acceptable to Saul. He made no apologies for his ability and preparations. He was confident. He was willing. And he expressed himself like a veteran. He was so convincing that Saul didn’t even try to argue with him and talk him out of fighting. Most kids today use so much slang and they spend so much time texting that they wouldn’t have a clue what to say to most adults much less a king.
He attained leadership skills and a manly deportment – 1 Sam 18:5 – indeed he was a youth but he could lead men who were older than him and they were glad to follow him. Kids today want to look like kids. David wanted to be a man. And that’s what he became. God’s children have to rise above the crowd and learn to lead and carry themselves as the type of people that others want to follow. Some of that has to do with your bearing. Like a soldier said, “Your men ought to know who the commander is even when they are not in uniform.”