1 Samuel 17:35a “I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth.“
Consider David’s conversation with Saul before he slew Goliath. With a righteous anger for the taunting Philistine, David boldly boasts his confidence in the Lord recalling for Saul that he once chased down a lion and a bear and “rescued the lamb from its mouth.” Ah! A brother in rescue ministry recorded in the ancient writings of Samuel! He brazenly confronted injustice against the flock in his care and was about to do the same for an entire nation. Without taking time to calculate potential loss or risk, this rescuer-to-be-king had a faith in God that might best be described as drastic. So much so, that his quick and selfless action to rescue put him in a position of needing the same. Two verses later, he admits it.
“The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of the Philistine.”
Wait a second. Wasn’t David the one rescuing? Exactly. So stark and daring was his rescue that his engagement with the bear and the lion resulted in certain peril. From a human perspective, freeing the lamb from the predator’s iron grip was a death sentence. Liberating the lamb was to turn all of the beast’s fury against himself and though the lamb would limp away, there would be no hope for David unless of course he too could be rescued. That was David’s faith. He didn’t just believe God for the rescue of the other. He believed it for himself.
I pray for a faith like David’s that responds to injustice reflexively and one that disregards calculations of personal outcome. To preserve one’s life at the expense of another is to lose eternity. But to give it for the sake of another; that is the Gospel.