1 Samuel 9:3 And the asses of Kish Saul’s father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses.
1 Chronicles 17:7 Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:
Here are two verses about two leaders. One who would follow the other in ministry. You instantly think of their similarities. They both were from simple families. A quiet lowly existence was theirs until the man of God showed up with a bottle of oil to anoint and a message from God. These young men who would be leaders both had their beginning in agriculture. Were they the Future Farmers of Israel? They were to be future farmers but guiding and leading God’s people.
Yet these verses create their own contrast, do they not? Consider the animals David and Saul worked with. Saul – Keeper of the Donkeys. David – Keeper of Sheep. What we do growing up affects our philosophy in life later. For some, it is a positive change and yet for others, it is negative. No, all futures are not imprisoned by the deeds and duties of a youth. But they do have an impact.
Sheep and Donkeys - they are two totally different animals. You raise them differently. Neither is smart. However, where sheep are stupid, donkeys are stubborn. One requires a hard heart; the other, a gentle heart. One demands a hand that will beat; the other, a hand that will guide.
Consider what happened to David and Saul’s ministries. You can see where their formative years in the school of leadership in the pastures could have influenced how they led God’s people.
Yet the message rings clearest in my mind when I consider this last thought. God had to give Saul “another heart.” Yet David was a man “after God’s own heart.”
Take heed; the influences of our yesterdays tend to affect our tomorrows.