David , the shepherd boy with his sling, early in life learned to think and act rightly, putting heartfelt trust in God foremost in his thoughts. Impelled by his sense of right activity, he unselfishly offered his services to his country in its war with the Philistines. He was confident that he was following the behests of God and that he would continue to receive God's help and protection in this new activity. With dominion he proved that "the battle is the Lord's" (I Sam. 17:47). Following this experience David found the transition from pastoral to military pursuits easy and natural. In due time God led him forward to kingship, and we read that "David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him" (II Sam. 5:10). His march to success and achievement was undoubtedly due to his conscious recognition of God's presence.

Like the youthful David, thousands of young men and women are entering their country's service today. Do they, like David, step forward in this new experience to higher achievements and responsibilities, glorifying God in every thought and deed? Or do they falter with anxiety and stumble with the burden of self-pity? Do these young people, as well as their loved ones, look on the prospect of military duty with misgiving? Do they feel that it is a restrictive and throttling assignment which means a marking of time, a waste of talents and efforts for months or years? If so, they are yielding to the aggressive suggestions of the carnal mind.

Such negative views of service life neither dignify patriotism nor promote the expectation of progressive, fruitful activity in the service of one's country. These and other negative suggestions about service life, which would separate the individual from an awareness of God's purposeful, unbroken plan for His creation, need to be seen as absurd falsities, and to be rejected as baseless and powerless. Wherever he is, one may prove that man is never for an instant separated from the Almighty's tender care. This, David proved again and again. In pasture land or on the battlefield he knew that his true sanctuary was "in the secret place of the most High" (Ps. 91:1). His inspired consciousness of God's eternal care of man also glorified his various endeavors to help his fellow men.

April 3, 1954

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