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Do you want to hear about some of what David did as a shepherd boy?
Well, mostly, the sheep and lambs need, need, needed care.
They needed to be led. If someone didn’t lead them along the path, they would wander off and get into prickly bushes or fall into ditches.
They needed to be fed. If someone didn’t feed them, they’d munch, munch on poisonous plants.
They needed to be protected. If someone didn’t protect them, they’d get eaten up or stolen, ‘cause sheep can’t fight at all.
David had to admit that sheep were not the smartest animals. But David took care of them because these lambs belonged to his father. David led them, fed them and protected them.
Early in the morning, David would lead the sheep out to the green valleys where they could find some good grass to eat.
Late in the hot afternoon, he would take them to rest in the shade by a cool stream where they could drink.
And when night came, he built a fire and found a hill where he could watch over all of them while they slept.
Sometimes, a lion, or a bear, or a wolf would come and sneak up on the sheep. So David was always watching for those predators, day or night.
One night David heard a little, tiny branch snap. Something was nearby! Then there was a grumbly, grumpy, growwwwl of a bear. What do you think David did? Did David freak out and scream and run away? Did he leave his lambs all alone so that he could keep himself safe?
No, he jumped to attention, grabbed his staff and looked all around! He was ready to protect his father’s sheep. He looked out across the field! There! He saw it! Down the hill!
When he saw that bear go after one of his daddy’s lambs, strength, strength, strength began to rise up inside of David. His anger began to burn hot.
“No way, Mr. Bear! That’s NOT OK with me!” David started running as fast as he could — straight toward the danger. He didn’t stop to think about himself and whether that bear could hurt him.
He grabbed that mean animal and killed it, dead!
Then he pulled the little lamb close to himself and held it tight. baaa-baaaa.
Another time, David was leading the flock through a narrow path with high rock walls. He had just finished helping a little sheepy get its foot unstuck, when suddenly out of nowhere came a flash of golden fur and a ROAR as a lion sprung over him. It was leaping across the path from overhead, jumping right toward one of the little weak sheep.
No sooner had the lion’s paws hit the ground than David was on top of that lion pulling its jaws open. “No way, Mr. Lion! It’s NOT OK with me for you to be here! Let…go…of…my…daddy’s…sheep.” The lion’s jaw let go of the sheep and then tried to chomp on David instead, but it was too late for the lion. David killed it, dead!
Do you think David was brave? How do you think David got so brave? Do you think it could have been because of his together-with-God time? The time he spent thinking about, talking to, and looking up to God?
David was focused on what really mattered, so when the danger came, he had the courage and passion he needed! He wasn’t puffing his chest out and “trying to be brave.” He drew close to God and his heart started becoming more like God’s.
David cared about those lambs more than he cared about himself. He was willing to risk his own life because he wasn’t going to let anything hurt his father’s sheep. And he knew he could trust God to take care of him while he took care of them.
David learned something very special about God way back at the beginning when he was just a shepherd boy. Being a shepherd meant he watched and protected his sheep, right? Listen to what David wrote about God being his Shepherd.
The Lord is my Shepherd (and I’m the little sheep). So I’ll never be missing out on anything I need! He makes me lie down in green grass. He gives me delicious calm water to drink. When my insides get all tied up in knots, He calms me down. He leads me on the right paths for His own name’s sake. Even if I walk in a scary, shadowy place, I’m not afraid of anything bad because God is with me. His protecting rod and correcting staff comfort me and give me strength. They make me feel safe and secure. He sets out a picnic for me right in front of my enemies. He refreshes me by putting oil on my head. My cup is full to overflowing. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me around all the days of my life And I’ll live in the House of the Lord forever.