This Week's Story

David, shepherd and musician, fights a lion.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Unexpected Choice

David talked affectionately to the sheep.  “You, Fence Lover, stop butting your buddy.  And you, Brave Brother, quit bothering Sister Who Is Clumsy.  Old Rammer, enough foolishness!”

David called the sheep by name as they approached their sheepfold.  They were his family’s sheep, but he had named them.  It was his voice they knew and trusted.   A few stubborn sheep were still in the field staring blankly.

The temperature was dropping rapidly.  It would be cold tonight.  Hopefully no lion would attack.  Last month he had fought a bear.  It had been at least six feet and 500 pounds.  He murmured, “Thank you, Father, that the bear did not kill any of the sheep or me.”

He picked up a lamb whose deep scratches he had been treating with olive oil.   “Little one, let’s get your mama and her poky friends.”

He reached the stragglers and soon they moved ahead of him towards the sheepfold.  One ewe was far behind.  With precision he used his slingshot to send a pebble near her and get her moving.

“What a day for music!  Did you like the songs I played this afternoon on my lyre?  They were new ones I've been composing.  Did you hear the perfect pitches?  My lyre has new strings made from sheep guts.  Thank you!”

The sheep nodded contentedly to David’s voice.  Soon all were inside the sheepfold.  It was smelly, but they didn’t mind.  It meant sleep and safety from thieves and wild animals.

Later in his shepherd’s hut David awoke.  Quickly he moved as he heard the slight sound of cold leaves crunching. Were a lion’s padded feet stepping outside? With his wooden club he ran to his sheep and through the shelter door. A lion jumped over the rock wall, snatching and smashing a lamb.  Instantly David ran towards the lion, swinging his club sideways. It cracked hard on the lion’s head, knocking it against rocks stained with lamb’s blood.   Swiftly David moved in and grabbed the lion’s mane.  He slammed the lion’s head again and again against the stones.  The lion’s body twitched violently, unable to bash his human opponent. David accepted his victory and prayed.  “Lord, you have delivered me.”

The next afternoon a messenger came.  “David, you are to come home.  Samuel, the prophet and Israel’s former judge is there.  He asked your father to bring your brothers to him.

He examined each of your brothers and said, ‘God has not chosen this one.’  After seeing your seven brothers he announced, ‘None of these is the right one.  Don’t you have another son?’

Your father said, ‘My youngest son, David is away in the fields and caring for our sheep.”

Samuel ordered your father, “Send for him.  We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.’

When David arrived, Samuel took a sheep’s horn with oil and poured oil upon David’s head.  David wondered, ‘Why is Samuel doing this to me?’”

Years later David visited Samuel, who explained to David the meaning of that unusual afternoon. “David, you know that King Saul has disobeyed God and abused power.  Before that long ago afternoon, God told me that Saul would be removed as king.  I was to go to Bethlehem to a man named Jesse, because one of his sons would be the next king.  There I was to pour oil on the head of the man who would become king after Saul.

When I saw your oldest brother, I thought he looked like the chosen one.  But God said to me, ‘Don’t judge him by his looks.  I don’t make decisions the way you do.  People judge each other by appearance.  I do not.  I judge by a person’s thoughts and intentions.’  When you stood before me, David, God made clear to me that I was to pour oil on your head.  You would become the next king.”

Years passed and David, the shepherd, became famous as a musician, poet, warrior, and king.

This is Barbara Steiner presenting King David.

<< previous story] [next story >>


We invite your comments!  [click here to comment]

Let's Talk

I appreciate David's faithfulness in the quiet, and in the unseen places in his life. He developed his gifts as a shepherd, praised God when he was alone, and did so not knowing the things God had in store for him.  He was faithful where he was, and with what he had been given.  All this prepared him for his future as King, warrior and psalmist.   from Summer Faith

Dear Summer Faith,

I also appreciate David as an outstanding example of living with temptation and faith! Thank you for responding.   Leah

I couldn't possibly imagine fighting a lion like David did!   from Liz

Dear Liz,

I believe David successfully fought the lion with God's help.   Leah

Jesus chose the fisherman, the goat herder, instead of the first-born or the favorite.  David did not question what Samuel did.  Taking on a bear and lions was trusting God.   from Ian

Dear Ian,

God always has a plan and we would all do well to always trust Him   Leah


Facebook Join the conversation.

This Week's Story is a non-profit supported by listeners. [click here to make a donation with ]