No trumpeting heralded it. It was a day like any other, started like every other. The sun did not shine any differently and the winds still caressed with gentle gusts. The peaks of the mountains kissed the brow of the sky tenderly as woolly clouds were herded like sheep across the blue ocean of the heavens…
Deep in the vale, a song echoed, its lyrics filling the valley with melodic sweetness,
Who am I, that you are mindful of me, that you hear me when I call…?
Is it true that you are thinking of me, how you love me…
It is Amazing!
I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God, I am a friend of God,
He calls me friend…
The twanging and plucking of the harp increased in tempo and then dipped. It then flowed again, gently, a musical wave on a low tide nevertheless harmonious. The mellifluous waves would lap away the fever of the day from the beaches of any soul. A new song rang out lustily in expressive intensity….
As the deer panteth for the waters so my soul longeth after you…
You alone are my heart desire and I long to worship you….
….The singing lad had just fed on a simple fare of cheese and crusty bread washed down with cool water from a brook yet his heart was full of gratitude to Jehovah Rohi, his Shepherd. He was so joyful you would think he just fared on a feast of fatted calf. However, the only thing special about the day was that he believed it was a day that the Lord had made. As he was wont to do, he rejoiced and was glad. There was no room for moaning, murmurings or complaining. He sang while watching his sheep attentively. Predators existed in these areas and he was so determined never to lose any of his flock. Around him, sheep gamboled and skipped in ovine playfulness…
….Samuel was in a quandary. He was supposed to anoint a King amongst the sons of Jesse, but he had gone through all of them without God giving an approval. Eliab the oldest, a warrior of repute looked every bit a king. Muscles rippling, tall and splendidly garbed, he made a mouth watering option. Like Saul, Eliab was a handsome physical specimen that made the maidens of Bethlehem weak at the knees and caused Prophets to almost miss heavenly signals. The Seer liked the present king and there was something about Jesse’s first son that was reminiscent of Saul. He was carried away by the sight of the dashing young man and was about to anoint him before God spoke. The Almighty was more interested in the heart of the future king than in his physical attributes. Saul was head and shoulders above the rest but God was done with that, the rules had been tweaked. He was more interested in the spiritual than the physical now. God was not picking at random, he was gunning for commitment, love and passion. Looks and human qualifications did not cut the mustard anymore.
The sons of Jesse all went by, yet none jangled heaven’s bells. Something was missing or was it someone? The list was supposed to be complete yet none fitted the match. Was there someone else absent from the gathering of potential monarchs?
Jesse scratched his head. There was one…but he had not gone to the best military school in the land like Eliab. He did not know the ways of the palace, did not hobnob with Saul’s aristocratic following. It was either Samuel was getting too old or heaven was finally losing its touch. There was one, but he smelt of sheep droppings and not of Jasmine. Something was off but he still opened up to the Prophet that he had one more son. Samuel replied with hasty urgency. “Send for him, none will sit until he arrives!”…
…The shepherd boy was practising with his sling and singing when he heard the echoing of his name in the vale. It was one of his nephews, shouting with contagious and brimming excitement. The Shepherd was wanted at home with alacrity, the message sounded. Such calls were seldom, almost nonexistent. No one remembered him in this back side. Furthermore, the boy’s excitement was contagious. They almost ran all the way home.
..At home all were standing, even the Prophet and his father. His family folks all had looks of bewilderment mixed with grudging respect. He learnt the Prophet had said none was to sit down until he appeared. As the runt of the family, the least qualified of the family; no one had accorded him such respect before. What was going on here?
As the sweet smelling, warm oil flowed from the horn unto the Shepherd’s head, masking the smell of sheep and grass; Samuel wondered what God had seen. Then the Prophet’s eyes opened! The boy’s heart was burning with and for God. He was God crazy! The Shepherd was consumed with love for the Adonai. It was a love that would show up when he would go out of his way to kill Goliath when the uncircumcised giant ridiculed The God of Israel. It was affection that shined forth when he became heartbroken that he was living in a house of cedar while God’s tabernacle resided in a tent. His respect for God was such that he would not kill a long time foe because the man was God’s anointed. The Prophet saw a long hard road ahead for the lad, a journey so filled with thorns that the Seer’s heart broke but in it all, the boy would remain faithful to his God!
Furthermore, Samuel saw that the boy had been developing himself in the wilderness. While Eliab studied in Saul’s military school, David was practising with lions and bears. He was learning commitment and leadership with his flock. While others were learning music in Bethlehem’s musical institute, he was honing his skills making all kinds of music with his harp to God. The wilderness had been a training ground, a school of some sort. The man of God knew this poignant incident would be one that would encourage the rookie, the unqualified, the underdog, the disadvantaged and the relegated for aeons to come. A shepherd boy becoming a King by heavenly selection, a boy promoted from leading sheep to overseeing a kingdom, who had heard of such a thing????
David wondered about it all, he did not in any way fit into any distinguished company. There was no criterion that qualified him, nothing that made sense. It was ridiculous to say the least but Samuel knew…the boy had a heart of commitment, dedication, relationship, fellowship and worship….His was the kind of heart that The Lord longed for…
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south…
This story is an adaptation of 1 Samuel 16
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