THE SHEPHERD'S SONG
: Stories To Tell Children
David had many fierce battles to fight for King Saul against the enemies
of Israel, and he won them all. Then, later, he had to fight against the
king's own soldiers, to save himself, for King Saul grew wickedly
jealous of David's fame as a soldier, and tried to kill him. Twice, when
David had a chance to kill the king, he forbore to harm him; but even
then, Saul continued trying to take his life, and David was kept away
from his home as if he were an enemy.
But when King Saul died, the people chose David for their king, because
there was no one so brave, so wise, or so faithful to God. King David
lived a long time, and made his people famous for victory and happiness;
he had many troubles and many wars, but he always trusted that God would
help him, and he never deserted his own people in any hard place.
After a battle, or when it was a holiday, or when he was very thankful
for something, King David used to make songs, and sing them before the
people. Some of these songs were so beautiful that they have never been
forgotten. After all these hundreds and hundred of years, we sing them
still; we call them Psalms.
Often, after David had made a song, his chief musician would sing with
him, as the people gathered to worship God. Sometimes the singers were
divided into two great choruses, and went to the service in two
processions; then one chorus would sing a verse of David's song, and the
other procession would answer with the next, and then both would sing
together; it was very beautiful to hear. Even now, we sometimes do that
with the songs of David in our churches.
One of his Psalms that everybody loves is a song that David made when he
remembered the days before he came to Saul's camp. He remembered the
days and nights he used to spend in the fields with the sheep, when he
was just a shepherd-boy; and he thought to himself that God had taken
care of him just as carefully as he himself used to care for the little
lambs. It is a beautiful song; I wish we knew the music that David made
for it, but we only know his words. I will tell it to you now, and then
you may learn it, to say for yourselves.
=The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me
beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod
and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.=