THE SHEPHERD AND THE GIANT


Of course we were frightened—well, who wouldn't be?
We'd never seen so tall and broad a man.
'Twas said that his name was Goliath of Gath,
And that he stood six cubits and a span.

Each morning he strode to the top of the hill
That separated our war camp from theirs;
And there, while the sun struck gold sparks from his sword,
He'd bellow out his challenges and dares.

King Saul sought among us for just the right man—
So good, so brave, so swift, so big, so strong.
But none of the soldiers in Israel's camp
Could face that giant and survive for long.

And then from the soldiers of Benjamin came
A little boy, a slight and slender lad.
Not even a soldier, a shepherd he was;
We all thought that the boy was plainly mad.

But this little shepherd stood up to the king
And told him how he'd braved a lion's paws,
And how he had slain it, and also a bear,
To save a little lambkin from their jaws.

The King had his armour brought out for the lad—
His sword, his shield, his helmet, and his staff.
We watched as the young man was bundled within,
And tried to be polite and not to laugh.

But David, for this was the young shepherd's name,
Decided to rely on God alone;
And doffing the armor, went down to the brook,
And kneeling there chose five smooth, perfect stones.

So thus thinly clad in his tunic and boots,
And carrying his shepherd's bag and sling,
Young David stepped forward and walked up the hill,
Watched keenly by us soldiers and the King.

Goliath, that giant, looked down at the lad;
His laughter thundered up and down the vale.
But David spoke calmly, with confidence true,
And his voice overpow'red the laughter's gale.

Then quickly the shepherd reached into his bag,
Pulled out a brook-stone, white and smooth and round.
We watched as it flew through the air from his sling;
The giant fell face-down upon the ground.

We felt we were honored, this thing to behold—
This proof that weapons, size, and strength and skill
Mean nothing against one whose strength is the Lord's,
Who wishes to be led to do His will.					

Beth Robinson
April 30, 1995

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