A Shepherd Boy Made King

Sacred Stories for Children
TEXT: I Samuel 16:4-13    

GOD knows where all the good people are. He knows where all the bad ones are, too. God knows about every little girl and every little boy that ever lived.

One time there was a boy who had a good heart and loved God very much. This boy lived in a little town of Bethlehem. His name was David. David’s father’s name was Jesse. He had a big family of boys and he loved them all. David was not as old or as big as the rest of them.

No doubt David’s father used to tell him many stories about God. Perhaps he told David how God loved all the children and how He would always take good care of him.

David did not stay at home all the time. He had to take care of the sheep for his father. Lots of times he would not bring the sheep home at night. Maybe it was too far. David would just sleep out in the hills with the sheep.

David was never afraid. He liked to lie down on the ground at night and look up at the stars. He knew that God was up in Heaven and would take care of him. He was not afraid of the dark night because he knew that God never sleeps.

David loved God so very much that he used to sing songs to God about the things he saw around him, and how thankful he was for the beautiful world that God had made for His children!

The sheep must have loved David, too. They felt safe when he was there. David was so good to them. He took them where they could get a nice, cool drink of water. He knew where the best grass was and he always spoke in such a kind voice to them.

If David ever did stay away from home so long that he would get lonesome, or if he ever was afraid out there all alone in the hills, he knew all he had to do was to pray to God and God would help him. He knew that God was watching over him every minute just as God watches over you.

Did you know that you are never really all by yourself; even when you cannot see or hear anyone, because God has His eyes on you? He is looking right at you all the time. David knew that. David could not see God, either, but he knew He was there.

One time God told the man of God, named Samuel, to go to David’s home and talk to David’s father, Jesse. Jesse had lots of boys. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight boys. David was number eight.

God told Samuel that one of these boys in this family was going to be a king. Samuel had to find out which boy it was whom God wanted for king.

Do you remember that little boy who lived in the Temple Church and heard God’s voice? Samuel was that little boy who listened to God and God could tell him what to do. Now Samuel had grown up to be a big man like your daddy. He still talked to God and God talked to him. God was sending Samuel out to choose one of the boys out of Jesse’s big family. God knew He could tell Samuel just which one to choose and Samuel would get the right one for God.

When Samuel got to David’s house, David was not home. He was out in the hills taking care of the sheep again. David had to be a brave boy because there were bears and lions and other wild animals in the hills that like to eat little sheep. One time a big bear did come out to get a little lamb and David killed it. He killed a lion once, too, and he did not have any gun. No one knew about a gun, then.

Samuel did not know about David. He saw all the other boys. They were at home and Samuel looked at each one of them. One of David’s brothers was so big and strong and had such a pretty face that Samuel thought surely this would be the one that God would choose for a king.

God said to Samuel: “No, this is not the one I want for a king, even though he looks as if he would make a good king.” Do you know why God did not choose him? God looked right down into that boy’s heart and He could see sin in there. God could see all the bad things that Samuel could not see.

Samuel was only a man; and a man cannot see way down inside a heart, but God can. He does it all the time. God can look right down inside our heart, too. He knows if we have been naughty and if some sin is in there.

No matter how pretty a little girl or boy may look on the outside, if there is one little sin-spot in the heart, God does not think he or she looks pretty. Oh, no, He doesn’t. Little boys and girls might look pretty to other people just like David’s brother did to Samuel. People may even tell you how nice you look, but God does not look at your face, or your hair, or new clothes. God looks way down inside your heart and if you have been naughty He sees that sin in there. He knows that you are not pretty at all.

Samuel looked at all those boys. One-two-three-four-five-six-seven. Seven big boys, but God did not choose one of them.

“Do you have any more boys?” asked Samuel. “Well, there is young David,” said his father. “He is not at home right now. He is taking care of the sheep.” “Send one of the boys to get him,” said Samuel.

When David came in, Samuel looked at him. David was a fine looking boy with healthy, red cheeks. Samuel saw this young shepherd boy but God saw more than that. God saw David’s clean, pure heart. He knew how much David loved Him. He knew about all the Thank You songs David had sung when he was out there in the hills with the sheep.

“This is the boy I want for the next king,” God told Samuel. “This is the one.”

Samuel put some oil on David’s head and said that he was to be the next king. The love of God came into David’s heart stronger than ever before.

David had always been happy to do all the little things to help others. He had prayed and talked to God every day. He had been God’s friend. Now God was giving him something big to do for Him. David was to be a king and tell people what to do. God knew He could trust David to help the people know about God, too.