Come and listen to my story. I am a sling. No, not the kind you wear on your sprained arm! I am a piece of leather that you use to fling rocks with. Now what could a lowly piece of leather have to say that would make you want to listen? Ah, but I have a great story to tell!
I first came into being out in the fields. A young shepherd boy made me one day while out watching the sheep. He took great care to get me just the right shape and size. The first time I was used, a stone was slung at a scraggly bush. We didn't hit the bush every time, but when we did, the shepherd boy would holler with pleasure! For a few weeks we would practice, then I would get to listen to the shepherd boy sing and play on his harp.
One day a huge lion took a lamb. The shepherd boy hurriedly tucked a stone in my pouch and whirled me around in the air, let go of my strap and the stone whizzed toward the lion. Thunk! It hit the lion right on the skull. The lion dizzily sank to the ground. The shepherd boy ran to the lion and grabbed the lamb from his mouth. The lion wasn't happy about that! He lunged at the boy, intent on killing him. The shepherd boy grabbed the lion by the beard and sliced him with his knife. The lion gave a great roar, but the shepherd boy didn't give up. He attacked the lion again and again, until the lion once more sank to the ground. This time, he didn't get up.
Another time the shepherd boy had to fight off a bear. I won't tell the whole story, as it happened pretty much the same as with the lion. I will add, the shepherd boy always gave praise to his God for keeping him safe.
One day, a servant came running to tell the shepherd boy that his father wanted him at home. I was tucked into his belt as the shepherd boy ran through the fields. When he got home there was a prophet waiting on him. This prophet of God said the strangest thing. He said that my shepherd boy would be king. Can you imagine that? A little shepherd boy becoming the king of all Israel - surely there was some mistake! My shepherd boy was chosen above all the other men standing with us. The prophet anointed the shepherd boy with oil. Some of the oil ran down on me, too. I didn't mind though. Somehow, it made me feel special.
Not too long after the shepherd boy was anointed king of Israel, King Saul sent for him. He wanted to hear the music that the shepherd boy played. When King Saul was in a bad mood, he would calm down after hearing the music.
Word soon came that the Philistines had gathered together for battle at Shochoh. King Saul’s army was on the other mountain, ready for battle. The shepherd boy’s brothers had gone to battle, so he went home to care for the sheep. A few weeks later, his father sent him to see how the brothers were doing. Oh, but there was such a wealth of food in that carriage. I got thrown in on top of the cheeses that were being given to the captain. It was a bumpy ride, but we got there just fine. All of a sudden, I heard a great noise! It was so loud, it felt like the ground was shaking. The shepherd boy grabbed me and stuffed me in his belt, running toward the sound. While speaking with his brothers, a giant came out. He was so big, he blocked the sun. His voice boomed out, “Choose a man to fight me! If you win, we will be your servants, but if I win, you will be our servants. I defy the armies of Israel! “
“Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he defies the army of the living God?” asked the shepherd boy.
“Why are you here, David?” snarled the older brother, lip curling in disgust. “Did you leave your few little sheep alone in the wilderness so you could come watch the battle?”
“What wrong have I done, Eliab?” Sadness etched the shepherd boy’s voice. “Is there not cause to fight this giant, this mocker of the living God?”
The shepherd boy turned to speak with the other men. Presently, word came that King Saul wanted to see him.
“O King, tell your men not to worry about this giant. I will go fight him.” The shepherd boy's voice rang with an unearthly confidence.
“You can't go fight the giant!” came the incredulous reply. “You are no more than a boy - the giant has been a man of war since he was young!”
Grunts of agreement could be heard around the room.
The shepherd boy began to tell the king about killing the lion and the bear. He ended by saying, “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.”
“Go, and the LORD be with you.” Resignation tinged the voice of the king. “But at least wear my armor!” The king had his armor brought and place on the shepherd boy. My, but it was heavy! The coat of mail pressed into me until I felt I would be torn in two.
“I can't wear this armor! I have never used it before. It will only be a hindrance to me.” The shepherd boy slid off the bulky armor. Pulling me out of his belt, he grabbed his staff and started toward the Philistine camp, stopping by the brook to select five smooth stones. As he drew near the camp, the giant came out. A great, raspy laugh rang through the air. “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” The giant cursed at the shepherd boy. “Come to me and I'll feed your carcass to the birds and the beasts!”
“You come at me with a sword, a spear, and a shield,” answered the shepherd boy, “but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you defy. Today, the LORD will deliver you to me. I will kill you and take your head. The birds and beasts will feast on the flesh of your army! All the earth will know that there is a mighty God in Israel. The battle is the LORD’s!”
With a mighty roar, the angry giant leapt toward the shepherd boy! Unafraid, the shepherd boy ran to meet him, hastily shoving his hand in his bag to grasp a stone, loading it into my pocket. He whirled me around in the air, faster, faster, faster! Swoosh! He turned my string loose and the stone slung through the air, right into the giant's forehead. The giant never knew what hit him. He slammed forward into the ground with a great crash. The shepherd boy swiftly shoved me into his belt, sprinting to the giant. As the dust settled around the giant, you could see the youth standing over him, wielding a massive sword. With one quick blow, he cut off the giant's head. Such a shout arose from the Israeli armies! Their foe was defeated. Pandemonium broke out as the Philistines fled, cries of fear ringing through the air as the Israelites charged after them. The living God of the shepherd boy had triumphed over the giant. He truly IS an awesome God!