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County, Kentucky, a baby boy was born to the subliterate Lincoln
family. They called the boy Abraham. Abe Lincoln! The world at
large paid little mind to this obscure but history-changing
child. Far bigger attractions held global attention—it was
in that year that Napoleon marched iron-shod through Austria,
crushing all resistance and threatening the order of the Western
In the year 1020 b.c. another significant birth had gone
virtually unnoticed. Few took note of a redheaded little boy,
born to a poor sheepherder named Jesse, near the vague parameters
where the humble village of Bethlehem dwindled into desolate
pasturelands. Hebrew eyes followed a far more dramatic figure.
Roadways rang with war songs of the massive, swaggering,
charismatic new King Saul. Yet while Saul drifted unwittingly
toward disaster, God was quietly shaping the heart of the eighth
and unknown son of Jesse, who would become one of the most
colorful and visible figures of history. They called him David.
This book aims to lead twentieth-century, fast-lane people to
points of intersection with David. The reader, hopefully, will
spot himself or herself in the wide range of emotions and
experiences of this struggling man.
David's erastrikingly parallels our own.
Decline, disillusionment and danger: three words of our times.
Decline? People are living in a world with no stuffing, a society
in decline—and they feel the life running out of them.
Disillusionment? Nothing works. Nothing will change. No one means
what he says. Danger? We are worried sick about unemployment and
so terrified of AIDS that we burn down the houses of school
children. Elderly urbanites die of heat suffocation, afraid to
turn on the air conditioner lest they cannot pay the bill, and
afraid to open the windows lest they be robbed. How do we find
the heart to go on?
Those same three conditions—decline, disillusionment and
danger—also marked the times when David stepped from the
pastures to the palace. Decline. In those days the Hebrew people
were descending the lower slopes of long spiritual and social
decline. Joshua and Moses were forgotten. The public conscience
seemed numbed by the lust-driven religions of Canaanite
neighbors. After three hundred years under an assortment of
judges, pure chaos prevailed. "In those days there was no
king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own
eyes" (Judges 21:25 kjv).
Decline fed disillusionment. Leader after leader began well and
ended badly. The fans screamed for a new quarterback and got
one—but Saul, "the people's choice," turned out to
be a psychotic and murderous blunderer.
Decline and disillusionment were surrounded by danger. From the
Aegean Islands, a warlike maritime people had migrated to the
coastal plain of Palestine. These Philistines established five
city-states, ruled by five shrewd and bloody princes. Their
booming economy was capped off by a monopoly on iron and
blacksmiths. Israel had only bronze and wood.
The plains trembled under thousands of thundering Philistine
chariots; wheels armed with spinning swords were capable of
cutting down whole Israeli divisions, like mowing grass. The
Philistine infantry must have resembled mobile forests of steel
as weapons flashed in the desert sun. The Israelites, on the
other hand, were armed only with slings, arrows, assorted farm
tools, a few knives, and instruments of bronze. In fact, at one
point, in all the hosts of Israel only two warriors wielded iron
swords: Saul and Jonathan (1 Samuel 13:22). Even the deadly
accurate Israeli arrows could not pierce the metal Philistine
Israel's hosts huddled on the hillsides in terror, watching the
awesome panorama unfolding on the Philistine plain. No doubt
stark panic spread across the camps of Israel, tugging at the
tent flaps and tightening throats. Finally, the filthy pagan
enemy massacred much of the ragtag Hebrew army and carried the
sacred Ark of the Covenant, the very dwelling place of God, into
the land of the Philistines.
Decline. Disillusionment. Danger. The time was right for God to
intervene and to make His choice (1 Samuel 13:14). Our man David
was given the nod of God—but why?
Many know King David only for his bright hour with Goliath and
his dark hour with Bathsheba; yet the Old Testament uses
sixty-six chapters to unfold his saga. The New Testament mentions
him no less than fifty-nine times, and only God knows how many of
the psalms flowed from David's pen.
Millions of birth certificates of all races bear the name David
or Davita. Novels, poems, paintings and movies about David touch
all continents. Fluttering over every flagpole in the independent
state of Israel is the Star of David. And in Florence, Italy,
every day, people from all over the world pay money and wait in
line to see a fourteen-foot marble colossus, shaped four hundred
fifty years ago by the twenty-six-year-old hand of Michelangelo,
depicting the spirit of David.
Such legendary proportions are misleading, for they balloon David
larger than the flesh-and-blood reality portrayed in Scripture.
David was not a "biblical character." There are no
biblical characters. The people in the pages of the Bible were
ordinary human beings like you and me, who just happened to be
around when the Bible was being written. David is no different.
In fact, the human spirit resonates so universally with the heart
of David precisely because he was a street-level, earthy man. It
is not his gargantuan mythological proportions but the plain
profile of his humanness that makes David "the man for all
How will this give me the heart to keep going?
Excerpted from The Shepherd's Song by Lynn Anderson Copyright © 2000 by Lynn Anderson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
|1||Sheep could not report on David's performance, so, in the face of danger, he could just as well have fled, but he didn't--Because He Had the Heart||3|
|2||David has paid his dues, and he shows the value of three vital elements when--Facing Giants||17|
|3||David lost his position, his integrity, his dignity, and the people who cared about him, but he reveals a sure source of hope and comfort--When You Hit Rock Bottom||29|
|4||Three steps that will help you, as they did David, to come back from being out of touch with God, in a hostile land--Running from Our Roots||41|
|5||Five revealing questions David might ask you about your career--"When I Get My Ducks in a Row"||53|
|6||David helps us see and understand a little more of God's awesome holiness--God of Death and God of Dancing||65|
|7||David teaches us by his example how to react to disappointment--Shattered Dreams||77|
|8||David's life underscores four axioms regarding sexual temptation--Taking the Big Hit||89|
|9||Nathan demonstrates five requisites for an effective approach--Caring Enough to Confront||103|
|10||David's lifestyle influenced his family the same as ours does--Families in the Fast Lane||117|
|11||How children of today (especially adult children), the church, and the crushed parents themselves can help--When a Father's Heart Is Breaking||131|
|12||David exemplifies how to adapt to a new phase of our lives--Aging with Class||145|
|13||The drama of David's struggle with grudges reminds us that we all are complex creatures--Trying to Forgive||157|
|14||In spite of all his problems, David knew deep joy because of his relationship with God--He Went Out Singing||169|
|15||David sometimes doesn't understand himself, but he becomes "every man" to let us know God is for every man--On through the Fog||181|