Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

great riches, but should also receive the daughter of Saul in marriage. As soon as David heard this, he exclaimed, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? "And did David, Mamma, suppose himself able to fight against him?" Yes, my love, and as it maybe supposed, these words were soon rehearsed before Saul, who said to David, "Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war. And David, confident that God would enable him to conquer, said unto Saul, "Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God." David said, moreover, "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." Saul doubtless was surprised at the boldness of the youth, and he might have supposed that

this was a visitation of Divine providence and mercy: he therefore said to David, "Go, and the Lord be with thee."

This sound argument being therefore sufficient to satisfy Saul, and David having obtained his sanction to meet the combatant; he was about to proceed, when Saul urged, as a precautionary measure, that his brave servant should be dressed in armour, and wear a helmet of brass; but these things David refused, for God was with him, and therefore who could be against him, as a conqueror? He took his staff in his hand, and chose 'five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had; took his sling in his hand, and drew near to the Philistine. On which the Philistine came on, and drew near unto David; and i the man 'that bare the shield went before him. When the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? said he. Cursing him by his gods, he added, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of tha field. Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield, replied the youth: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast

H

defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with the sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. As the chosen of God concluded this language of defiance, the Philistine arose and drew nigh to David.—O Mamma! say not that poor David was killed. I tremble lest the giant of Gath should have trampled him to death. A single flash of lighting, my child, is small, in comparison with the canopy of heaven; but when directed by the power of God to the destruction of man, what can arrest its power? David was not abashed: on the contrary, he hasted and ran toward the army to meet the weighty combatant. And putting his hand in his bag, he took thence a stone, and slang it, with which he smote his enemy in his forehead, that the stone sunk into the wound, so that he fell upon his face to the earth. Thus did David prevail over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote him and slew him. There was no sword in the hand of David. Running, therefore, he stood upon the giant, and taking his sword, drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. So soon as the Philistines' army saw their champion was dead, they fled; while the men of Israel and of Judah arose, shouted, pursued their enemies, and destroyed them. At the conclusion of this memorable conflict, David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; his armour he put in his tent.

When David was returned from this slaughter, it may naturally be supposed the fame of his unexampled bravery had preceded him. A most interesting spectacle followed: all the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music; they resounded David's praise, exclaiming, in vocal music, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his tan

thousands How delighted David must have been,

Mamma! Unquestionably he was, my love; but the joy to David arose from a conviction that God was glorified by this signal victory, not that it was redounding to his glory. He was not ambitious for his own fame, beyond that special delight the followers of God must necessarily experience in being chosen the instruments to fulfil his divine judgments.—How pleased, Mamma, must Saul have been with David 1 On the contrary, my love, Saul was ambitious of his own glory, and not of God's: he was very angry and incensed against David on hearing his praises, as they rent the sky from the voices of the daughters of Israel. In this state of mind he bitterly exclaimed, therefore, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom?

From this day Saul eyed David with jealousy, and instead of rewarding him for the service he had done, he several times endeavoured to take away his life; but his life was in the hand of God, not in that of Saul.—What a wicked king Saul must have been, Mamma! This great service which dear David did to him and his country seems, Mamma, to have been a loss to him of Saul's esteem, rather than a gain of gratitude and admiration. So it is, my love, to this day with all who serve God,- and they willingly suffer the loss of all things for the excellency of God. God did not forsake his dear servant at this juncture; for it propitiously happened, that Jonathan, the son of Saul, who also was filled with the Spirit of God, loved David as his own soul; and these two amiable friends made a covenant, that their souls should be knitted together in love for ever. The kindness of Jonathan was in many instances of infinite comfort to poor David, who was eventually driven

« AnteriorContinuar »