Sometimes even big kids can be scared and being alone seems to make it worse. David was often alone and tonight was no different. He was a shepherd and shepherds had to take their sheep to where the grass was green and tall and that often meant taking them many miles from home and family. There was no soft, comfortable bed or warm fireplace. There was no hot meal. There was only sheep and the huge night sky filled with bright stars.
Alone on the rolling hills and open prairie David often had to scare off or even kill wild animals that were threatening his flock of sheep. When a lion or bear tried to take one of the sheep he would use his slingshot to protect the sheep and himself. It was never easy and he was often scared. What if he missed? What if he hit the animal but didn't kill it? It might come after David and try to kill him and David had no one else to turn to. He knew he had to protect his flock and he knew nobody else would do it.
"God", David cried, "I'm scared! I'm not even grown and I have so much to do! What if I can't do it? What if I mess up?"
"Don't be afraid, David. I'm with you."
David always felt those words in his heart whenever he got scared. He knew God was speaking to him and it never failed to make him feel better. David often looked up into the huge, starry night sky and wondered how and why God cared for him so much. He would look around at the sheep and the goats, the grass and the trees, the huge mountains and the wide open spaces and he always felt very small. He didn't understand why the creator of everything would care about him but he knew God did care and it gave him courage every day.
"David! Hey, David!"
His father called to him early one morning.
"David, I need you to go check on your brothers. I'm worried about them. They've been in combat with the Philistines for a long time and I haven't heard from them. Go make sure they are alright."
So, David left immediately to check on his brothers. He, too, was concerned about them but he began to sing as he walked. He made up the music in his head as he went along.
"The Lord is with me. I will not be afraid. Yes, He is with me. I will not be afraid!"
He sang loud and long and soon the long trip was over. He saw the two armies lined up for battle and he ran closer until he found his brothers. Just as he was about to ask them how they were doing he heard a man from the enemy army yelling. He looked across the open field to the Philistine army and saw the man. His name was Goliath. Everybody knew Goliath. He was the biggest man David had ever seen. He was a warrior over nine feet tall with shoulders as wide as a table. His head was as big as a cows' head and not much better looking. He carried a spear and a sword and just his armor weighed more than David did.
Goliath yelled across the field at the men. He made fun of them and called them names. He said they were chickens and that even their God couldn't save them this time. David couldn't understand why nobody would challenge Goliath. Yes, he was big but he was saying horrible things. David couldn't let him continue.
David told the men around him that he would kill the giant and defend his country and their honor. The men laughed at David and told him to go back to town with the other kids and the women but David didn't listen to them. David looked again across the open field. He felt the warm breeze and saw the sun slip out from behind a cloud. Maybe this was too much. Maybe he should just go home and let somebody else fight Goliath.
"Don't be afraid, David. I'm with you."
He felt God's words again in his heart and knew what he had to do. He looked once more at Goliath. Directly behind Goliath stood four other huge Philistines and the rest of the Philistine army. They were all massive warriors but David had a plan. He found five smooth rocks laying on the ground and put four of them in his pouch. The fifth one he put into his leather slingshot and took off running toward Goliath. Goliath laughed at the young boy running his way and started walking into the field toward David.
Goliath was furious now as he saw David, just a kid, running toward him swinging a slingshot over his head. He was screaming at David, calling him names and making threats to kill him if he came any closer. David was close enough now he could see Goliath's black eyes. He could see the sweat coming down from under Goliath's huge helmet but all David could hear was the swish of his own leather slingshot whirling over his head. One end of the slingshot was tied around his wrist. He let go of the other end at just the right time just like he had done against wild animals to protect his sheep. The rock that was in the middle of the slingshot flew like lightning and hit that huge head of Goliath's right between his eyes with a thud every man on the field could hear.
David's hand reached for another rock in his pouch but it was not necessary. Dust fell on David's sandals as Goliath hit the ground in front of him. The stunned Philistines backed up several feet as David approached the big man. Without waiting, David grabbed Goliath's huge sword out of his scabbard and lifted it with both hands high over his head. The razor sharp blade reflected the sunlight across the field as both armies watched in amazed silence as David swung the weapon down and cut off Goliath's head, ending the battle for everyone.
David's eyes were wide. His heart was pounding and he realized he was sweating. He glanced first over to the Philistine army and saw them running away. He then looked toward his brothers and heard a loud shout coming from the men on his side. Still holding the sword, David saw his brothers and the other men running toward him. They ran to him and hugged him and thanked God for protecting him. They crowded around him, laughing and celebrating, congratulating David on his bravery.
In the crowd, David found his young friend, Tristan. Tristan had run with the men to congratulate David and as they all shook David's hand and patted him on the back, Tristan hugged David and told him he was glad he was alright.
"David, weren't you scared? He could have killed you!", said Tristan.
"I have to admit, Tristan, that I was a little scared at first but I remembered that the Lord is with me and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" David smiled at Tristan and hugged him hard. The men in the crowd around them grabbed David and put him on their shoulders and carried him back to the camp laughing and celebrating. Tristan walked with them laughing and singing out loud, "The Lord is with me. I will not be afraid. Yes, He is with me. I will not be afraid!"