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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: The Inner Strength of David, the Shepherd Boy
By Venice Kichura


The Inner Strength of David, the Shepherd Boy

While Samuel was in prayer one day
God’s Spirit spoke to him.
He said, “Please fill your horn with oil
And go to Bethlehem.”

“For there you’ll find a godly man
Who heads a house of sons.
It’s one of them I’ve chosen for
A job I’ll soon need done.”

“But, Lord, just how,” the prophet asked,
“Will I select this man?
Please tell me how I’ll know the one---
I’ll need to know Your plan.”

God said, “Just take a heifer young,
And go to Jesse’s place--
Invite him to My sacrifice,
For there to seek My face.”

“Just trust me,” God continued on,
“I’ll show you what to do.
The son I’ll tell you to anoint
Will carry My plan through.”

When Sam arrived at Jesse’s house
He met his oldest son.
Eliab’s such a strapping guy,
For sure, he is the one!”

But then the Lord corrected him,
“Although a work of art,
He’s not my man to do the job,
For I look on the heart.”

Then Jesse called his second son
To pass in front of Sam.
But God just whispered in his ear,
“No, he is not my man.”

Then Shammah passed before Sam’s eyes
But he, too, God declined.
“Dear Lord,” his servant cried aloud,
“Your man, oh will I find?”

“Now seven striking, able sons
Have danced before my eyes
And all such handsome, brawny men
Yet You told each goodbye?”

And then to Jesse he did ask,
“Have you another son?”
As Jesse sighed, he scratched his head,
“There’s still my youngest one….”

“But he’s a simple shepherd boy.
He doesn’t look that sharp.
He spends his days attending sheep
While strumming on his harp.”

But Samuel said, “Please send for him.
They’ll be no sacrifice
Until I see this shepherd boy
To pass before my eyes.”

Then David, Jesse’s youngest boy,
Arrived upon the scene.
He was a youngster, fair and small--
He didn’t look 13.

As God smiled down, he said to Sam,
“Arise! This one, anoint!
He is the one that I have picked.
This lad I do appoint.”

“Although he’s only just a boy
And barely in his teens,
I have appointed him to be
A leader and a king.”

Yet he did not look very strong,
With arms and legs, small lengths.
But he sang love psalms unto God.
It gave him inner strength.

His skin was rough and rosy red.
He worked out in the sun.
As he attended to his sheep---
He’d snatch them as they’d run.

Amazingly, this shepherd boy
Could grab and snare a bear.
And yet so very tenderly,
For sheep he gently cared.


Then after God anointed him
The land was not the same.
There stalked an evil giant man---
Goliath was his name.

While tending to his sheep one day
Young David heard the call---
“Will someone stand against this foe
Who’s more than nine feet tall?”

Though still a youth, he saw King Saul
And volunteered to fight
Against this evil man from Garth,
Although his frame was slight.

Though skeptical of this young boy,
Saul did allow the match
And offered armor and a sword
For David’s soon attack.

But David did reject the sword---
No armor did he take.
His armor was the Word of God---
His faith no one could shake.

With just his staff and five smooth stones
Found in a muddy brook,
He went to face this giant strong---
His faith in God, he took.

Goliath roared as David walked
Up towards him for the fight.
But David calmly bellowed back,
“From God I get my might!”

“I come against you in God’s name.
There’s not a greater sword
Than strength that’s found from knowing Him
And trusting in His Word.”

Then David aimed his little sling,
Grabbed one stone, smooth and round.
It struck Goliath in the head
As he fell to the ground.

Then walking towards the fallen man,
He took his very sword
To cut away his giant head.
And then shout, “Praise the Lord!”

“You once stood almost ten feet tall.
You came with sword and spear.
But I came boldly in God’s name,
Your terror had no fear”

(Based on 1 Samuel 16 and 17)

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This article has been read 1393 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Melanie Kerr 04/27/06
Well done! And all in rhyme too! It is an quite a difficult thing to set out to do a narrative poem like this. I have to admit that I found the length quite off putting, and there were a number of rhyming sequences that did not hit true. They came close enough, but not spot on. I would have tended to do a much shorter account and concentrating on getting the metre and rhyme spot on.
Helen Paynter04/27/06
Particularly liked this stanza:
“But he’s a simple shepherd boy.
He doesn’t look that sharp.
He spends his days attending sheep
While strumming on his harp.”
Good job
Marilyn Schnepp 04/27/06
Comment: A great story and alot of very good rhyming.

Critique: 7th verse down the rhythm would be better with "upon the heart".

And "13" isn't as good as "something something TEEN" ...but because this is Masters, we feel we can nick-pick.(Smile) Nicely done, although I agree, a little too long...but an expertise in the poet-department.
Maxx .04/27/06
I liked this. But I thought it tried to capture too much of the story... too many details. That's what leads to the length. Obviously the author has a lot of skill and the word choices are excellent throughout.
Purity Snowe04/28/06
Very very nice. I like this! :-)
Suzanne R04/29/06
The eldest son of Jesse was a 'work of art', eh?! Very clever!

I loved it. It shows how God looks on the heart and not at the external - David, who didn't 'look that sharp' - illustrates the point beautifully.

Knowing nothing about poetry, I'll not offer any critique of it. I'll just say how I really enjoyed it. Well done!
Jan Ackerson 05/01/06
This is marvelous! I'd love to see it as an illustrated children's book--or maybe two, since I think you've got two distinct poems here. Great rhyme, meter, really clever word choices. This poem's got it all!
Caitlynn Lowe05/01/06
Amazing! I really enjoyed it.
Sue Dent05/01/06
One of my favorites this week! Good job!
Rita Garcia05/01/06
"As God smiled down, he said to Sam,
“Arise! This one, anoint!
He is the one that I have picked.
This lad I do appoint.”

Thankfully, God looks on the heart.

Well written, a blessing to the reader.
Jean Elizabeth 05/01/06
Great job! I liked this very much. Man's ways are not God's ways. Praise God!