as told by Sherbert the sheep
Hello everybody; Sherbert here.
You know, I was thinking the other day, I do that sometimes, about the number of times that sheep are mentioned in the Bible, and it’s more than you might think. Sometimes people think of us as being a bit woolly headed, you know; just copying each other without thinking for ourselves. So they might think we’re a bit silly and not at all important. And they no doubt think that those who look after us are even less important. But I think they mostly do a great job. They’re called shepherds, and I’d like to tell you about one of them.
His name was David. He was only a lad; the youngest in his family, with several older brothers. He had the job of looking after all of us in the fields – no doubt because his brothers thought there were more important things to do. They used to tease him and say that he didn’t have a proper job, but you know, it’s tough being a shepherd.
They need to be brave – sometimes there are wolves and bears prowling around, and they can’t just run away.
They need to be quite tough – staying out in the fields in all kinds of weather, and they might sometimes have to wake up at night if a wolf is near.
They mustn’t mind being on their own – it can be lonely in the fields.
They need to be quite strong, to carry any of us who get hurt – and some of those younger sheep eat far too much and are quite heavy.
They also need to know which plants aren’t good for us to eat, and how to look after us if we become ill or cut ourselves.
So, you see, it’s quite a tough job.
Anyway, this lad, David, was good at his job. Not only that, he was a musician and used to write, and sing, songs to us. And as he also loved God, most of these were songs about God, the wonderful things that he created and the wonderful things that he does for us. In fact, I think he also described God as being like a shepherd.
I don’t know how long David would have kept doing this job, but one day, one of his brothers came into our field and said that that a prophet called Samuel had come to their house and he wanted to see him. It seems that God had a different job for David to do, and wanted him to be king – so that he wasn’t looking after sheep any more, but people. Well, David was very surprised when he heard this, and maybe rather nervous too; but he did want to do what God had told him.
Samuel said that they had to keep it secret for the moment, because there already was a king in the country. He wasn’t a very good king, but God had chosen him, and so David had to wait.
I don’t like waiting very much; do you? I think David found it hard as well. For one thing, his brothers were rather annoyed that David was going to be king and they weren’t. David was the youngest, you see, and they said it wasn’t fair. And David began doing some amazing things while he was waiting to be king, like when he killed a giant, just by throwing a stone at him. Throwing stones isn’t usually very nice, because you might hurt someone. But this giant was frightening the people, and he was also saying some nasty things about God, which isn’t good. Anyway, David killed him and everyone was very pleased because they didn’t have to be afraid any more. They said that David was a hero, although David said it was God who had helped him to kill the giant. But this made King Saul very jealous. He was so jealous that he tried to kill David. He couldn’t, though, because God wanted David to be the next king, and David trusted God to keep him safe.
After a long time, David did become king, and was a very good one. He didn’t always get it right, and did make mistakes. But he always said “sorry” to God afterwards and trusted in him, and so God was pleased with him. David had lots of adventures as king, and I’ll tell you about some of them another time.
I expect none of us will ever be a king, or queen. But I wonder if you know that God loves us and can look after us too – just as he looked after David?