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David and Goliath: It Could Be Verse
(May be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island) Come, gather now, good Christian folk, and listen as I tell of battles fought in days of old, and how it turned out well for God’s own chosen people as they fought the Philistines; and let us ponder in our hearts the truth for our own times. The Israelites and Philistines for fighting did prepare; on hilltops battle lines were drawn, and each at each did glare. Then from the Phillies’ camp there came a most amazing sight: a giant of a man who seemed to be nine feet in height. Arrayed in armour made of bronze, Goliath was his name; and at his challenge people turned and ran away in shame. “Send some man to take me on; the winner wins the war.” But no one dared; for Israel it was much too big a chore. King Saul declared: “Will someone fight? I’ll give them a reward of wealth, my daughter as a wife; they’ll never be ignored.” But no one dared to volunteer: the task was just too great, and nothing Saul could offer them would make them take the bait. Now David was a shepherd-boy, just visiting his kin. He heard Goliath shout and boast and stopped to take it in. “Who does this fellow think he is, defying us and God? I’ll take him on. And he’ll regret he ever touched a sword.” “You’re just a lad,” said Saul. “You’ll never overcome this giant.” But David knew the power of God and turned to Saul defiant: “When working as a shepherd-boy I killed a bear and lion; I don’t think I’ll be frightened by some stupid Philistion.” “OK, you win,” said Saul, “but, here, you’d better wear my armour.” “It’s much too heavy,” David said, “I’m only a small farmer.” Equipped with staff and stones and sling, young David ventured out. Towards him came Goliath with his God-defying shout. “You little squirt,” Goliath said, “I’ll feed you to the birds.” But David answered, “God and I will make you eat your words. God doesn’t need our weaponry to make his people safe. Before the day is over you’ll be dead and in your grave.” A stone out of his bag he took and put it in his sling. He whirred it round and round and then released a mighty swing. The stone flew true and hit the giant Goliath on the head – a whoosh, a thwack, an aargh, a clank, and down he tumbled, dead. “The victory is ours!” God’s people shouted out with glee. The Philistines in horror all began to run and flee. Young David took Goliath’s sword – but this part of the story should not be heard by squeamish folk – it’s rather red and gory. Goliath’s still around, of course; he comes in many guises, but we shall overcome by faith and trust in God’s devices. It’s true, as little David said: God saves us not by force; but through his love and Jesus’ cross he draws us to his cause. So ponder on God’s grace; and never take this thought amiss: that Philistines today are those who sneer at verse like this.