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The Trials of Great Bible Characters (6 of 15)
The Trial of David
Clarence E. Macartney
2 Sam. 23:1
There was no little stir in the hamlet of Bethlehem
when, one day, the great prophet Samuel appeared in
the town driving a heifer before him as if for a
sacrifice. The elders of the town waited upon Samuel
and asked him if he came in peace. They feared that
his presence in Bethlehem meant that he was the herald
of a divine judgment upon the people for some
transgression Reassured by the answer that he came
peaceably and to offer a sacrifice, they went with him
to the house of Jesse where he offered a sacrifice and
sanctified that household.
Once again Samuel was on the lookout for a king. The
Divine Voice had directed him to the house of Jesse.
Jesse had eight sons, the oldest of whom was Eliab, a
man of great stature and imposing presence, but
imperious and ill-natured. The youngest son was not
called at all. He was about fourteen years of age at
that time, and probably Jesse did not think that
Samuel would give him a moment's consideration in
connection with whatever mysterious purpose brought
him to his house. When the seven sons were marshaled
before Samuel and he looked upon the imposing Eliab,
Samuel said to himself, "Surely the Lord's anointed is
before him." But the Divine Voice indicated to Samuel
that this was not he. "Man looketh on the outward
appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." Then
came Abinadab, and after him Shammah, who also were
rejected; and one by one all the sons of Jesse but the
youngest. Then the perplexed Samuel said to the
father, "Are here all thy children?" And he said,
"There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he
keepeth the sheep." "Send and fetch him," said Samuel.
Then came David with his auburn locks and his
friendly, attractive face, his boyish form, and
perhaps a harp in one hand, his shepherd's staff in
the other, and his sling over his s ...
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