Annie Herring

Jesse’s Youngest Son

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Posted by jjtischer on 11/26/2013


We are men numbed by the scenes before us, paralyzed by the defiant taunting of the enemy’s champion, a seasoned giant bred for intimidation.

Israel’s army stands at a safe distance, “talking” about victory. Their shouts rain down thick, dark clouds of arrows, but they are shafts without feathers, sticks without points. Their plans, planned for tomorrow, will cut the enemy down, as imaginary waves of victorious warriors trample retreating aggressors. But their plans for tomorrow, and tomorrow, then tomorrow, are plastic swords against coats of mail.

Where is the son of Jesse, that ruddy shepherd tending his father’s flock, naive enough to believe, compelled by the Spirit, Jesse’s son who fell in love before he went into battle, who went into battle because he fell in love?

How many desert rocks and clay pots felt the sting of a stone propelled with precise aim from the sling of Jesse’s youngest son? How many times had he practiced this battle, rehearsed this victory, sharpening his skills on some mock battle field, while protecting the flocks entrusted to his care? Hear him yell, “God will deliver you into my hands, as He has the lion and the bear!”

Where are these sons of Jesse now who run at giants with nothing more than a sling and stone, who throw off man-made armor, and deflect the talk of talkers who stand at safe distances? Where are these sons of Jesse, the last in line, called in from the field, who fell in love in the desert places on mock battle fields, who but for the discerning prophet, disregarding envious brothers, will be overlooked and counted out, robbing nations of shepherds, and armies of victories?

Hear the harps they skillfully play, and songs their hearts were taught to sing, while “warriors” raise their plastic swords and sticks that look like arrows, who have not learned a shepherd’s song or felt the power of the love that courage gave a shepherd boy, Jesse’s youngest son.

Gary Little


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