A Horse’s History

The following is chapter 12 in the children’s series, If They Could Talk, the story of our redemption as it unfolds from Genesis to Revelation. This is the story of David as found in 1 and 2 Samuel.

My Friends,

I am a war steed. I hail from the stables of David. I have been the king’s horse for many seasons; with him on journeys and with him in battles—I know him as no other animal does. But I must back up a few years. My history is sure for it comes from the snorts and neighs of my father; he was there that day.

King Saul was still on the throne. At first it was just another skirmish with the Philistines, but this battle became one like no other.

A valley separated the armies; the Philistines on one side, the armies of Israel on the other. Jawing and jockeying constituted each day. Which side would blink first? Days turned to weeks; each side waited for the response of the other. Then something strange and terrible happened.

A giant appeared from the Philistine camp. His stature, muscles, and weapons larger than any man; his shadow and his arrogance loomed over the valley. The Philistines called him Goliath. He was their champion; he was Israel’s nightmare.

He joined the line and threatened the armies of Israel at dawn and came out again to taunt them at dusk. He was vile and disgusting, and his verse was always the same: “Send one to fight; if I win Israel serves Philistia. If your champion wins; Philistia serves Israel.”

But who could fight such a giant? Who would even try? Forty days of verbal assault. Israel stood paralyzed; no one dare confront the blasphemer.

Then a glimmer of hope or was it foolishness? A young and ruddy lad visiting his soldiering brothers heard the giant’s rant. “I will fight this giant,” said he, “No one shall speak such defiance against Israel’s God.” When brought to the king, Saul sighed, “You are just a boy; your request is admirable, but it is also ridiculous. Go home to your father; go home to your sheep.” But the boy would not relent. “The Lord shall deliver me; all Israel shall be freed from this one who defies the Living God.”

Weapons of war he would not take; rather tools of a shepherd—a staff, a sling, and some rocks. My father told me all the horses that day prepared for a retreat; surely the boy would fall and the Philistines would attack.

The giant moved toward the boy. David thrust his hand into his pouch; a smooth stone was pulled and quickly positioned in his sling. With a prayer and a shout, the boy’s rock flew and found the forehead; proud Goliath teetered, fell, and died. Their champion down, the Philistines took flight, and a great victory was won.

This boy would become a man; the man would become a king, and I would be his horse. He slayed the enemy that day and through the years he would slay many more. He would get married; he would have children; he would make mistakes. He wrote songs of lament, and he wrote songs of joy; he loved singing of his God. But it was one promise made him by the Creator God that set him apart; God promising that David’s house, kingdom, and throne shall be forever.

Kings come, and kings go; this I know. But this one after God’s own heart; this one who slew the enemy and ruled and shepherded God’s people from his throne was different. Though just a man, we animals believed this king from Bethlehem represented someone greater. Was someone coming from David’s house that always would be on the throne?


The Horse

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