Our family made a Jesse Tree this year to help us remember the people and events leading up to the birth of Jesus. Not surprisingly, our David chose David as one of the people he wanted to illustrate. He drew a smiling David, surrounded by happy sheep, holding up the sword that he used to kill the lion who came to attack his flock.
His drawing reminded me of last year when we celebrated Christmas with our families in the US. When David used my sister's nativity set to retell the Christmas story, he said that the shepherd first went to find the lost sheep that was missing from his flock of 100 before he came to see the baby Jesus. :)
Thinking of the importance of how a good shepherd cares for his sheep. Which is what David thought about this year too when illustrating David for our Jesse Tree. He didn't draw David killing mighty Goliath or reigning as a powerful King. But as a shepherd.
It was because David had learned how to care for his sheep in the fields that he was able to shepherd the people of Israel so well when he became king. With integrity of heart and with skilled hands.
God "chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens, from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilled hands he led them.” (Psalm 78: 70-72)
“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.” (Ezekiel 34: 23-24)
And just as David was once the shepherd of Israel, so through his line God prophesied that another Shepherd would come. To save His people and to rule forever with with righteousness and justice.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)