Summary: Period piece. King David interacts with the audience as he ponders his past and the battle he is about to face. This is very similar to The Young Shepherd. They can be used in sequence. Purpose: Sets-up a discussion or sermon about David. As a stand-alone, it addresses finding peace in times of anxiety. Key words: David • Battles • Shepherd• Psalms • Comfort • Peace
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 12min
Props: A staff. Perhaps a crown and/or sword as hand props. Clothes should not be too regal as the king is fresh out of bed. Regal jammies would be acceptable.
Make-up: David is getting old and should look tired.
Notes: If lighting is available, a slow fade over the course of the sketch would be nice for the sunrise, preferably off to one side. General lighting should be slightly dim to represent moonlight.
(Yawning & stretching, the old shepherd sees audience. Speaks as though in conversation with one person.)
Oh, Hi. Guess you couldn't sleep either, huh?
I know what you mean. The nights don't get any better than this one. Or I should say mornings. I think we'll see an equally beautiful sunrise in a few minutes.
Well, I used to come here quite a bit. Back when I was a lot younger, and a lot smaller, as I recall. It was just about my favorite spot in the whole world. I liked to come here when I was anxious about something.
Plus, from here I could keep an eye on all the sheep, and when the moon was full, like tonight, I could see the wolves trying to sneak in from clear across the valley.
[Thoughtful, almost melancholy] I can still see all those sheep. So peaceful and unaware of the dangers in the world.
I used to do a lot of my writing on this spot.
You know, the Lord has helped me overcome far greater odds than those facing us in battle tomorrow. But I still find myself worrying. I mean, hasn't God done enough for me that I shouldn't ever question His faithfulness.
[Chuckling] That's right; not until the next time.
I was just thinking about the night before my first battle so many years ago. I was on this very hill with one of the other shepherds; neither of us could sleep for some reason.
I didn't even know I was going into battle. My Dad had given me a bunch of food and supplies and told me to take them to my brothers up on the front. I was too small to fight but not too small to deliver supplies to the front unarmed. [Finds that humorous in a perplexing kind of way.]
Anyway, I wasn't worried. From what I had heard I was in far more danger from the wolf cubs around here than I was from the Philistines. Both sides had been sitting, yelling insults at each other for days. Little did I know that I would be the one to draw first blood in that decisive battle.
Yeah, he was a whopper, wasn't he. But you know, the giants I've been fighting since Goliath have been far bigger, far more frightening.
As a matter of fact I have written about some of those giants.
What? Right now?
Okay, I if you wish. Uh-h-h-h, here's one that was written right on this spot. It's still one of my favorites.
I was sitting out here one night after chasing away some varmints, just doing my job, when I began thinking.
Like, OK, I'm taking care of the sheep, but who's taking care of me. Know what I mean? Haven't you ever wanted to just, you know, have somebody take care of you? Anyway, here's what I wrote...
The LORD, is My shepherd.
I shall not want for anything.
He provides green fields for me to lie down in,
He leads me beside still waters,
He keeps making me feel good inside.
He guides me in the ways that are right, for His name's sake,
And even though I walk through the valley where there is danger, and death, I will not be afraid,
Because He is with me. Because He comforts me.
That's all there was to it for years. Then, after some of my later-life giants fell, I was reciting it one night in my room and the rest of it came, like this:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil. My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord, forever.
What's that? Oh, come on. You know poetry doesn't have to rhyme.
The Lord IS my shepherd, but sometimes that's hard to remember.
Recently, during a very personal time of trouble...
I cried out to God for help. I cried out to God to hear me.
When I was in distress, then I sought the Lord!
I stretched out my hands, but my soul refused to be comforted.
[Gets emotional and personal with the Lord]
I remembered you, O God, and I groaned.
I mused, and my spirit grew faint.
You kept my eyes from closing, and I was too troubled to speak.
Then I thought about former days. I remembered my songs to you in the night.
My heart mused, and my soul inquired: Will the Lord reject me forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has God ever forgotten to be merciful?
Then I thought, I will remember the deeds of the Lord.
Yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, Oh God, are holy. You are the God who performs miracles.
[speaking again to his visitor]
So, even when I forget who my shepherd is, He keeps reminding me.
Absolom?! Why do you bring his name up?
Yes, that was my biggest battle. Only the Lord God could have delivered me from those odds... Could have delivered me from my own son.
And, yes, I did write about him...[the shepherd drops to his knees as he recites the first line]
O Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me.
Many are saying of me, God will not deliver him this time.
But you are a shield around me, O Lord; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.
I lie down and sleep; then I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.
[standing, with authority]
Arise, O Lord! Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
[pause, then quietly]
From the Lord comes deliverance.
It's getting light, soldier. You are excused to go about your battle preparations. Thank you for keeping your king company. No, you go on. I have some battle preparations of my own to take care of.
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise. You perceive my very thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord. You surround me, in front and behind,
You have laid your hand upon me.
Wow! Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
For you created my inmost being. You put me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am wonderfully made. All your works are wonderfully made. I know that full well.
Search me O God, and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,
Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hand for war, my fingers for battle.
He is my loving God and my Fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer...
[Short pause, then lights fade to black as David walks away.]
©1996 JSam Communications
This script is available at no charge to church theatre groups who do not charge to watch the performance, and who include the website in an appropriate credit.