The Boy David

From the May 1919 issue of the Christian Science Journal by

Keeping his sheep under the sun and under the stars, what manner of a boy was David? When Saul had proved himself to be inadequate as a king, the prophet Samuel was sent forth by God’s command to find another king and was led to visit Jesse, the Beth-lehemite. He passed this man’s sons in review until he came to the youngest, David, of whom the record says, “Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” True religion demands the beauty of holiness. It is impossible to conceive of religion as being true and ugly at the same time. That which is ugly lacks saving grace and is evil looking. The divine nature and its expression cannot be less than glorious with the light of love; therefore the understanding of God must be equally bright and attractive. Mrs. Eddy has expressed a world of thought in one short sentence in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” (p. 248): “Love never loses sight of loveliness.”

What must have been this boy’s thoughts about God? Very simple, doubtless, very spiritual, because he trusted implicitly in the unseen God of Israel to protect him in his visible dangers. Saul questioned his ability to go against Goliath, but David told him the following story: “Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God….The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” Then Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with thee.” With it all the boy was meek before the king, although he himself at that very time was already anointed and divinely chosen to supersede Saul, in order that he might prepare his people for the coming of the Messiah. David means beloved; Jesus means savior: love leads to salvation. Both boys were born in the same place, Bethlehem, about a thousand years apart, but they were spiritual comrades; for what are a thousand years in thy sight, O Lord? Only a day, which cannot even be measured in the eternity of Mind. Both were of the royal house of Judah and wore their crowns worthily; David reigned thirty-three full years, consolidating the twelve tribes and laying the foundation for the magnificent temple which took the place of the ancient tabernacle; Jesus finished his ministry at the age of thirty-three, and his crown was made of thorns platted by the soldiers who beat him and mocked him. Both knew what it was to be accounted an outlaw by the constituted authorities of their own people, and both entered Jerusalem in triumph.

The boy David, playing the harp while he watched his sheep, soothing Saul’s brooding humor with the purity of his tones, driven from court but sparing his pursuer’s life when he held him in the hollow of his hand, was like a Hebrew Robin Hood living off the land, yet he never hardened his heart nor lost his trust in God. How we love him for his affection and courage! He could not be made to hate. The promise of the boy was fulfilled in the man. He left three great inspirations for the human race,—his fight with Goliath, his friendship for Jonathan, his collection of songs or psalms.

The spirit of the boy David lives again in the Leader of Christian Science. “In this revolutionary period, like the shepherd-boy with his sling, woman goes forth to battle with Goliath,” she writes on page 268 of Science and Health. Of the same royal line of moral courage, reflecting the same beauty of holiness, trusting in the same God of Israel, ever forgiving her enemies, she leads her people for a triumphant entry into the spiritual Jerusalem, the everlasting city. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion,” sang the psalmist; and Mrs. Eddy writes (Science and Health, p. 575): “It is indeed a city of the Spirit, fair, royal, and square. Northward, its gates open to the North Star, the Word, the polar magnet of Revelation; eastward, to the star seen by the Wisemen of the Orient, who followed it to the manger of Jesus; southward, to the genial tropics, with the Southern Cross in the skies,—the Cross of Calvary, which binds human society into solemn union; westward, to the grand realization of the Golden Shore of Love and the Peaceful Sea of Harmony.”

Is this city accessible to all, gleaming in the white light of spiritual illumination? Yes, there is the “key of David;” let him who desires to enter take this key. Jesus, the friend of David, the Way-shower of the Leader of Christian Science, told John, the beloved disciple, to write to the state of consciousness represented by the church in Philadelphia, “These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.” The boy David tended his sheep, expressed beauty, fought his good fight, loved his enemies. Whoever does this hath the “key of David” and is a true follower of the woman who discovered Christian Science and opened New Jerusalem.

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