Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Using a Shepherd Boy

While traveling in Jordan, Leadership journal editor Marshall Shelley noted:

While driving through the countryside and small towns, you're impressed by how many Jordanians spontaneously wave at the bus.
Some of those who waved were shepherd boys. Usually alone, a boy perhaps 12 or 14 years old would be standing near a flock of goats or sheep, often in utterly desolate terrain. I wondered how the animals could find enough vegetation to eat among the rocks.
Toward evening, we'd see a boy leading the flock back to the tent where his Bedouin family lives. What does such a boy do all day? There's not much to do in a rocky wilderness, except look for shade and keep the sheep in view. How does a boy keep himself occupied?
The Bible does provide a clue. One such shepherd boy who grew up not far away, named David, must have spent his time singing songs and throwing rocks. Day after day with the sheep, there would have been lots of time to make up songs. And there certainly was an endless supply of rocks.
Did he ever wonder if he was wasting his time by singing songs and slinging rocks?
Interestingly those two skills, honed by hours of solitary practice while watching sheep, proved crucial in God's plans for him. His musical abilities were put to the service of a king, the tormented King Saul, and calmed him at least briefly. Later, his musical abilities had a more lasting effect as David penned the Psalms that we still sing and recite.
And the rock throwing? That skill, of course, led to David's stunning victory over Goliath. The stone slinger emerged as a national hero. As I traveled the rocky landscape of the Holy Land, I pondered the rocks. They're everywhere! Easy to complain about, or overlook. Yet for David, they were the raw material that God used mightily.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Christian Businessman Trains Teens

Isaiah Williams needed money—fast. Only 19, and about to become a father, he wanted to provide his child with everything he could. Williams heard about the Entrenuity Summer ...

[Read More]

Math Teacher Breathes Hope into Life of Student

Jeff Jernigan writes in “The Power of a Loving Man“:

I was poor in math until I hit eighth grade. For some now unfathomable reason, I found it easier to cheat and get failing ...

[Read More]