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Jehovah’s Witnesses

THE WATCHTOWER DECEMBER 2008

 Teach Your Children

David—Why He Was Not Afraid

DO YOU ever get afraid? * Most of us do sometimes. When you are afraid, what can you do?— You can turn to someone who is bigger and stronger than you. Perhaps your father or mother can help. We can learn a lot from David about where to turn for help. He sang to God: “I, for my part, shall trust even in you. . . . In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.”Psalm 56:3, 4.

From whom do you think David learned not to be afraid? From his parents?— No doubt he did. His father, Jesse, was a faithful forefather of Jesus Christ, God’s promised “Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6; 11:1-3, 10) Jesse’s father—the grandfather of David—was Obed. A book of the Bible is named after Obed’s mother. Do you know her name?— It is Ruth, a loyal woman whose husband was Boaz.Ruth 4:21, 22.

Of course, Ruth and Boaz died long before David was born. You may know the name of Boaz’ mother, David’s great-great-grandmother. She lived in Jericho and helped save some Israelite spies. When the walls of Jericho fell, she got protection for her family by hanging a scarlet cord from her window. What is her name?— Rahab, who became a worshipper of Jehovah, and she is given as an example of courage for Christians to imitate.Joshua 2:1-21; 6:22-25; Hebrews 11:30, 31.

We can be sure that David’s father and mother taught him all about those faithful servants of Jehovah because parents were commanded to teach such things to their children. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) The time came when God’s prophet Samuel was directed to pick David, Jesse’s youngest boy, to be the future king of Israel.1 Samuel 16:4-13.

One day, Jesse sends David to take food to his three older brothers who are fighting God’s enemies, the Philistines. When David arrives, he runs to the battle lines and hears the giant Goliath taunting “the battle lines of the living  God.” All are afraid to accept Goliath’s challenge to fight him. King Saul hears that David is willing to go, so he calls him. But when Saul sees David, he says: “You are but a boy.”

David explains to Saul that he has killed a lion and a bear that tried to carry off his family’s sheep. Goliath “must become like one of them,” David says. “Go, and may Jehovah himself prove to be with you,” Saul replies. David finds five smooth stones, puts them in his shepherds’ bag, takes his sling, and goes out to fight the giant. When Goliath sees a mere boy coming, he shouts: “Just come to me, and I will give your flesh to the [birds].” David answers: “I am coming to you with the name of Jehovah,” and then he shouts: “I shall certainly strike you down.”

At that David runs toward Goliath, takes a stone from his bag, puts it in his sling, and hurls it straight into Goliath’s forehead. When the Philistines see that the giant is dead, they are terrified and they run away. The Israelites chase after them and win the battle. Please read together with your family this whole story at 1 Samuel 17:12-54.

As a youth, you may at times become afraid to follow God’s commands. Jeremiah was a young person and he was afraid at first, but God told him: “Do not be afraid . . . for ‘I am with you.’” Jeremiah took courage and preached as God instructed him to do. Like David and Jeremiah, if you trust in Jehovah, you too can learn not to be afraid.Jeremiah 1:6-8.

^ par. 3 If you are reading with children, the dash provides a reminder to stop and direct the question to them.

 

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