2 Samuel 7:8
Now therefore so shall you say to my servant David, Thus said the LORD of hosts, I took you from the sheepcote…
For purposes of sober illustration or intense appeal to the unselfish and heroic, nothing can surpass the life of David Livingstone, whom Florence Nightingale called "the greatest man of his generation." The vision of the boy placing his book on the spinning-jenny and studying amid the roar of the machinery at Blantyre, or sitting contentedly down before his father's door to spend the night, upon arriving after the hour for locking it; the old coat, eleven years behind the fashion, which he wore when he emerged at Cape Town after Kolobeng had been pillaged; the sadness of the scene when he buried his little daughter in "the first grave in all this country," he wrote to his parents, "marked as the resting-place of one of whom it is believed and confessed that she stall live again"; his jocular letters to his daughter Agnes about his distorted teeth, "so that my smile is like that of a hippopotamus"; the meeting with Stanley when he was a "mere ruckle of bones"; the indomitable grit of the man whose last words in Scotland were, "Fear God, and work hard" — this life is full of such things as these, capable of use, inviting it. And when, before or since, has this world been swayed by eloquence comparable with that of his death? No pulpit has ever spoken with such power. The worn frame kneeling by the bedside at Ilala, pulseless and grill, while the rain dripped from the eaves of the hut, dead in the attitude of prayer, solitary and alone, sent a thrill through the souls of men which, thank God, is vibrating still, and is working out the redemption wrought once for Africa by the world's Redeemer.
(W. G. Blaikie.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: