An old man lived up on a hill near a forest. He was a private person. He didn’t like talking to people very much.
One evening he heard a knock on the door. He came to see who it was and saw a woman there that he had never seen before. He opened the door and said, “What do you want?”
“Dear sir, please let me in and give me shelter–” the woman started to say, but the old man slammed the door in her face.
The evening went on and the light began to fade outside. Another knock came at the door. This time a whole family of people stood outside his door.
“Go away!” he shouted.
“Sir, please let us in. Help us!” the said in fear.
“No, not in my house. Find somewhere else to go,” he said and left them at the door.
Time went by and the man prepared to go to bed. Another knock came at the door. This time, the old man just ignored it. He went up to his bedroom and laid down for the night.
He couldn’t fall asleep. He felt bad for turning so many people away, but he did like his privacy. This was his home and he loved it.
He tossed and turned but continued to stay awake. It seemed strangely dark in his room. It was the middle of the night, and it seemed as though light was coming through the window.
He got out of bed and went to the window. He peaked out and gasped. The forest near his home was on fire!
He quickly ran down the stairs and out of the house. The fire was quickly heading towards him. He ran away down the hill away from the forest. He ran and ran until finally he came to a house without any trees nearby.
The light of the morning sun was starting to rise behind the home. He knocked on the door.
“Please, someone help me!” he screamed.
Finally the door was opened and there he saw the faces of the many people he turned away the night before.
The man fell to his knees and cried.
“Please, forgive me,” he said. “Please, have mercy on me and give me refuge from the fire.”
The woman who first came to his home the previous night said, “Come, the master of this house is very merciful. He would gladly welcome you here and protect you.”
She smiled at the man and offered him her hand.
The man stood up and wiped the tears from his eyes as he walked through the door.
“Attend to the sound of my cry, my king and my God! For to you I will pray, Lord; in the morning you will hear my voice; in the morning I will pleased before you and wait.”Psalm 5:3-5
“But I, through the abundance of your mercy, will enter into your house. I will bow down toward your holy sanctuary out of fear of you. Lord, guide me in your justice because of my foes; make straight your way before me.”Psalm 5:9
- Why did the man turn the people away in the story?
- When has someone been merciful to you like the master and the people in the story were merciful to the old man?
- When have you been merciful to others?
- When is the best time during your morning routine to add some time for prayer?
Get More Psalm Stories & Formative Fiction Fables
To receive more stories like this one, sign up for the Formative Fiction Friday Newsletter. You can also read some of the other Psalm stories here: