Sunday, June 17, 2012
1 Samuel 15:34 - 16:13
When I was a child, sometimes a bunch of my friends and I would get together to play ball. Sometimes it was during recess at school, and other times at a park or someone's home. Two team captains would stand infront of the group and take turns choosing players for their teams. The biggest, strongest kids were always chosen first--the ones everyone knew could run fastest and hit and throw the ball farthest. The smaller, slower kids were chosen last. Everyone would have been surprised if the smallest player was chosen first.
Samuel was surprised this way once a long, long time ago. God told the prophet Samuel that God needed a new king to rule over Israel. God sent Samuel to a man named Jesse, who lived in Bethlehem. God wanted one of Jesse's sons to be king.
So Samuel travelled to Bethlehem. Jesse presented his oldest son, Eliab, to Samuel. Samuel took one look at the tall, strong Eliab and through, "Certainly this is the man God has chosen to be king!" But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at how handsome or tall he is, because I do not choose Eliab. The Lord does not judge a person by how the person looks on the outside. God looks at the person's heart." Then Jesse called his next-oldest son, Abinadab, and presented him to Samuel. He wasn't the one chosen, either. Next came Shammah--NOT! Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel. God did not choose any of them to be the next king of Israel.
Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" Jesse said, "I have one more. The youngest. He is out taking care of the sheep." Samuel told Jesse to send for him.
When Jesse's youngest son came in, Samuel saw that he was a boy--the youngest and smallest of Jesse's sons. The Lord said, "Rise and annoint him king, for this is the one." His name was David, and he was the greatest king Israel ever had.
I imagine Jesse, his seven older, stronger sons and even Samuel were surprised when God chose David, the shepherd boy, as king. But the Bible tells us over and over again that God works that way--choosing people we wouldn't expect for service.
Even if you're young, or small, or not the first person chosen for the baseball team ever, you can be of service to God in making this world a better place and sharing the Good News of God's love, because God chooses YOU!
Let's Pray: Dear God, we thank-you for the many wonderful surprises you bring into our lives. Help us to be faithful servants, working to make this world a better place and sharing the Good News of your love and forgiveness. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.