3 Powerful Lessons Confirming God's Character

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As God’s anointed prophet, Samuel sets out on a journey to anoint the boy David as King over Israel (even while King Saul is still in office). And everyone is shocked at God’s choice for the role. All of David’s family (including his older, stronger brothers) watch in utter disbelief as the anointed oil of holies is poured onto David’s head. Their little brother would soon be their King.

What do you think God is teaching these men (including the prophet Samuel and David, the soon-to-be king) through this process? What can we learn through this story? Here are three powerful lessons that the Lord showed me in our time together this morning:

1. God makes His choice because He is Sovereign. First God chooses David, then David chooses to obey in response to God’s request. God doesn’t force David to follow Him. However, He does make it clear through His prophet Samuel that the throne (a very large responsibility) is His will for David’s life.

 In John 15:16, we find a powerful reminder that God’s powerful Sovereignty also reigns in our lives.  We can choose God because He has already chosen us. And God alone gives us our purpose.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

2. God chooses the simple because He adores humility. Scripture after scripture demonstrates that God prefers the simple. Why is that? Because the simple recognize that they are just that – simple. For the simple, accomplishing anything great undoubtedly requires the intervention and aid of God Himself. Therefore, God receives the most glory in these very circumstances. He makes the impossible possible.

 On a more personal level, God knows that when He asks you to do something for which you’re clearly not qualified, you will need to run headfirst into the arms of God.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

As the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Ruler over all nations, and the owner of everything, Jesus makes the intentional choice to be born in a manger. He meanders through the streets healing the sick, He lacks a place to lay His holy head down to rest, and He dies a sinner’s death. Who does this…really? We can really learn a lot from this idea of being the simple. If Jesus does it, why wouldn’t we? Here are a few more biblical examples:

  • Moses is a nervous wreck when God calls him due to an embarrassing speaking impediment. Yet he still leads God’s people into the promised land (Exodus 4:10-11)
  • Peter is simply a fisherman. Though he is not a biblical scholar, he is chosen to intimately know Christ and to lead others to do the same (Matthew 4:18-19)
  • David is a shepherd boy, but he goes on to become the greatest King over Israel (1 Samuel 16:11-12)
  • Matthew is a tax collector and hated by others, but he is called to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 9:9-13)
  • And we cannot forget Paul. As Saul he is highly educated, arrogant, powerful, and boastful. Then God chooses him. After extreme suffering he becomes Paul – a humble, open-minded, Jesus-loving, longsuffering servant that leads God’s beloved into righteousness (Acts 9:1-6)

The list goes on and on. God delights in using those who are unqualified, who are willing to learn, who are willing to follow, who possess a bit of courage, and who esteem others higher than themselves.

3.  God sees the heart, not the appearance, because He alone is the Righteous Judge. Though we don’t intend to do so, we  usually compare ourselves to others continuously. We base our judgements on what we can see with our physical eyes. Samuel does the same thing, and he himself loves the Lord deeply. This shows you that anyone is capable of it. Here’s a though experiment:

Two women both love Jesus. One woman is heavily involved in anti-sex trafficking campaigns, teaches a Bible study, serves on her church’s prayer team, and faithfully attends church every Sunday. All of these are great things. The other woman may attend church most Sundays, but may also skip it at times to meet with God with her Bible in hand. She doesn’t lead any Bible studies, nor is she involved with any activities at church.

 To the casual attendee of this church, who appears to be the more mature Christian here? Who appears to love God more? If we judge with our eyes (especially as Christians), the majority of us are going to say the first woman. Yet from experience, I can tell you that this is not necessarily the truth.
 In fact, this is almost the exact same situation Jesus calls out in the story of Martha and Mary. I know that I would have have voted Martha as the better steward because she is trying to make sure that Jesus is comfortable and well-fed. That’s definitely what I would have thought was best. But Jesus would not agree with that judgement.

May we continue to remember that His ways are truly higher than our own. May we continue to lean on His understanding, not ours.

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