Tag Archives: a nation prospers when its king prospers

When God Does the Unthinkable

While Keith and I were watching a television program last night about the life of King David, thoughts began to race in my mind.  Once I woke up this morning (with hot tea in hand), I immediately opened my Bible to the book of 1 Samuel.

For me (and Keith too), the personal histories of David and Solomon are definitely among our favorites. They are raw and real, and their experiences relate incredibly well to anyone  – after all, we’re all sinners in need of grace. We’re all hungry to reach great goals in life while walking closely with God. David himself was referred to as a “man after God’s own heart”, and I’d certainly like to be known as that. Wouldn’t you?

“Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin’?” Proverbs 20:9

As I dove into the early chapters of David’s life story, two specific Scriptures popped off the pages and gave me a richer insight into the character and nature of God, our Creator and Everlasting Father.

Here’s how the story begins: Samuel is an anointed prophet of God who speaks to the high priests, King Saul, and the people of Israel.  He has set out (in obedience to God) on a journey to find and anoint the new king of Israel.

Though ordained by God, this journey is heartbreaking for Samuel because he has deeply loved Saul, the current king (just as God has). Yet Samuel’s very mouth is used by God to prophetically renounce Saul’s throne because of Saul’s flagrant disobedience towards God. Samuel is mourning the loss of potential that has occurred, compared to what Saul would have experienced had he only obeyed God.

 Samuel reflects a glimpse of the sadness found in the Father’s heart. As you know, sin can impact a multitude. It is almost never contained to the person committing the sin. There is a ripple effect that can devastate others. When the king sins, the consequences are serious.

“Whoever leads the upright along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance.” Proverbs 28:10 

“He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.” Proverbs 28:13-14 

Samuel makes a journey to Bethlehem to see a man named Jesse. When Samuel arrives, he asks to see all his sons; he’s ready to anoint the new king of Israel. And after careful examination of Jesse’s many sons, Samuel stops at Eliab. He thinks, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (1Samuel 16:6).

What exactly is Samuel looking at? A tall, strong, and handsome man – that’s what. He looks like a King, the kind of man that others would feel confident following. Even Samuel, the anointed prophet (who knew God’s voice), seems to think so. Eliab must be the one.

But suddenly, God speaks to Samuel: “Do not consider his outside appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Often, this point is an easy one to forget. Even when we have reached a point were we walk closely with God and feel confident that we know God, we can still make foolish assumptions based on our very limited knowledge. This scripture clearly demonstrates the frailty of man and our judgement. This is why we are in NO position to judge each other – we cannot see the heart.

 At the same time, this passage also brilliantly captures the Sovereignty of God. No matter how close we are to God (and how much we think we know Him), our perceptions are nothing to the God of the universe. His ways and thoughts are always higher.

“Are there not any other sons?”, Samuel proceeds to ask Jesse. Here I imagine an awkward silence: the prophet is requesting to meet little David after all of Jesse’s other stronger sons have just been disqualified for the role. To me, it is no coincidence that David is the smallest and youngest, and he’s just the shepherd boy.

Can you see what is happening here? God chooses the humble. He chooses the weak. He chooses the one that is young in faith and open to be taught. God chooses someone that worships him daily with a ten stringed lyre.

David may have been small on the outside, but his heart was bigger and stronger than any of his brothers combined.

Everyone (including David) was shocked when God spoke to Samuel and said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one. (1 Samuel16:12)”

In that moment, everyone (including Samuel and David) must be so moved with humility to watch the anointed oil dripping from the top of his young, dirty head down past his face and onto his feet. What do you think is going through their minds? And what do you think they are learning about God in that moment?

Join me tomorrow as I share three powerful truths that the Lord revealed to me in His word through the study of this small passage. You won’t want to miss it. To God be the glory!

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Photo provided by ChristianityMalaysia.com

 

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