Poor King Saul fritters away his last chance to rule Israel. Squanders his royal calling. Soon the gig will be up. The last roundup. Another ruler is on the way. The Lord God will be selecting one closer to His own heart.
That’s what we read about in 1 Samuel 16 as God gives the prophet Samuel a swift kick in the pants, so to speak. Tells him to stop moping around, biting his fingernails, kicking the dust, all because the one Samuel anoints as king bottoms out. Time to move on. Stop gawking in life’s rearview mirror.
Sounds like advice you may need today?
Samuel is to visit a man who lives in Bethlehem. Jesse’s his name. Has a bunch of promising sons. Samuel counts seven. All good-looking, hard-working guys. Excellent prospects. But which one is God’s choice for the new king?
You know what happens. Samuel checks them out, thinking each one must be God’s pick. But no, one-by-one, the Lord vetoes them all. Samuel gazes at their outward appearance, but the Lord looks deeper (1 Samuel 16: 7). At the heart. God, the ultimate cardiologist!
Finally, Samuel runs out of candidates. Jesse’s sons fail the test. Every last one. Now what? Wait a minute! Could there be another? Samuel counts seven, but in fact there are eight. There’s the youngest, David, out tending sheep like a good boy. As he approaches Samuel, the Lord says ‘yes’. That’s him! David’s the one!
My question is this. Maybe you’ve wondered. Why the runaround? After all, the Lord knows who His choice is. Where he lives. What he does. Which one of Jesse’s eight sons. Why have Samuel go through the motions?
Incidentally, this prophet is no spring chicken. Life tosses bananas in his pathway more than once. And now there’s this guessing game. Why?
Here’s a few thoughts. Often the Lord keeps us in the dark. We’re not told everything or even why. Mysteries abound. Answers not given.
And He seems in no hurry. That’s my complaint! Not eager to jump ‘so high’ at my command. Like He’s God and I’m not. His plans are discovered as we wait on Him. Often in hindsight.
So ‘trust and obey for there’s other way’. Especially when the lights go out and we’re groping in the dark. Maybe that’s you today. Unsure and on-edge. Shelved with uncertainty. Regardless, He’ll be with you shoulder-to-shoulder. He will. Lean in heavily …on Him. Hold His hand. Don’t ever let go.
Sometimes it’s best not to ask ‘why’. Just get going. Really. Notice who’s never left your side. NEVER!
Lord, how good of you to be with us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.