Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenges. Yesterday we read the story of David learning he’d be the new King of Israel, even though a despotic old king was still in charge.
Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:1-13 ESV)
Jesse parades all his sons before the great prophet, and Samuel says none of them will be king…surely there is another son. There is, David, the youngest who didn’t even get invited to the party.
Clearly David wasn’t the one anyone expected would be chosen as king. He’s not the oldest, strongest or best looking of them all. It’s not that he’s the opposite; the bible clearly says he was good looking, but he simply wasn’t the top of the food chain. In fact, his father was so certain David wasn’t chosen, that he didn’t even bother calling him in from the fields, where he was keeping sheep!
But Samuel insists he will wait for this last son, to see if he’s the one. He won’t be swayed by human desires – he’s answering only to God.
Jesse, on the other hand, clearly doesn’t expect God do to anything surprising. Using human categories, Jesse is looking for kingly material. He’s expecting God to fit neatly into his box.
People still do this today – judging God by our standards. We establish what we think is good or bad, then ask, how can a good God do what we think is bad? Or how can a good God not condone what I think is good?
We put ourselves in God’s place, as judge of all things. Instead of being judged.
We put ourselves in the king’s throne, instead of being servants to the king.
Question: What does this story teach us about our relationship with God today? Do we sometimes try to “stack the deck” based on our expectations?