Summary: A sermon about the way God sees us.
"God Calling: David"
How many of you know what it feels like to be excluded?
How many of you have experienced the agony of being picked last for a sports team?
You may have watched as one by one the taller, stronger, more athletic, more "popular" people are chosen as captains.
How many teenage girls know the pain of being the one who is not asked to a dance?
How many males know what it's like to be bullied by the bigger, older boys?
Most all of us can relate in one way or another, can we not?
As adults we may know the feeling of being passed over for a promotion as others move on up the ladder.
Perhaps a friend has had a party where he or she invited everyone except us.
Whatever the exact details, these kinds of situations have a way of making us feel small, unimportant, overlooked, not as good as...
Any of us who have been the victim of a social pecking order carry scars that run deep.
People can have a tendency to leave others out; to judge by outward appearances, to leave others behind.
Thankfully, this is not the way God does things!!!
This is not how the Kingdom of God works!!!
Up until 1 Samuel 8:1-5 God had ruled the Nation of Israel, raising up leaders as they were needed.
This is how things operated all the way from the time of Moses through the days of the Judges.
But we are told in 1 Samuel 8 that the people asked for a king to rule them, "such as other nations have..." they cried.
Why does the grass always look greener on the other side of the fence?
So, The Lord told Samuel: "they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods..."
God warned them that putting a person on the throne would bring political corruption and trouble.
And God was right.
Saul was the first King.
Saul was a giant of a man.
He was good looking and charismatic.
In today's world, we might say that "he looks really good on t-v."
But, he let power go to his head.
He turned away from following God; he became corrupt.
He conquered territory, made himself rich, was unjust toward the poor and corrupted the worship of God.
In the eyes of the world, Saul was successful.
God, though, had a different perspective.
So, "The Lord said to Samuel...I'm sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have found a king among his sons."
So Samuel went, expecting to find another, big, strong charismatic leader--this time among Jesse's sons.
And Samuel thought he saw the right one in Eliab.
"That must be the Lord's anointed right in front," Samuel thought.
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven't selected him.
God doesn't look at the things humans do.
Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart.'"
Isn't that good news?
In her recent book: "American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers," Nancy Jo Sales talks about the "culture of social media."
"We're on it 24-7," she quotes a 13-year-old-girl in Montclair, New Jersey "and it's ruining our lives."
"It's all we do."
"Beautiful," "Hot," "Gorgeous," "Sexy," are responses given to selfie pictures in the culture of social media, "responses which many girls seek as they spend minutes or hours of their day preparing themselves to be photographed and photographing themselves to their best advantage" writes Sales.
"For many girls, the pressure to be considered 'hot' is felt on a nearly continual basis."
In the book a 12-year-old girl is quoted as saying: "How you look is all anybody cares about anymore...Being beautiful nowadays is seen as way better than being smart...If people aren't pretty nowadays, they're done with their life. Like, I'm not pretty, I can't live."
This is the bill of goods our children are being sold.
This is the hell they are living in!!!
What a lie!!!!!
Sales writes: "Social media creates a heightened sense of competition and inferiority."
They didn't have social media when Samuel was trying to discern which of Jesse's boys God had chosen to be the next king, but folks did judge each other by exterior features.
After the seven sons of Jesse have passed before Samuel and all have been rejected, Samuel finds out that there is another son.
"There is still the youngest one," Jesse says, "but he's out keeping the sheep."
It had never occurred to Jesse to call David in.
It is very likely that David's family never expected much of anything to come of David.