Summary: Sometimes when it comes to the will of God and the choices God makes for us, we become impatient and irritated at God. Sometimes when it comes to the will of God and the choices God makes for us, we doubt and lose our way. Trust in Him.
LIFE OF DAVID: GOD’S CHOICE
INTRODUCTION...Choices and Responsibility, Little House on the Freeway, Tim Kimmel, p. 143
The words of Eleanor Roosevelt ring true:
One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
We are all faced with choices each and everyday. Eleanor Roosevelt would say that it is the choices that we make that define who we are and what we are all about. We can use whatever words we want, but in the end it is our actions and our choices that tell the tale of us.
1 Samuel chapter 16 presents one of the first episodes in Scripture of the life of David. David would eventually become King of Israel and was a great leader for his people, but he did not begin life as a prince, but as a shepherd. Israel already had a king. His name was Saul and Saul had lost his way. Saul had chosen to disobey God and so God rejected him as king and sent the prophet Samuel to find a new king (1 Samuel 15). 1 Samuel chapter 16 records for us the choice that God makes when choosing a king for Israel.
READ 1 SAMUEL 16:1-13
I look at this passage from several different perspectives as I read and study it. I look at this passage first from the perspective of Jesse. I then see the passager from the perspective of Samuel. Thirdly, I try and see this passage from the perspective of the God Almighty.
I. THE CHOICE FROM JESSE’S PERSPECTIVE
God sends the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to the house of a man named Jesse. Technically we already have heard about Jesse because in the Book of Ruth, Boaz and Ruth have a son named Obed. Obed is the father of Jesse and Jesse is the father of David (Ruth 4:17-22).
When Samuel arrives, the elders of the town are scared stiff! What in the world is the prophet of the Lord doing in our town?! It has to be bad! Samuel was given sort of a pretense by God to gather those needed to choose the next king. Saul was still in power and Samuel wished to be careful... for his sake and the new anointed’s sake as well. Samuel says he is there to sacrifice and gathers the elders and the family of Jesse.
It doesn’t say, but I have to wonder if Jesse knew what was going on. He had to have seen that Samuel was looking for something or someone in particular. I think that Jesse knew because in verses 8, 9, and 10 Samuel says to Jesse that "the Lord has not chosen him." Jesse was having his family line up before the prophet of the Lord. Jesse offered his oldest and probably his most impressive son first. Eliab (whose name means "God is my Father") must have been a handsome, strong, and impressive young man because Samuel thought he was it. But God said no. Jesse offered Abinadab and Shammah. These would not do. Jesse had seven of his sons pass by, but God did not choose any of them.
By now, I would be pretty frustrated and impatient with Samuel and with God as well. Samuel comes and says he is looking for the next king... I present you my fine boys... and you reject them all? I would think that maybe Samuel had made a mistake or maybe God was making a mistake.
Have you ever felt like that... impatient with God? Have you ever felt like perhaps God made a mistake in what He was doing and the choices that He has made for your life? I know that I have. We pray honestly that God’s will would be done, but we sure would like it if He would hurry Himself up!
The people of Israel often became impatient with God. Numbers 21:1-9 records that while the people were moving through the desert they became impatient with Moses and God. They complained about the lack of food and water and the desert life. Verse 6 tells us that God sent venomous snakes among the people and many Israelites died. Eventually the people repented and asked Moses and God for help. God delivered them. Yet, the lesson remains for us, does it not? We will get bit if we become impatient with God and the choices He makes for us.
II. THE CHOICE FROM SAMUEL’S PERSPECTIVE
Samuel is on a secret mission for God. Samuel expresses his fears about King Saul to God and God sends Samuel anyway. Samuel is to anoint the next King of Israel. Samuel is sent to the house of Jesse in a little town named Bethlehem. He tells the elders that he comes in peace and he certainly has. He has come to this little town to give a great honor to the house of Jesse and to the town as well.