Summary: When we look to the culture for answers we go astray. We need God’s perspective in our lives.
The God Perspective, 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13
An American Indian tells about a brave who found an eagle’s egg and put it into the nest of a prairie chicken. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life, the changeling eagle, thinking he was a prairie chicken, did what the prairie chickens did. He scratched in the dirt for seeds and insects to eat. He clucked and cackled. And he flew in a brief thrashing of wings and flurry of feathers no more than a few feet off the ground. After all, that’s how prairie chickens were supposed to fly. Years passed. And the changeling eagle grew very old. One day, he saw a magnificent bird far above him in the cloudless sky. Hanging with graceful majesty on the powerful wind currents, it soared with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings. “What a beautiful bird!” said the changeling eagle to his neighbor. “What is it?” “That’s an eagle—the chief of the birds,” the neighbor clucked. “But don’t give it a second thought. You could never be like him.” So the changeling eagle never gave it another thought. And it lived out all of the rest of its life living under the delusion that it was a prairie chicken.
This morning we will talk about learning to have a right perspective in our lives; what I have called “The God Perspective.” This is a theme that I have been working through for the last few weeks because of its absolute importance in the Christian life. How do we change our state of mind? How do we change our circumstances when trouble comes our way? How do we remain full of joy, hope, peace even when trouble comes our way?
Today, we will examine the calling of David, King of Israel to see what we can learn about what the God perspective is and then take a look at how we can apply it to the very real, here and now, circumstances of our lives. If we are going to have victory in our lives, then I am convinced that we will have to learn to see ourselves, our circumstances, and our future through God’s eyes.
Our eyes are often clouded by our own judgments, experience, and preconceptions. We have told ourselves for so long that it cannot be done that we have created self-fulfilling prophecies and indeed unless we change our thinking it will never be done. The God perspective is about removing the scales of human understanding from our eyes and seeing things as they really are!
In today’s text we find the prophet Samuel seeking out David who he will anoint as the next King of Israel. It is important to get a little background with regard to the state of affairs in the Kingdom of Israel at that time. In order to fully understand the calling of David, it is first necessary to have at least a cursory understanding of the calling of King Saul.
Prior to Saul becoming King over Israel the only King they had known was God, Yahweh. The only Lord they had known was God, Adonai. And while God had not changed, the heart of the people had. Even though they had seen miracles seemingly without end, even though they had been brought out of Egypt at the prophetic leadership of Moses, Crossed over the Jordan at flood stage with Joshua at the front, and established in the land, the people still wanted to have a King like the other nations of the earth.
1 Samuel 8:1-5 says, “When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.” (NIV)
Under the original system Israel was to have only one King; God. God would appoint a prophet to lead them who would act as a judge to govern the people with the help of many local judges who would decide disputes between people and settle domestic and civil conflicts. Up to that time the pagan nations alone had Kings who ruled over them as sovereign rulers.
The people had rejected the sovereign authority of God and asked that they too might have a King like the other nations had. The disparity between what God had done for the nation of Israel and what they had in return asked Him to do may seem unfathomable, unthinkable to us. God had performed many miracles in the generations only recently preceding them and yet here they were asking to have a King over them like the pagan nations.