Summary: An Exposition of 16
The Person God Is Looking For
When Mike Kollin, a graduate of Auburn University, was linebacker for the Miami Dolphins his former college coach, Shug Jordan, asked him if he would do some recruiting for him. Mike said, "Sure, coach. What kind of player are you looking for?" The coach said, "Well, Mike, you know there’s that fellow, you knock him down, he just stays down?" Mike said, "We don’t want him, do we, coach?" "No, that’s right. Then there’s that fellow, you knock him down and he gets up, but you knock him down again and he stays down." Mike answered, "We don’t want him either, do we, coach?" Coach said, "No, but Mike, there’s a fellow, you knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up." Mike said, "That’s the guy we want, isn’t it, coach?" The coach answered, "No, we don’t want him either. I want you to find that guy who’s knocking everybody down. That’s the guy we want!"
On almost any given weekend, scouts from major colleges will scour high school games in search of the next star player for their teams. Most of the players they watch will be average, or below average, but there will be some shining exceptions. Who knows how many Peyton Mannings, or Michael Jordans, or Venus or Serena Williams are waiting to become stars?
God is doing some scouting of His own today. The Bible tells us
2 Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…”
God is looking for people that He can make champions on His team: men and women of faith who will one day make a difference in this world. He may even be looking for someone like you! But what kind of person is God looking for? One of the clearest pictures you will find of the kind of person God is looking for in 1 Samuel 16, where God announces His choice of a unlikely young man to be one of the greatest kings in all of human history. In these verses, God shows us what kind of person He is- and is not- looking for to be His champion.
I. GOD IS NOT LOOKING FOR HARD-HEADED, HARD HEARTED PEOPLE. (v. 1-2a)
For most of its early history, Israel was not ruled by a king, but directly by God Himself. Moses led them out of Egypt, Joshua led them into the Promised Land, a group of men known as Judges were in charge for awhile, until the beginning of the book of 1 Samuel, when the people asked him to give them a king. When all was said and done, Saul became the first king of Israel.
At first, Saul seems to do all right, but later it becomes clear he has some problems which Are so serious that God rejects Saul as King of Israel. The problem is that Saul has no plans to give up his throne, and that brings us to 1 Sam. 16:1-2a.
This chapter opens with Samuel, God’s prophet, sad and sorry about Saul’s failure. He’s moping around, feeling sorry for himself and for Saul, when God says How long are you going to pout about this loser? I’ve got other plans. I have rejected Saul as King.
Why does God reject Saul? It is not just because Saul made a mistake. Saul has developed two sinful attitudes that make him a failure: he is hardheaded and hardhearted, two qualities God is definitely not looking for.
You can see his hardheadedness in the previous chapter. God told Saul to do something, and Saul did not obey. When he was confronted, he denied his sin, and tries to convince Samuel that he was obeying the Lord, even though the evidence is in plain sight! Samuel finally has to be blunt with Saul, and he tells him: (read 1 Sam. 15:22-23). Saul is so hardheaded that he really never admits his wrongdoing. That is why God rejects Saul as King.
But Saul goes even farther, and becomes hardhearted. Notice in vs. 2a what Samuel says: Saul will kill me if he suspects I am going to find another king. And he would have done it, too. Saul was perfectly willing to defy God, and kill Samuel, God’s prophet, a man who loved him. Saul was willing to whatever it took to hold on to his power. He has become cold and calculating, a hardhearted, hardheaded man that God cannot use.
According to recent statistics, there are about 1600 people in the US who are members of the Flat Earth Research Society of America. These are, of course, folks who refuse to believe that the earth is round, but insist that it is flat. Their president, Charles k. Johnson, explains his view this way: “I’ve been a flat-earther all my life. When I saw the globe in grade school, I didn’t accept it. It was illogical.”