St. John's Lutheran Church

Week of Pentecost 8 – Friday Devotion

Readings:  1 Samuel 16:1-23 and Acts 25:13-27

1 Samuel 16:6-13a  When they came, [Samuel] looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 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.

 

“Insignificant But Equipped by God”

How often do we make judgments based on our first observations? We see someone and immediately determine if we like them or do not like them. Think of some of the factors that might be part of that decision. How do they look? Are they neat and orderly? Is their hair or make-up or whatever done well? What about their clothes? We may make judgments based on hair color or piercings or tattoos or a number of other factors.

While the other person may do things different than we do, it does not mean that they are someone we should immediately reject or accept. There are people that are very good at covering up attributes that could make them dangerous to us; there are others who may not look the best but would be there for us in a heartbeat, if the need arose. 

Was that not the struggle Samuel faced? Surely God chose Eliab. Look at him! What a great king he would make! But it was not Eliab, nor Abinadab, or Shammah, or any of the seven sons of Jesse gathered before Samuel.

Did God make a mistake? God sends Samuel to this household to anoint the king to take Saul’s place, but God rejects each one presented for the position. Oh, wait, there is one more. You really don’t want little David. He is not fit for the job. He is out tending sheep. But, if you desire, we will have him come.

That was exactly who God had chosen. God knew the heart of David. He knew David’s skills and integrity. This was the man.

What becomes of this small, insignificant, young man? He becomes one of, if not THE greatest king of Israel’s history.  God chooses David who becomes an ancestor in the genealogy of Jesus. David is far from perfect, but God anoints him to be the next king.

Have you ever felt like a David? You do not feel you have the skills. Send someone else, you might say. Send someone better than me or bigger than I am. I’m too ________ to do what you want, Lord. (You fill in the blank.) Today many might fill that blank with the fear they bear of COVID-19.

Do you not realize that if God calls you for something He will also equip you for it? He will not leave you alone. His strength, Word, and other Christians will be there to guide you when you face difficulty. 

Jesus tells you to cast our burden on Him. He cares for you and He will lift your burden – of doubt, assault by the Devil, or whatever it might be – and take it from you. He will nail it to the cross where He gave His life – for you!

 

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, guide us by Your Spirit, not to judge others based on what we see, rather guide us to see them through Your eyes that we might live in harmony. We ask this for Your sake. Amen.