Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?” Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samiel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” (1 Samuel 16:4-12)
As we read in Scripture, Saul — the first king of Israel — had failed to obey God on various occasions. God sent Samuel on a mission to anoint the next king. Samuel was instructed to invite Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice where Samuel would anoint a king for Israel.
At the very beginning, Samuel made the mistake that we still tend to make — he judged according to what he could see with his eyes. Surely Eliab was the one! He appeared strong and confident as a king should be. Notice what God said to Samuel.
“Don’t consider his appearance. I do not look at the things people look at. While people look on the outward appearance, I look at the heart.” Seven kingly-looking sons failed the test of the heart. That is manys sons. In our eyes, one of them had to be good enough. God viewed it differently. “Do you have any more sons?”
Jesse’s answer was interesting. “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.” Jesse did not think enough of David to even invite him to the sacrifice. Maybe he thought, “David is too young and he smells like the sheep he is tending.” This is so typical of how people are looked at by others.
Hear the thoughts of people around us. That one is too old or too young. That one appears shy and unsure of themselves. That one can only do the most menial of tasks. The book is judged by the cover but God opens the book to see what is inside. He is so good at bringing out the best in people that others would tend to cast aside
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 says, “For see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called; But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise: and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” It is so important to let these words sink into our hearts and our spirits — “God hath chosen”.
It is so humbling to understand that God has gone past many to choose us. All are called to salvation; many reject it. Many others are satisfied to coast along. Then there are the chosen ones that God uses to change the world and further His kingdom.
Take heart today! God has gone past many to choose you. YOU ARE THE ONE!
Dave Snyder is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God – Cleveland, Tennessee. Before entering the ministry on a full-time basis, he was a school teacher. He also coached middle school basketball for eight years.
Dave and his wife, Sara, have two children — Craig and Karen. They also have one ten year old granddaughter — Breanna.
Dave and Sara pastored in West Virginia for thirty-six years. Sara is now retired from the banking industry, and Dave is retired from pastoring. However, Dave currently serves as prison Chaplain for the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Writing essays, articles, and devotionals is a real passion for Dave. He also enjoys playing musical instruments and singing.