Since the beginning of the year, I’ve found myself drawn to the story of David. Instead of spending time in the battles and his time as king though, I’ve instead focused on his early years and his anointing as a boy as the future king of Israel.
I was specifically drawn to the first time we met David in 1 Samuel: his Father and brothers are all invited to a sacrifice with Samuel, the prophet of Israel. If you’re unaware, there was only one prophet at a time in those days, and the “spirit of the Lord” wasn’t offered to every believer. If the prophet of Israel invites your family to participate in a sacrifice, that’s a big deal.
And David wasn’t invited.
One by one, the prophet Samuel asked the Lord if this was the son to be anointed as king in Saul’s place, and one by one the Lord said no and passed them over.
“Is this all of your sons?”
“Well, no, there’s one more. But he’s the youngest, and someone had to watch the flocks.”
David wasn’t invited.
Do you remember who Eliab is in the Bible? Of course not (unless you’re a Bible scholar, in which case, what an honor that you read this!): he’s Jesse’s oldest son and the first one passed over. He’s literally mentioned in the sentence before David, and yet we don’t remember his name or who he is. The Lord doesn’t see what we see–He sees the heart.
Have you ever felt in your life like you’re constantly over-looked? Do you ever feel like you are the least and the last? I’ve felt that way many times: I’ve never been the smartest, the most ambitious. Never been called the prettiest or been popular. Even in settings where I “fit in” I dealt with overwhelming feelings of loneliness and being “left out.” In fact, there have been many times where I’ve felt like I’m out “taking care of the flock” while others are participating in the “feast.”
And yet, God doesn’t call those who are “invited:” he calls the outcast, the minority, the unwanted and the uninteresting. Because he looks at their hearts. And that begs the question: what does your heart look like today?
David wasn’t anointed and then immediately became king. No, the Lord had work to do. David didn’t accept the anointing and begin plotting and planning. Instead, David went back to tending sheep. The Lord was the one who opened up the opportunities for David to prove himself in the eyes of man. The LORD was the one who sent the troubling spirit to King Saul which caused David to be sent to the palace to play music for him. The LORD prepared him to stand up to Goliath. THE LORD opened up all the doors and opportunities.
Why so often in our own lives do we try to force things to happen? So often I’ve heard the phrase, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” If the Lord sees our heart and we are focusing our attention on Him, won’t HE open up the doors to lead us into His plan for our life? Doesn’t that beg the question why we are so focused on our future and what we’ll do or be rather than concentrating on the state of our heart and relationship with the Lord?
What do you think the Lord sees when He looks at your heart? How could you come into closer community with our triune God?
Why don’t you trust Him to open the doors for you today?
I have in no way mastered this, but I think that’s why the Lord brings stories into our lives for a season. He is constantly teaching, growing, shifting, and stretching us to fit the plans he laid out for our lives from the beginning.
If you are also drawn to the story of David, I’d recommend the reading plan “Crowned with David” from Bible.com. It’s short and concise, and goes through the begin stories of David in 1 Samuel. Concentrate on the words and phrases that stand out from each passage and process them with the Lord. What does He have for you through David’s story?
Father God has chosen you and calls you into something special. Will you trust Him to lead you into it, in His time and by His doing?