Focus on the Flesh? Risky!

Samuel arose from his mourning and went on the mission God sent him on. Samuel knew that he was going to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king because God had already told him.

So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”

1 Samuel 16:4-7

Samuel took a look at Eliab, Jesse’s eldest son, and was sure based on that first look that Eliab was the son the Lord had anointed.

Have you ever met someone and immediately thought they were the one God had sent to meet a need? Sometimes we come across someone who seems to have that spiritual “it” factor. We meet them, and we’re in awe.

Samuel was sure Eliab was IT. His initial gut reaction was to anoint Eliab. How often do we hear, or say, “Go with your gut feeling.”? Had Samuel gone with his gut feeling, Eliab would have been the next king.

God spoke to Samuel, though, before Samuel could make a decision that would alter history.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Samuel saw Eliab’s outside, but God saw his heart.

Humans can’t see what God sees. We see a person’s physical stature, we see the attitudes an individual allows us to see, but we don’t see anything close to the heart condition God sees.

God isn’t concerned with a person’s physical appearance. He created each of us after all.

God isn’t concerned with our natural talents and abilities. He made Moses. Moses had a speech impediment. He called Moses into a position of leadership that would require an immense amount of public speaking. God didn’t originally plan on providing Aaron as Moses’ mouthpiece.

God isn’t in the business of calling people who are qualified according to man’s opinion of qualified. God is in the business of qualifying those He calls.

So 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.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”

1 Samuel 16:8-11

Go back to the beginning of this anointing passage. Samuel consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice (v. 5). Then we read verses 8-10 where Jesse leads his sons past Samuel; the same sons already consecrated and invited.

Samuel has faith in God. God clearly told Samuel that He has provided a king from Jesse. Samuel knows that he must anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king, but none of these young men are the chosen king.

How can this be? The king must be Jesse’s son. Jesse has presented his sons to Samuel. God has rejected each of them. Samuel doesn’t doubt God, though, he simply asks if all the sons are there.

The youngest son is considered so lowly that he wasn’t even included in the gathering. He was left in the field with the sheep. He was the baby and not worthy of being considered by Samuel.

So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. 1 Samuel 16 12-13

God called David, a shepherd boy, to be anointed as king. The youngest of Jesse’s sons. The unlikeliest choice. Untrained, not old enough, not strong enough, not even considered old enough in his family to be invited to a sacrifice, but chosen by God.

Yesterday on the Sharing the Faith Google+ Community someone posted a thought that the disciples, apostles, New Testament authors or Jesus Himself wouldn’t be allowed to teach in colleges or universities in the US today. Think about it. By our standards, they wouldn’t be qualified. No degrees, no training, no qualifications. In his day and age, this was David.

God has been using the most unqualified people since the beginning of time. We need to be careful when we form our search committees and prepare our list of mandatory qualifications for potential ministry leaders that we aren’t simply looking for an “it” factor.

God looks at a man’s heart. Not the appearance or physical stature. Not the natural talents and gifts. Man’s job is to look to God for direction because we can’t see a person’s heart.

Our challenge this weekend in the Christian Bloggers Community was to explain a time when God’s Word was a particular comfort to you in a time of trial. Perhaps you missed my answer in my post tonight.

I have struggled for years with what God might be calling me to do. What is my true calling?

Add to that struggle the fact that when I feel that I might have it figured out I’m always missing the qualifications. I’m not the right sex. I don’t have the right degree. I got married and had kids and really only single people qualify. I live in an extremely rural community and that type of ministry only flourishes in an urban community. The list goes on and on.

Do you see the comfort in the Word now? God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.

photo credit: kentclark333”>kentclark333> via photopin”>photopin> cc”>cc>


3 responses to this post.

  1. I enjoyed reading your piece. Your faith always shines through your writing. I always think when I am walking by people that are often overlooked on the street that they may not be “seen” by everyone, but they are seen but the ONE who sees all. I try and remember that when I go about my day. I am not sure what my “calling” is, but I do try to live well, and joyfully when I can.


  2. God is in the business of qualifying those He calls. I love that!!! That is a message all by itself. I enjoyed this read.
    Thank you!



  3. I added you through the Friday Blog Hop. God Bless you and keep up the good work. David is a great example and Paul is an example for somebody like me who is far from being perfect and still changed his life and served God


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