Archive for February 20th, 2008

Hearing the Word of the Lord

Just picture Saul in yesterday’s chapter (1 Samuel 15) clinging to Samuel’s robe pleading for a blessing. The robe tore.
So too the thing he loved and idolized the most was clutched in his stubborn and prideful fist. That idol was torn.

God seems to be putting His finger on an object in my life that I might be clinging to a bit too much to. 

God give me open hands, I pray.

In the opening verses of today’s chapter (1 Samuel 16) we see Samuel still mourning over Saul’s failure. Oh how our enemy would want us to remain trapped in mourning over the tragedies of the past. To be stuck there, unable to move on with the Lord.

Jesus, lead me onward and upward, I pray.

The way God deals with Samuel’s fear of Saul is very gracious; and it is a great example of what is meant by “Be wise as serpents but innocent as doves.”

Though Samuel may have looked a tad weak in fearing for his life from Saul, I’m so impressed and moved by his actions in the remaining verses.
God tells him that

“I have provided Myself a king among the sons of Jesse.”

Yet, the seven sons of Jesse are all reviewed and none of them are the chosen one by God. No one volunteered that there was yet another. For some reason, none thought it important for David to be attending the sacrifices!

And yet…Samuel knew God’s word was true, he knew there must be another son of Jesse who was not at the sacrificial feast. And so he asked:

Are all the young men here?

Samuel was a prophet, and knew how to trust the word of the Lord given to him.

  • I would have said, “I guess the Lord was wrong when He told me it would be one of Jesse’s sons,” but he didn’t say that.
  • I might have said, “It has to be one of these seven sons, so pass them by me again,” but he didn’t say that.
  • Most probably I would have said, “I totally misunderstood the Lord. I’m reading way too much into my inner thoughts,” but he didn’t say that!

He had confidence in the word of the Lord!

We are getting a glimpse at the low regard David seems to have in his family. 
  • Jesse doesn’t even answer Samuel with David’s name, but simply says, “there remains the youngest.”
  • And how is it that one of the sons should be counted dispensable from the congregation of those offering sacrifices with that prophet of God Samuel? Why wasn’t David invited?
  • Would David had ever made it to see Samuel, if Samuel, hearing the word of God in his heart, did not insist that he be brought?

1 Samuel 13:14 describes David this way

The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord had commanded him to be commander over His people.

God’s choice of David shows that

  • We don’t have to quit our jobs and enter into full-time ministry to be people after God’s own heart.
  • We don’t need to be famous or prominent to be people after God’s own heart.
  • We don’t need to be respected or even liked by others to be people after God’s own heart.
  • We don’t need status, influence, power, the respect or approval of men, or great responsibilities to be people after God’s own heart.

David did not have to manipulate his way into the palace or into Saul’s favor. He allowed the Lord to open the doors for him. David didn’t have to wonder, “Is this of the Lord or is of me?” because he let the Lord open the doors for him.

I fear manipulating things so much that I often neglect that which should be rightfully pursued.

Lord, grant discernment. Let me discover that beautiful balance between manipulation and total neglect.

And just a little excerpt from my all-time favorite preacher, Charles Spurgeon,

“David was none of your strutting peacocks who cannot be content unless all eyes are upon them; he sang God’s praises as the nightingale will sing in the dark when no human ear is listening and no eye is admiring. He was content to bloom unseen, knowing that the sweetness of a renewed heart is never wasted on the desert air. He was satisfied with God alone as his auditor, and he coveted not the high opinion of man.”