Chosen. Scripture, reflection and prayer.
1 Samuel 16:6-13 "When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Here he is! God’s anointed!” But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him.
God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” Jesse then called up Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. Samuel said, “This man isn’t God’s choice either.” Next Jesse presented Shammah. Samuel said, “No, this man isn’t either.” Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel. Samuel was blunt with Jesse, “God hasn’t chosen any of these.”
Then he asked Jesse, “Is this it? Are there no more sons?” “Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.” Samuel ordered Jesse, “Go get him. We’re not moving from this spot until he’s here.” Jesse sent for him. He was brought in, the very picture of health—bright-eyed, good-looking.
God said, “Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one.”
Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life.
Samuel left and went home to Ramah."
Reflection. "Nothing is new under the sun," says the writer of Ecclesiates. If you are blessed with being handsome or beautiful then you have a much better chance in life. You get better jobs, marry well, have a nicer life. Not always, of course, but the statistics bear this out.
Samuel met Jesse's sons one by one. Samuel was impressed by their looks and thought that each one, as they were presented to him, must be God’s chosen to be King in Israel. Yet, God repeatedly made it clear that each of these handsome men was not the one. Looking good helped in Biblical times and that remains true today.
At last, the runt of the litter was brought in from the fields. Now, David was good looking as well, but he was the youngest and the least favoured. Here was the one chosen by God. David went on defeat Goliath, become a great King, commit adultery with Bathsheba, instigate a murder, repent, write great hymns, lead a country into prosperity and a golden age. He really was God’s chosen. A great and greatly flawed King. Yet, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him.
The lesson is so obvious, isn't it. God looks deeper than good looks. He often choses those who we might consider the least favoured, the runt of the litter. We are called to be like Jesus and to look deeper. This is the gospel.
Prayer. Thank you God for choosing David. Thank you for his great psalm writing. Thank you for choosing us. May our lives be a great psalm of praise to you. In Jesus's name. Amen.