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.” (1 Samuel 16:10-11, NLT)
Samuel was in Bethlehem on a secret mission to anoint the next king of Israel. All he knew was that it was one of Jesse’s sons. When Samuel asked to see them, Jesse proudly paraded his sons before the prophet.
Except he didn’t.
One son didn’t even get called in. It could’ve be funny; after all, a man with 8 sons could be forgiven for forgetting one. It could’ve been that Jesse thought David was too far away.
Or it could’ve been an indication of David’s low value to his father.
Imagine you’re David. You’re working alone in the hills when two of your brothers arrive and tell you to go to town because the prophet is asking for you, and is making everyone wait for you. It’s amazing, confusing, wonderful, terrifying. On the way to town, your brother sneers. “Father almost forgot about you.”
Was it a surprise? Or was it just one more time you’d been passed over?
And then God said, “This is the one” (1 Sam 16:12). Samuel anointed David.
David’s beginning is not so promising, but as king, he united Judah and Israel, established Jerusalem as the political and religious capital, and expanded Israel’s borders with his more organized military. But knowing how things end doesn’t negate how much it hurts to be habitually passed over.
How is the beginning of your story? Have you been passed over? Forgotten? Discounted?
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at… the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). God sees you. He does not forget you, or discount you, or pass you over because of your external packaging. God looks at you and thinks, “This is the one.”
That sounds lovely, but what about David’s brothers? God saw their hearts and rejected them, didn’t He?
Yes — for a job so difficult it was almost impossible. Whether you get a big, impressive job in the kingdom or not, God always chooses you to do what’s right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). You are always the right one to do that.