God View

27 Mar

Even though I have finished the Psalms, Lent is only half way through. I am going to blog on the lectionary for the week. I always am working on a sermon and thinking about the scripture for the week. So, this will help me and I hope it will help you on your journey of faith.

This Sunday I am going to preach on a favorite passage from I Samuel. It is the anointing of the sheep herder David after King Saul falls out of favor with God. God asks Samuel, prophet to King Saul, to anoint another king under the nose of the reigning king. Samuel is terrified, as anyone with a brain would be, but God makes a way.

16 God addressed Samuel: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.”

2-3 “I can’t do that,” said Samuel. “Saul will hear about it and kill me.”
God said, “Take a heifer with you and announce, ‘I’ve come to lead you in worship of God, with this heifer as a sacrifice.’ Make sure Jesse gets invited. I’ll let you know what to do next. I’ll point out the one you are to anoint.”

4 Samuel did what God told him. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the town fathers greeted him, but apprehensively. “Is there something wrong?”

5 “Nothing’s wrong. I’ve come to sacrifice this heifer and lead you in the worship of God. Prepare yourselves, be consecrated, and join me in worship.” He made sure Jesse and his sons were also consecrated and called to worship.

The text says that God only tells him each step at a time. “First, go to Bethlehem and pretend that you are just leading worship. Then make sure Jesse’s family is there. Once you are there you will get further instructions.” Isn’t that just like God – you have to get to point A, before you can see/imagine point B. Of course once Samuel is at point A, he thinks he knows what do to. WRONG!

6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Here he is! God’s anointed!”

7 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.”

8 Jesse then called up Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. Samuel said, “This man isn’t God’s choice either.”

9 Next Jesse presented Shammah. Samuel said, “No, this man isn’t either.”

10 Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel. Samuel was blunt with Jesse, “God hasn’t chosen any of these.”

11 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.”

One of the things I love about this passage is the ‘runt of the litter’ is pick. Being the youngest of four children, born within five years, I am so happy that the last in line is the one that is chosen. In this passage, it is only when Samuel is standing in the right place, in front of the right person, that God can say, “this is it”. I think because we do not see as God sees, because we can not imagine the possibilities that God can imagine, that we have to get in the right spot to see the God view.

12 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.”

13 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.

God has a plan, David is part of that plan, but God needs Samuel to make it a reality. Without Samuel willingness to be literally used by God, a willingness to endanger his life, God would not have a way to anoint David. God’s spirit can do amazing things, but it is still human beings that are the conduits for the Divine’s ideas.

So, if you are on this faith journey as I am, then you are chosen. Chosen, even if you are also ‘runt of the litter’, even if you don’t think you imagine you can do much, because God’s imaginings are amazing. Enjoy the journey; see if you can get to point A, so God can led you to point B. Peace.

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