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.” 1Samuel 16:10, 11
You ever felt like an afterthought? Like no one believes you are capable, right for the job or worth much? I got just the story for you, pull up a chair and enjoy. Oh, by the way, it’s a true story.
All of Jesse’s boys were lined up, except for the youngest, David. One of them would be anointed to be the next King of Israel. The father knew David was just not the sort to be the next King; the thought was ridiculous! He was only a shepherd boy and he was the youngest in the family. He was not daddy’s pride and joy. He would not inherit the mantle of leadership for the family. He was meant to be a follower and therefore his presence was unnecessary.
The prophet came. He was no ordinary man. He had been the sole source of leadership and power in Israel for many years. He was the judge, high Priest of Israel and he was a king maker. He was God’s man and therefore one could argue still the true source of power in all of Israel. For all of Samuel’s glory Jesse did not think it important for David to be present. If you left it up to Jesse, his youngest son would miss perhaps one of the greatest events in Bethlehem’s history. Samuel, the prophet had come to town.
The present King had fallen out of favor with God and soon the kingdom would be taken away and given to another man. But who would be that man? This was the purpose for which Samuel found himself in this small town. He was looking for a king.
One by one Jesse’s son came before Samuel, and each time, they were rejected by God. Soon Samuel and Jesse were out of Boys. The great prophet turns to Jesse and says “Do you have another son.” Jesse responds that he is the youngest and that he is tending the sheep. Samuel is not dissuaded and demands the young boy’s presence. When David arrives immediately God tells Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” (1Samuel 16:12) This afterthought, unlikely candidate, became the greatest King in Israelite history; easily Israel’s greatest hero.
When self-doubt sets in and others would have you believe you’re not good enough, I think it’s best to remember that it’s not up to them or you, to decide who is not good enough. That’s God’s decision: the God who looks at the heart and sees the true nature of a person. He alone knows your true potential. Chances are it is greater than what you think!
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