The story of how God chooses David as king over Israel is filled with important insights. Look at Eliab, David’s eldest brother, with all his attributes: tall, handsome and strong; yet Samuel was led to choose David, the youngest and least regarded among his siblings.
We tend to give precedence to outward appearances, rank, affluence, anything vain or indeed whatever is easy on the eyes. We turn our nose up at people we deem inferior to us. God, however, looks beyond that. He looks for a good heart, character and attributes that engender the fear of Him, respect, humility, care, peace, love and unity among his people.
Is there a situation that you are considering at the moment? A judgement you have to make or a decision you have to take? What factors are influencing you? Are you also listening, as Samuel was, to the Spirit of God?
What kind of Messiah do we really need? It’s certainly not a re-run of David, Solomon, or any from the past. Jesus, who they called Son of David”, redefined what that Messiah would look like.
He came from God – he was God’s provision, not man’s idea. He took on human flesh – raising us up – rather than bringing our hopes down with the inevitability of human corruption. He was totally secure in who he was, where he came from, why he was here – rather than anxiously clinging onto to a failing power. He was the perfect servant of humanity and his mission was unsullied by human desire for supremacy. He came to give of himself rather than take for himself. He included the marginalised rather than seeking popularity. He came for you; he came for me. His Kingdom began before time and would stretch beyond time.
This is the King God has given us – not in response to our braying demands but from the fullness of his undying love. Here is the Prince of Peace; here is the Saviour of the World. He is here now, risen from death, alive! And today he offers himself: will you accept me as your King? Will you trust me? Will you receive me? Do it today while there is still time: Open your heart and say, “Yes Lord, I receive you. You are the King of my heart and my life.” Amen.
As we listened to the reading from John 10, I misheard what was being said. I thought it was “the hard man” – not “the hired man” who sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep. Why would a “hard man” run away? Surely he would be tough enough to send the wolf packing! Yet he is hard in a different sense.
Jesus is often seen as the “soft man” – meek and mild. Yet he was the one who went all the way for the sheep – laying down his life to die for us; rising from the dead and returning to find us – yet again.
This is how Fred Bruner translates the passage in his commentary on John’s gospel: “The hired hand who is not the shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep in the lurch, and runs for his life.” But love does not leave others in the lurch. We love because God first loved us; he showed us what love is all about.
The Seventh Song in our new kids’ musical: Snivelly Makes Friends, based on the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19.