Hey friends —
This summer, our campus community will take a journey together through the life of King David. I wish I had time to give you all the reasons why I chose this guy for our Summer study. But here’s a primary reason: David’s story is our story!
I say that about every Bible character, but I really mean it about David. The highs and lows, the victories and the lessons, the rewards and the regrets – his life mirrors so much of what most of us are experiencing as we are finding our place in this crazy world.
For instance, David is the guy who didn’t just feel left out, he actually was left out. 1 Samuel 16, we find Samuel, the lead Prophet in Israel. Samuel heads to Bethlehem, looking for a guy named Jesse who apparently has a son whom God has chosen to be the next king of Israel. In verse 6, Samuel is looking at Jesse’s sons; based on their outward appearance any one of them could be king. But God says no to each one.
Eternal One (to Samuel): Take no notice of his looks or his height. He is not the one, for the Eternal One does not pay attention to what humans value. Humans only care about the external appearance, but the Eternal considers the inner character. (1 Samuel 16:7 The Voice)
Samuel ‘interviews’ seven (7) of Jesse’s sons and none of them seem to have God’s approval. Samuel asks Jesse if he has any other kids; Jesse’s response is “I mean there’s David? But he’s the youngest, and he’s keeping the sheep at the moment.”
Samuel, the lead Prophet, was a pretty big deal in all the tribes of Israel. So when he decides to come to Bethlehem, it’s no small thing. And for Jesse and his family to get an invite to Samuel’s worship gathering was a huge honor. So one would think that if Samuel says to Jesse, “hey man – we’re gonna worship Yahweh tomorrow; I would love for you and all your sons to be there,” that would mean ALL of his sons. But somewhere in the communication, Jesse doesn’t think David, the youngest, is included in the invite. Am I the only one who finds that odd? Just me? Okay fine.
Samuel wants to see this guy David who didn’t know about the original invite. And once he sees the young guy, probably still smelling like a sheep, he realizes (or better, God tells him) that David is the chosen one.
Y’all – this is our story!
I’m pretty sure you’ve had moments in the last couple of years where you’ve experienced FOMO. Often, it’s related to hanging out with certain people or having a particular experience. We can mentally dismiss some of that FOMO. But then there’s the fear of missing out on opportunities for the career we want, the status we grave or the breaks we’ve worked hard for. And there’s nothing worse than finding out you weren’t even offered an interview – a chance to try, compete or even make your case. Like David, many of us feel left out because we honestly have not been invited to the party.
And then there’s God – the One who sees us beyond the outward appearance. God’s the one who acknowledges our gifts even when the other gifted people don’t. God is the one who, like David says in Psalm 23, prepares a place for us in the presence of those who don’t think much of us. God saw David, even when his own parent didn’t. Like I said, David’s story is our story.
I pray that you’ll go read 1 Samuel 16 some time in the next day or so. In that chapter, you’ll find God choosing someone that the rest of the world didn’t. Maybe it can give you hope that God also sees you as you’re working hard, trying to figure out how to get from one chapter of life to the next. And as we read these stories, I hope you’ll not only see that David’s story is your story; but also, and more so, that the God who loved David also loves you.