Sunday, February 14, 2010


And Yahweh spoke to Samuel... " Fill your horn with oil and walk. I will send you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen from his sons to Myself, a king... And Samuel did that which Yahweh said... And it occurred, in entering, and he saw Eliab, and he said, "Indeed, the anointed of Yahweh is before Him." And Yahweh said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance nor at the height of his stature, for I reject him, for not what man sees, for man looks at the appearance, and Yahweh looks into the heart." And Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass by before the face of Samuel, and he said, "Likewise in this one Yahweh has not chosen." And Jesse made Shammah pass by and he said, "Likewise in this one Yahweh has not chosen." And Jesse made 7 of his sons pass by before the face of Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, "Yahweh has not chosen these." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are these the boys?" And he said, "Still there is left, the youngest, and look he is tending the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and take him, for we will not sit until he comes here." And he sent and made him come, and he himself–red with beautiful eyes and good looks. And Yahweh said, "Rise, anoint him, for this is he!"

God makes the strangest choices, sometimes. He chose young, inexperienced David to be Israel's King. He wanted a hateful church-persecutor named Saul to become Paul, who writes the beautiful love chapter of the bible. He selected a blind beggar as the best witness to identify Jesus as the merciful Son of David. None of these would have been elected by popular vote, to be sure. I suppose that's why God's church is not a democracy, but, rather, it is a kingdom ruled by His choices alone!

First and foremost, we don't like the fact that God is in charge, making all the decisions. You might be tempted to think of it as *your church* subject to rule of people. But the most popular opinions ought never rule the day in God's church. For God doesn't want his church fractured into a smug majority and a resentful minority. He desires His church to be one, according to His good and gracious will alone!

That's why the church is the new Israel. Like the Israel of old was ruled by kings like young David, the church today is ruled by Jesus, the Son of David. And Christ your Lord rules over you the best way possible–not with the rules of His Law. Jesus came to fulfill that law as Israel-rolled-into-one in your place. No, your Savior rules over His church without rules, but with His agape love instead. Not romantic love, but the love God has toward you, a love manifest in Jesus' death for you on the cross.

Next, we struggle with the complete illogic with which God makes his decisions. We want to assess our talents and skills to see how many gifts there are for God to choose from. Then God frustrates us by choosing those who are foolish, weak, despised and completely lacking of any abilities whatsoever! What gives? It may seem to you that God doesn't have a clue about what He is doing...

God doesn't choose according to outward appearances. He chooses according to the heart. He chose weak little David and made him into a mighty king. He chose hateful Saul to make him into the love-proclaiming Apostle Paul. He chose a blind man as the star witness to identify Jesus. All because God knew what would be in their hearts–faith! God has chosen to give you that same faith at your Baptism, causing you to see clearly from within your heart that Jesus is your Savior from sin.

Finally, we become frustrated that God's decisions tend to steal all the glory. We want our qualities to shine before men, yet God chooses not to use them. You may want your efforts to be acknowledged before men, but Jesus says to pray, fast, and do charitable works privately without a soul ever knowing. "Why can't I be the one in the spotlight?" you wonder, so that you can boast and brag, just a bit...

God has chosen the spotlight for Himself alone. He chose to be the one, at the front and center of your salvation. He did it out of mercy, because the sight wasn't a pretty one. It was Jesus body lifted up to death on a tree. It was the gory sight of His blood shed for you at Calvary. There the glory of God shines most brightly, that bloody cross drawing all men to Jesus. He gives you that same body given unto death, and that same blood shed for you there, for you to eat cross drink for your forgiveness and life eternal!

Yes, God makes some odd choices, to our way of thinking...but praise the LORD that He does so! For by God's careful selections, He draws you away from yourself & your navel-gazing, to lift up your eyes and see the Lord's Anointed, Christ Jesus. Your confidence is no longer in your supposed strengths, but in the love of God manifest in your King, the Son of David, Jesus, the Christ!


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