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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, May 31, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  1 Samuel 16:1–13a

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do, and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably. I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely his anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him, for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him, for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him, for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. (NRSV)

When the Lord says to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance nor his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people see. People see the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” that is simultaneously reassuring and scary.

Reassuring in that the Lord will always know what you meant, what you intended, what you hoped for, feared for, cared for. In this life where too often we feel misunderstood, underappreciated, and uncared for, this is a refuge. This is just a small measure of the taste of salvation.

But it’s also scary, because it means that the Lord knows exactly what is there inside of us, whether or not we measure up.

This measuring up means, though, that we may have gifts and talents that have called us to do things or feel things that made us feel out of place, or not of this world, and it is true: we are being called to be more than of this world. Will you, like David, come out from the fields of shepherding and step up to be king?

Dear Lord, remember me in the ways that I am seen and unseen; help me remember others in the ways that are seen and unseen. Only you can mete out true justice for all based on what you see and know. Please help me remember the ways in which I am a sheep, a shepherd, and a king, and more importantly when to be each one. Thank you for blessing me with opportunities and lightheartedness in each one; for your everlasting love and eyes. Amen.

Written by Jessica Wang, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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