Tim, Amanda and Eleanor provided music . Tim brought us the Word today and even suggested homework of reading the whole of 1 Samuel chapter 17.
Last time we, were looking at Ruth and before that Gideon. Today we are looking at King Saul and the relationship of Samuel and David. Saul was a test of people demanding a king rather than judges. Saul was the obvious choice, and annointed by God. But as Tim eloquently pointed out, Saul was a complete muppet though.
He lost his crown because he wouldn’t follow God;s wishes. Yet despite their conflict it is very clear that Samuel still grieves for his lost friend. Perhaps he feels some responsibility for the mess Saul created. God tells him to get over it and appoint a new king. How far should Christians collaborate with those who do not share their views, when should we confront others?
Samuel had to choose. His choice wasn’t the obvious choice. Tim shared his own family history on this point. Tim’s grandad was only 4’11’ too small for the army yet he ended up with a vital role in keeping the bombers in the air. This was because he was just the right size to fix the inner wings of bombers. A lot of the best footballers are of average height, singers like Susan Boyle teach us not to judge by appearance.
This story shows that we might fail to see potential in others. This is like a traditional joke, three men walked into a camp… the Lord said do not consider the appearance or the height, the intelligence, the attractiveness and wealth, the athlete , the lord rejects and overturns the cultural norms and picks the youngest the weakest. God chooses him over his seven siblings. Bet that made him popular with his brothers . The Lord does not see as mortals see. Isiaih says of him we held him in low esteem.
The story works two ways . Look beyond the obvious, the gifted and apply the David tests.
God chooses the unexpected. The kingdom of God simply needs those people whose heart is turned to God.
David was first introduced to us at the end of the story of Ruth. He had no idea what would happen when he went to check on his brothers on the battlefield.
The job was risky but the reward was great , the eldest couldn’t hide his jealousy. David is not deterred in any way by his brothers reaction.
None wanted to take on Goliath. David counters Goliath’s taunts by telling him he has killed lions to protect his flock.
David was used to insults . David had a simple secret weapon. He believed Goliath was no match for his, David’s god. We often see this an an underdog story. But it’s Goliath who is the underdog. Goliath fails to realise he is up against God,. David finds his confidence in the living God. We probably like this story because we’ve been the underdog, or we face a Goliath challenge. We learn in our ordinary days to face our problems, and it is this protection in our ordinary days that protects us. No giant is too big. Note that, No giant is too big. We are not insignificant and we need to learn confidence in our shepherding in the day to day routine keeping our sheep safe. Tim finished by praying Help us to see people as you see them and when giants come, help us to place our confidence in you, our trust in you and to rely on your protection.