January 12th, 2023 - Obediently Set Apart

Obediently Set Apart

As we open the scriptures this morning, let’s take a moment to invite the Lord to meet us.
Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, we ask you to come and speak to us through your Word.  Help us to see what you are calling us to do for your kingdom.

We have been exploring the idea of discovering what incredible adventure God is inviting us into. Today, in 1 Samuel 16, we see two invitations from the Lord unfold – one to faithfully obey despite uncertainty, and another to be set apart for a high position of service.

In the previous chapter, we learn God had become displeased with King Saul due to his disobedience. Rather than obey difficult instructions from the Lord, Saul decided to take an easier route – one which focused on formal religious worship and making himself appear more righteous (1 Sam. 15: 1-35). Saul’s disobedience ultimately led to God rejecting him as Israel’s king.

In 1 Samuel 16:1-13, God invites Samuel to find and anoint the new king that Israel needed; one who would be faithful to Him.  This calling was challenging for Samuel because he knew if Saul found out he would try to kill him.  There was also the ambiguity of the mission.  Samuel had to trust God to lead him safely to a stranger’s home in another city and reveal to him which one of his eight sons to anoint as the next king of Israel. No pressure, right?

Samuel obeyed and met with Jesse in Bethlehem. When Jesse’s sons arrived, Samuel assumed he could tell which one would be king by their looks, probably because he recalled how impressive Saul’s appearance had been.  But God reminded Samuel that He does not look at the outward appearance, rather He looks on the heart.  Seven of Jesse’s sons went before Samuel, only for each one to find that they were not the chosen one. Finally, Samuel asked Jesse if he had any other sons.  Surely enough the youngest son was out in the fields caring for sheep.  David was summoned and immediately when Samuel saw him, God revealed this unlikely boy was the next king of Israel.

Samuel’s willingness to accept the Lord’s invitation, was a pivotal moment for the nation of Israel, and was another step in God’s plan to send the Messiah.  Not long after David had been anointed, Saul’s attendants heard about his exceptional musical abilities and outstanding character.  They invited him to come and play for Saul to comfort him.  Saul appreciated David’s service so much that he brought him into his inner circle to serve as an armor bearer.  David’s openness to Saul’s invitation, sovereignly orchestrated by God, would set the stage for his faithful leadership over Israel.

God chose David, the son whose own family initially did not even invite him to be considered as a candidate to be king. Years later, no one expected the long-awaited Messiah to enter the world as a lowly baby with no army or riches. Paul identified this pattern in 1 Corinthians 1:27, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

Is there something seemingly insignificant in your life that God is trying to use for His glory? Ask the Lord to help you take inventory of your life and open your heart to areas, big or small, where He may be calling you to step out in faithful obedience.

What is the Lord’s invitation for you?

Once you have spent time thinking about the Lord’s invitation for you, spend some time considering what practical steps you should take to accept His invitation.

Pray: Jesus, thank you for sacrificing your life so that I might have a relationship with you. Help me to not be so caught up in day-to-day activities that I lose sight of the eternal. Help me to be still and take the time to listen to the Holy Spirit. Help me to have the courage to obey what You are calling me to.