LESS IS MORE
Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC
1 Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare 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?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” 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 sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And 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.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.
The other week I reached out to a friend to help me out with an idea our church staff had for Easter. We wanted a place for families to be able to take pictures outside and also be appealing for any new guests we anticipated that day. The idea was a simple chalk wall with the phrase, “He is not here, for he has risen” from Matthew 28:6. I reached out to a church member that does hand lettering and of course she was all over it! In the initial conversations she jokingly made the comment, “Maybe handwriting will be my ministry.” I know she was joking and we both laughed it off and neither of us thought anything else about it. Until Easter Sunday. A man came into the church midway through the 11 service and God wrecked his world. I am talking about an encounter with Jesus! After the service was over he was greeted by a staff member and they engaged in conversation. In the conversation the question was asked, what brought you to Living Hope this morning? His response, the chalk art on the wall. Apparently he was driving around town and happened to pass by the church, saw the verse in chalk and God compelled him to pull his truck over and come inside. It honestly sounds too good to be true, God really used some chalk to draw someone into the church to have an encounter with Him? You know, if I were not a believer in Jesus Christ I might have a really hard time believing what happened on Sunday, but I have seen God use far less to do far more. He has a track record of using the inadequate, mundane things of this world, the things often overlooked, for His glory.
In 1 Samuel we see a similar story of God using less and making much more when he calls for the anointing of the new king over Israel. God speaks to Samuel and tells him to go to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for God had chosen one of his sons to be king. Samuel of course goes and tells Jesse to bring out all his sons, and Jesse did just that, well sort of. You see, Jesse had 8 sons but he only brought out the oldest 7 to Samuel, leaving the youngest David in the field tending sheep. All 7 sons pass by Samuel but God tells him they are not it. After all the sons have been presented Samuel looks to Jesse and asks, “Are all your sons here?” Jesse explains that David is still in the field taking care of the sheep but eventually calls for him. A little while later this young ruddy kid comes up from the field, and from all worldly measures does not fit the bill of a king. Yet God tells Samuel that David is the one He chooses. He is to be the next king over Israel. Much like the chalk on the wall maybe they all thought, well that’s nice but how can little David be used by God? We of course know that David was in fact used mightily by the Lord. Scripture tells us that God doesn’t look at what the world looks at, God looks at the heart. But it goes beyond people, it extends to our gifts and talents. Ephesians 3:20 is a beautiful reminder that God is able to do abundantly more than all that we can ask or think, according to the power at work within us.
What about you? Do you have a gift or talent that you feel is humdrum? Give it to the Lord and let Him use it in a way that only He can. He used a ruddy kid to lead a nation, He used chalk to draw a man unto Him, just think about how He can use what you think is mundane for His kingdom!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, how incredibly mind blowing it is to see You use regular people and mundane gifts to Your glory! So often I get caught up in my own shortcomings! But You promise in Your Word that You can do so much more with what we see as not enough! Father, You are enough! Help me to see that and believe that! Open my eyes to see what You see, and help me to use the talents and gifts You have blessed me with to Your glory! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.