I’ve always liked the Bible story about how God leads Samuel to Jesse’s house to find the next king for Israel. My favorite verse has been the one about how man looks at the outside appearance, but God looks at the heart.
As I was reading Everett’s “Jesus Storybook Bible” to him the other night, however, a completely different part of the story caught my attention. Isn’t it awesome when that happens?! Because it’s the living Word of God, there’s always something new, something to penetrate into our hearts. His Word is so powerful, even the children’s version can capture my attention in a whole new way!
This is the passage that got me:
Jesse showed Samuel his next oldest, tallest, strongest son. But God didn’t choose him either. In fact, God didn’t choose any of the seven sons.
Samuel said, “Is that all?”
Jesse laughed. “Oh, well, there’s the youngest one, but he’s just the weakling of the family, he’s only teeny — ”
“Bring him,” said Samuel.
Jesse’s youngest son came running up, and God spoke quietly to Samuel, “This is the one!”
My favorite part is when Samuel says, “Is that all?” What struck me about it was that God had led Samuel there, but then it looked as though there was some mistake. Samuel passed by all seven of the sons Jesse presented before him, and not one of them was the one God had chosen as king.
Samuel could have started questioning and doubting – was he at the right place? Had he heard God correctly? Was one of the seven sons really supposed to be the next king, but he had missed God’s voice, or misunderstood?
But he didn’t do that – instead, he asked Jesse if there were any more sons. He had faith that God had led him there, and one of Jesse’s sons was supposed to be king, so there must be another son somewhere.
I’ve thought about that a lot since reading it. Listening to God’s voice is such a tricky thing. There have been times when I felt as though He spoke to me, but it didn’t make sense, or it seemed impossible. I started to question what I heard, and tried to figure out, in my own small, very human way, how God was going to make the impossible work, and when I couldn’t see a solution, it was easy to feel doubt.
But the more God speaks, and the more He provides, the more my faith grows, so that even when things seem impossible, or don’t make sense, I’m starting to trust there will be a way. There’s another option not yet before me.
I want to be like Samuel, and have the assurance that something has yet to be revealed, rather than start to doubt, and think there’s been a mistake.
It reminds me of a great quote I once heard Andy Stanley share from his dad:
If God tells you to run your head through a brick wall, you start running and trust God to make a hole.
If I know God said it, I need to live like I believe it, and keep trusting that He’ll make a way. The hole will appear, another son will come forward, because somehow, the answer will become clear. God always provides.
It can be very unexpected, and look a lot different than what I might imagine, but He will be there, showing me a way through.