"So the last will be first, and the first will be last”- Mathew 20:16 (NIV)
When God had rejected Saul as King, Samuel was given the task to look for his successor. As the story goes Samuel knew of a certain family with strong boys. Samuel invited Jesse who gathered and presented him his muscled boys, for a pick.
In most cultures, the eldest always have the first choice. Years back when the patriarch Joseph took his sons to his father Jacob for blessing, he wanted Manasseh, the eldest to be blessed before Ephraim, who was younger. Jacob had waved him off. He “refused and said.. truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48: 19).
In this case too, starting with Eliab, on to Abinadab, then Shammah, Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, only to fail to make the cut. Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these” (1 Samuel 16:10). Jesse looked around. It is then as an afterthought, David came into the picture. “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep” (vv 11). Once David arrived on the scene, there was no guessing. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one” (vv 12).
In life one may appear at the bottom, a bit late for the party. One may be at the end of the list, all the names, with surpassing distinctions read, and yours is not mentioned. One may get to the fuel depot of life late, all the cars ahead filled, and one wonders if he will too be called up for the springs of life. The years may be rolling and one might be still at the bottom, seemingly forgotten, wandering about in nameless tasks.. There are many such situations when one feels he is completely out of the picture, all chances to strike and make a hit gone.
The Lord has a way in which He can bring a smile to the seemingly forgotten, turn the tables around to those who thought one was forgotten. As David, who knew a lot about of what it means being at the bottom wrote, in Psalm 9:10 “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, where sometimes I feel it is getting late to realize certain dreams yet here you show through scriptures there is never too late or forgotten with you, as you can reveal yourself and anoint one even when least expected, and so I pray for unwavering trust in you through all situations.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!