Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
Franz von Lenbach, The Shepherd Boy, oil on canvas, 1860
Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
— 1 Samuel 16:10-11
It is a consistent, and persistent theme throughout the Bible that God undermines the earthly order, the man-made patriarchy, and chooses His people from the lowest strata, the youngest, the poorest, the cowards, the imperfect. After making the mistake of selecting tall, handsome Saul, and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward,1 God reverts to his more common pattern of seeking out the lowliest, the humblest, the least of these.2 David is the youngest son of Jesse, so unimportant in his father's eyes that he wasn't even invited to dine with his seven brothers and Samuel, their guest. It is only on Samuel's insistence that he appears at all.
This might remind us, in those times we feel low, depressed, anxious, and unworthy, or comparing ourselves to others fall short, that perhaps we are, in God's eyes, the chosen ones. It is our brokenness and failures, not our cleverness and successes that warms God's heart. Popularity and earthly success is its own reward. Many have this, and rightly enjoy it. Others of us have less of it, or none of it, and as a consequence we may feel unloved. Perhaps though we are seeking the wrong kind of love: admiration, instead of God-love: acceptance. No matter what we lose or what we lack we are never without God's love, we only have to reach for it and it is there.
1 1 Samuel 10:23
2 Matthew 25:40