Wednesday, August 19, 2009


David feels a warm wind blowing out of nowhere. He seldom gets anxious like this since that day a bear dashed out from the bush. He remembers vividly how it came so near to mauling some of the sheep. A wide grin appears on his smooth, handsome face as he reminisces that glorious day. He remembers that day, his whole body miraculously toughened and fear found no place in him. Strangling the ferocious animal by his bare hands made him marvelled then about the power of his God. Today he still marvels. His hands stretch towards heaven and immediately a song “melodies” in his mind. Beautiful words and fine singing fill the air as he calms down.

“Come out! Come out! All of you!” shouts Jesse, a tough old man who personally trains his sons to be tough for Israel. Now, all his sons are soldiers of the king except David. Although David is obedient to him, somehow father Jesse cannot fit him into any of his plans.

“Prophet Samuel is here! He is inviting all of us for the sacrifice!” the proud old man ushers the family out from the house. He senses something urgent and divine as he sees the prophet of God approaching his house.

Samuel asks them to bow before God, the Maker of heavens and the earth and he prays for them. “Present your sons to the Lord at the sacrifice afterwards,” he commands. Jesse savours every moment of it and is overjoyed to have found God’s favour. He knows from his heart that this day will finally come that God chooses someone from his family to become a great figure in the nation of Israel. Everyone hears about God rejecting King Saul, the first king of Israel who was called to unite the nation since the days of evil in the land many years after the death of Joshua. Although he is to lead the nation Israel to greater heights, the King turns proud and arrogant. Now God commands Samuel to look for a man from the house of Jesse to be the next king.

Meanwhile, Samuel’s heart is still reeling from the hurt that God rejects the disobedient King Saul. The prophet has looked towards this head-above-the-rest man to unite the struggling country under God when he anointed him as king. Samuel’s tears have just begun to dry but his anger hasn’t. As he ponders of the next king, Jesse’s family arrives, amidst much joy and expectation. He sees Eliab, the eldest and tallest son. The garment is too small for his body, those protruding muscles almost tearing it. Samuel is reminded of Saul when he first saw him. “Lord, this must be the one,” he guesses, his heart beats faster than usual. But the firm words of God cannot escape Samuel’s ears, the ability he has since he was a boy.

“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

He cannot recall when was the last time he felt so embarrassed. He quickly calls Jesse to line his other sons so that he can inspect them too, one by one. There is no second glance of Eliab as the obedient prophet rejects what God has rejected. Abinadab is next and the Lord rejects him too. Then comes Shammah but Samuel promptly passes him by. There is no positive word from God as all the seven sons take their turns. Frustration fills Jesse’s heart as his plan falls apart one by one, literally.

“There must be someone else in this family,” Samuel corners Jesse. “Not him! It cannot be him. He’s too....” Jesse mutters in unbelief. "Send him to me right now!” orders Samuel, the Lord’s words just a little while ago have made an impact on him. Perhaps that one can be THE ONE!

David senses something’s different today. The weather is weird, the sheep aren’t grazing but keep staring at him and the birds are singing as though they are praising God for something. His suspicion turns to sheer surprise as he hears his name being called urgently.

"Father Jesse is calling for you. He says the prophet is here to see you! Go, let me take care of things here,” the servant quickly relays the message. “You mean THE prophet Samuel!!” David quips. Throwing the rod to the messenger, he dashes off like a sheep dog.

When he arrives, father Jesse sighs at his sweaty face and unkempt hair yet his good looking boyish appearance is undiminished. The God whom Samuel knows all throughout his life speaks somewhat differently this time. There is some excitement in that voice as if God knows David really well. “Rise up and anoint him. He is the one!”

Jesse raises his hand in amusement, shakes his head. “David??” The brothers bow their heads low in disbelief. Prophet Samuel wonders what is up the sleeve of God but has given his full trust to his Master. David meanwhile basks in the glory of God, being filled with God’s Holy Spirit in His fullness. As the family ponders over the future of their nation with the lowly shepherd, God and Samuel put their stamp of approval on David to be the greatest king of Israel!

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