1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NLT)
Now the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel, so fill your flask with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my king.” 2 But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” “Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.” 4 So Samuel did as the Lord instructed. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town came trembling to meet him. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?” 5 “Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too. 6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” 9 Next Jesse summoned Shimea,[a] but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” 10 In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.” “Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.” 12 So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes. And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.” 13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.
Last week we discussed seeing life from God’s view and we explored how and why life is a temporary assignment. This week we are going to finish this series on purpose by knowing our oil has our name on it, and that is why we should stand firm in knowing we have purpose.
Consider the following:
Since the beginning of this series we’ve discussed the difference between being successful and living on and in purpose. It was emphasized that having a relationship with God was critical so you could believe that God purposed you. We were also reminded that we are not accidents and that God has indeed purposed us, which is why it is important to remember what drives our lives. Today’s scripture encapsulates each one of those points and confirms that God sees what others may disregard.
First, today’s scripture emphasizes that God’s work goes beyond any person, and God will never allow God’s work to die with the death or failure of any one person. However, we must be obedient to God when God provides instruction. It is understandable to be nervous or have some fear similar to Samuel. When God calls us out and sets us a part, but it is necessary to trust God anyhow. However, our scripture indicates that God told Samuel that he will show Samuel what to do. This should comfort us in knowing that when God calls us to do something and when God has instruction for us, God will not leave us out in the dark, God will be by our side. Further, our scripture lesson illustrates that God is raising up leaders for God’s people and God will keep them obscure and hidden until the right time. This informs us to be patient with God. You may be trying to find your purpose in life or you may even feel like you are living out your purpose, but God may have greater in store for you. In addition, God does not judge us by our outward appearance, which is why it is important to know what drives our lives. For example, at the time of our text, Saul was the king and he looked the part but Saul did not have the heart a king of God’s people should have. Lastly, our text indicates that people including family and friends may count you out and you may not even be invited to the table because they do not think you are worthy. However, I invite you today to know that God often chooses unlikely people to do God’s work — purpose, not man’s work. Just remember, those who are often rejected by man are loved and purposed by God.
Today, I encourage you to know that your oil has your name on it, so stand firm in knowing that God has purposed you. Like David, be in the field, tend to the sheep, mind your own business, do not compare yourselves to others, and know that when you keep a close relationship with God, your purpose undoubtedly will reveal itself in due time.