God sends Samuel on a mission to anoint a new king. All Samuel knows is that God will choose one of Jesse’s sons. So Samuel prepares Jesse and his sons and invites them to a special ceremony. Jesse brings his seven eldest sons, but God chooses none of them. What? “Are these all the sons you have?” Samuel asks. Jesse explains that the youngest is out tending the family’s sheep. So they all wait till the young shepherd arrives.
In this awkward, unlikely scene, we witness an unexpected and awesome pause. God does not make decisions the way people do. And God, not anyone else, will make this choice.
So David the young shepherd is anointed to become king of Israel. God tells Samuel to anoint him because “the LORD looks at the heart” rather than merely outward appearances. And by God’s power working through him, David goes on to become one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history.
Jesus, God’s Son, is a shepherd too (John 10:11-16). He came to be the Messiah (“Anointed One”), the long-promised deliverer of God’s people. In a way like Jesse’s family had to wait, Israel waited for the Messiah. Jesus was God’s chosen one.
You and I are identified and chosen by God too. By his grace and mercy, God anoints us (calls us) to serve him in this world. He calls us to take his good-news message to everyone everywhere. Are you ready?