We Get What We Look For

How often have you missed what you have been looking for only to discover it was “right in front of your nose?” There are many reasons we do this. One may be the “what” for which we look.

I cannot help but think Samuel experienced the whipsaw of human emotions. Speaking for YHWH the people seemed to resent him as a representative and so wanted a king,. They were looking at what everyone else had.

Broken by the reality that rather than see God through him, even more hear God through him, Samuel complained to God. Even if they looked past Samuel, the people also looked past God as King. Not much has changed.

Samuel gets behind Saul. He looks kingly. Despite hiding at one point he stood taller than most and had the build to boot. But, Saul would look past YHWH and fail to view Samuel as his representative. It was after all now “his” kingdom. God would not look past Saul’s lack of obedience. So he looked past Saul to the next king.

It is never a popular thing to go looking for a new king when the old king is still around, and on the throne. Under the stealth of a God-offered cover-up, Samuel goes to see Jesse. There they share a meal and of all things have auditions for a new king.

Only, these auditions were not really about performing well on the ASVAB, graduating at the top of your class at Annapolis, or possessing a killer resume. Nope. Stand in front of the prophet. His eyes are to be so good he will see and know who should be the next king, The thing is, he still has Saul in mind. He sees Eliab and draws the normal comparisons and thinks the first born would certainly be a good “alpha” to lead us and, he looks the part.

God whispers to Samuel. Everyone gets what they look for. If you keep looking for Saul, you will keep getting Saul. And, I have rejected Saul because he put himself ahead of the people and me. Passing by one by one Jesses’s sons fail to posses the trait for which God looks. Until that is, the last question, “Are these your only sons?” Why no one would look for David!

But, Samuel will not proceed with any activity, even if hungry, without first seeing David. Now Samuel was looking for the Divine “nod.” No longer was he looking for Saul. Now he is looking to see just what it is God is looking for. He wants to know.

Could it be a bit he was looking more for someone like Samuel than Saul? Think back to Samuel’s call. We could argue that what God was looking for was not someone hiding but instead someone who said, “Here I am.” Would that not be what David will do when facing Goliath? Here I am.

We read this story with the end in mind as if David would be complete or perfect. If he were to be, then Jesus would have been fulfilled in David rather than Jesus fulfilling the promise made to David. The weight of always being “on” would get to David, or so it seems. But, as that young lad coming into the field, his innocence and trust must have been evident. For, God after telling Samuel he is looking for someone after his own heart – someone more interested in pursuing God’s design than his own – David stands there.

And, you get David’s commitment to the way of God when facing Saul saying, “Who am I to kill the Lord’s anointed?” He begins well, even if he does not finish so strong. Maybe our attention should be in how to maintain what it is that directs the heart toward God. In doing so, we may get what we look for.

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Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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