2011-10-29 - Patience ~ Samuel
Last week we considered the impatience of King Saul and the costs of his failure to wait on the prophet Samuel before offering a sacrifice. This week we will look at what happened after King Saul's rejection by the Lord. In 1 Samuel 16:1, the Lord tells Samuel that he shouldn't be downhearted about King Saul's demise. The Lord instructs Samuel to fill his horn with oil and to seek out Jesse of Bethlehem. Samuel is to go anoint one of Jesse's sons as the next King of Israel. But Samuel is worried that King Saul will find out and retaliate. After the Lord eases Samuel's worries about possible retribution from King Saul, Samuel follows the Lord's command and goes to find the family of Jesse.
When Samuel arrived at Bethlehem, he saw Eliab who was Jesse's oldest son. Samuel thought "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." (1 Samuel 16:6, NIV). The Lord tells Samuel that this man isn't his choice for King of Israel.. Samuel will have to wait. Then Jesse's son Abinadab was presented to Samuel. Again, the Lord said no and Samuel had to wait. Next Shammah was brought to Samuel. The Lord said no, and Samuel waited some more. This process continued until seven of Jesse's sons had passed before Samuel. The Lord had told Samuel "No" seven times. Samuel waited patiently. Finally, Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons. Jesse told Samuel that one son remained--David. Samuel then said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." (1 Samuel 16:11) When David finally arrived from tending his father's sheep, the Lord told Samuel that this youngest son of Jesse was His choice to be king. Samuel then anointed David as King of Israel.
What can we learn from Samuel? First, he listened to God and went about the Lord's work. Second, Samuel told God about his worries. And, finally, Samuel was patient. He didn't hurry his selection process. He took his time to complete his assignment. What about you? How do you compare to Samuel? Do you wait patiently when you are going about the Lord's work? Is God telling you to wait?