You’re standing in the middle of the gymnasium floor leaning slightly forward to stand on your tippy toes, giving the false image of looking a little bit taller. Sweat forms in the palm of your hands as the anxiety builds to the point of passing out, even though that never has happened before. Standing 10 feet in front of you are two of your classmates choosing their teammates one by one. The line gets smaller and smaller until there you are with one other classmate, the one who reads encyclopedias for fun. Despite the efforts of standing on your tippy toes to look talker than 5’3”, it happens. You’re picked last. Again.
Maybe you were never picked last for a game of basketball because you were the shortest kid on the gym floor, or maybe you were picked last like I was. Growing up as the shortest kid in the class, I was picked last for many things. I think this is what lead to my competitive nature, but that’s another story.
Perhaps you are in a situation where you feel like you are the second choice. Maybe it seems like your friends or co-workers always get picked before you, whether for a raise or promotion or something simple like employee of the month. Maybe others get a phone call to go out to dinner while you’re sitting at home with nothing to do, leaving you to feel socially rejected. Whatever the case is, you’re not alone. Remember David—you know, the guy through whose lineage Jesus came—yeah, he wasn’t picked last; he wasn’t even picked. The prophet Samuel who was to anoint the next king of Israel went through all 7 of David’s brothers before David’s father Jesse said, “Oh yeah, I have one more son out in the field tending sheep.” Think about that. Seven. Seven brothers are brought before Samuel before David is even considered. While Jesse and Samuel were looking at the outward stature, God was looking at the heart of David.
Samuel had Jesse send for David. Upon his arrival, God had Samuel anoint David as the next King of Israel, showing us that it doesn’t matter how you’re picked, it only matters by whom you’re picked.
1 Samuel 13:10-12
10Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have? “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep. “Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” 12So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”