Let me tell you a story from my high school years. I went to a public school, and I loved to go there for one reason. Want to guess? It wasn’t the food! There was this one guy who was seriously handsome. I was like, “Ooh, there’s Joe! He’s so cute!” He never knew. I never talked to him. But I could not wait to see him at school. He dated all the pretty girls, and I thought of myself as ugly, homely, big haired. It was a long time ago. Big hair was popular back then. I was a cheerleader with big hair.
Have you ever looked at someone else and thought, “She is so much prettier than I am” or “She is better at sports than I am” or “She has more friends than I do”? Have you ever felt like that? Do you compare yourself? When you compare yourself, do you talk yourself up like, “Yeah, I’m better than them,” or are you always feeling down?
Don’t you sometimes feel like crap when you compare yourself to someone else? It’s easy to do, right? You can feel pretty stinky most of the time if you want to.
Let’s have a look at what the Bible can tell us about this in 1 Samuel 16. David had a whole slew of brothers. Samuel went to David’s dad’s house because God told him that someone in his house would be king.
Samuel started surveying Jesse and his sons. Who is it, Lord? Who is going to be king? Guess what? God did not pick the dad. It wasn’t the dad, Jesse. He did not pick the oldest in the room or the wisest in the room, either.
When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:6–7 NIV)
The first thing Samuel did was look and think, “Yes, he’s the one! He looks like a king!” Have you ever looked at somebody like that? That person looks rich. That person looks like a hunter. We judge people from the first time we see them.
The first thing Samuel did was start judging people by their appearances. God said, “People look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.” Think about that for a minute. When you look at other people and think they are better than you, maybe that’s just the stuff they can do or what they look like on the outside. It’s not their heart.
Then Jesse called another one of his sons. He passed in front of Samuel, and the Lord was like, “Nope. I haven’t chosen that one, either.” They were old boys. It was all the oldest sons. Then another one passed by, and the Lord was like, “Nope. I didn’t choose that one, either.”
Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” (1 Samuel 16:10–11 NIV)
Samuel was like, “Man, Jesse, are these all the sons you have? I don’t see anybody here who is fit to be king.” I love this because Jesse said, “There is still the youngest” (1 Samuel 16:11 NIV).
Do you have a younger sibling? Or are you the youngest? How do we typically think about the youngest kid? Spoiled. Annoying. Bossy, sassy, loud. The youngest may be underestimated. You look down on the youngest one, don’t you? I bet David’s brothers looked down on him, too.
Guess what Jesse’s youngest was doing. He was a shepherd, so he was in the fields. He was tending sheep. Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives” (1 Samuel 16:11 NIV). Think about this. All the older sons were already present, so they must have been working near the house. They probably had honorable jobs. David, on the other hand, was far away. They had to send for him and bring him in. David was glowing with health. He was handsome.
Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” (1 Samuel 16:12 NIV)
Just imagine if your younger sibling were anointed by God. “Hey, you’re not going to be king, Jake, but little Tommy is. Sorry.” You know, sometimes we don’t see the heart because we don’t take the time to get to know the heart, right?
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17 NIV)
Each and every one of us is called to reign as a king in this life, including your little brother. It’s as if God looks around the world, scanning it. Every single one who knows Him, He is choosing. He has picked you, and He has called you to be a king in this life. You may be the youngest in your family or the oldest, but He has chosen you. He needs you to step up into the role He has called you to fill.
The world will let you just be a kid and have fun, but God wants you to be a king. Being a king comes with responsibilities and accountability. It comes with a calling and a cry of your heart. The reason David was appointed king was because he knew God so well.
David spent time away from the crowd, learning who God was and talking to Him. The Bible says he glowed (1 Samuel 16:12). Do you know that when people spend time with God, you can actually see them radiate? If you look with spiritual eyes, if you say, “God, give me eyes to see people how You see them and tell me what’s really going on with them,” you can see them glow. How seriously are you taking that charge to seek God when you are all alone? If you can’t hear His voice, you can read the Bible and hear from Him every day. You can read the Bible; you can pray; you can simply sit and listen.
I want to give you a challenge this week. In Kathleen’s challenge, you may be the first fifteen, maybe the first thirty. You read Revelations. You have led worship. But the challenge I want to give you today is to have a heart like David’s. The Bible says that David had a heart like God’s (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Don’t you want a heart like that?
Do you believe that God has chosen you to reign as a king in this life? When you start to compare yourself, remember, “Hey, wait a second. I’m to reign as a king in this life.” When you know you’re supposed to reign as a king, you don’t give up. You don’t quit. You don’t stop. You keep going back to God and saying, “I’m sorry. Will you help me?”
Pray with me:
Father, thank You for making me a king like David. I take it seriously. I want to know Your heart better. Will You help me mine deeply into Your word? Will You open my eyes? Will You open my heart? Will You make me real? Help me to stop judging myself and others.
Father, we love You, and we praise You for this day. God, we thank You for Your word. We thank You that we get to reign as kings in this life. I pray that when we see those who are down or discouraged or frustrated, we will bring them joy and lift them up because we bring Your truth and we glow in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.