I am very particular about things. Some say I have OCD, but the doctor said it is only OCD tendencies. When it comes to scents, I like to stick with vanilla and honey or like ocean mists. Typically, the flowery scents attack my nose. Today I asked my daughter to pick out two hand soaps. I did not realize what I was getting myself into by giving her control of the hand soap selection. When I saw what she picked, after we were already home, I cringed at the one bottle. It was a flowery scent.
When I asked her why she selected the flowery hand soap, she said she didn’t look at the scents for the hand soaps. She did not consider scent at all. She selected the hand soap by picking up what was “pretty.” She thought the soap she selected—which she also noted was “special edition” – looked nice. Sadly, the smell leaves more to be desired.
In life, we often make decisions by the looks of things, including our decisions on the people with which we engage. We pass judgment. We turn our noses. We engage with people who look like us. We sometimes avoid people who look a certain way, whether it be due to lack of knowledge, a fear issue, or something else. We read what happened when God’s people wanted a king. They were given a king—King Saul. This man was the one who looked like a king. We later find out that though Saul looked like a king, he certainly was not someone who would lead his people in the right way. But then comes along David. He was a man after God’s own heart. He did not look like a king, but he sure had a heart for God. King David allowed God to do awesome things through him. He continued to keep His eyes fixed on the Lord. Today, be open to how God wants to use you. Be ready to receive anyone God sends your way!
“And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” – Acts 13:22 [ESV]
King Saul was told to destroy the Amalekites; he was given a command from the Lord. He disobeyed that command and God said, “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the LORD all that night (1 Samuel 15:11-12 NIV).
Samuel was greatly disturbed when the Israelites wanted to have a king over them instead of recognizing God as their King. He was upset again when the anointed king would not follow the command of the Lord. He mourned. He went to Ramah and continued to grieve. God asked Samuel how long he would mourn—because there was still more to be done. God was to have him anoint a new king, King David.
There are moments in life when we get stuck in a hole, whether it be the sinking sand of failure or frustration or mourning or comfort (yes comfort), we don’t want to move. We embrace where we are at when God wants us to move forward. God told Samuel to fill up his horn—to get prepared and press onward and accomplish the task at hand. There’s more to be done my friend. Let us keep on keeping on.
“The LORD said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’” 1 Samuel 16:1 [NIV]
There are moments in life when I need to be given a swift kick to get going. Remember Moses making excuses again and again when God called him to lead the people out of Egypt? Well Moses isn’t the only one who knows how to drag feet. I’m sure we all have been there; my toes have scars.
When Israel wanted a king and chose a human over God, Samuel was upset. Then Saul was anointed king and he did not follow in God’s ways. God then told Samuel that Saul would no longer be king, that He would select a man after his own heart to rule His people. We can sit back and see why God wanted a new king anointed and not feel the sadness, the fear, the frustration of Samuel. This was something Samuel never wanted to do the first time, and now he was going to have to do it again. What would Saul do? Why again? And he moped.
God told Samuel to get going. Get going. Get going. Is there something that is keeping you from moving forward? Perhaps God has something waiting for you to start or to finish, but you are dragging your feet. You are making excuses. You are moping. Repeat these words—get going. Get going. God has a great plan. Trust Him and get going.
“GOD addressed Samuel: ‘So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.’”
-1 Samuel 16:1 [MSG]
Some people may ask, why Mary? Why was Mary chosen to be the mother of Jesus? There is honestly not much written about Mary or Joseph in the Bible. I believe Luke 1:28 from the Message translation helps to answer this question. This verse is part of a passage where the angel Gabriel visits Mary to foretell of the birth of Jesus. Mary was selected by God to be used for this great plan He had designed since the beginning. The angel says, “You’re beautiful with God’s beauty.” This is very different from other translations that say she is favored. Beautiful with God’s beauty. God’s beauty.
I began to think about the choosing of King David. The Israelites wanted a king so they could be like all of the other nations. Though God created His people to be set apart from others, He allowed them to have a king, King Saul. In time, King Saul showed that he lacked the characteristics that we see in God. In other words, King Saul was not representing God very well. It was soon thereafter that Samuel gathered the sons of Jesse so that God could show him the king that would replace Saul. David was chosen because God could see into his heart, and He saw what He liked. King David, just a shepherd boy at the time, found favor with God. He was beautiful with God’s beauty even before Mary was called beautiful with God’s beauty.
The next question is are YOU beautiful with God’s beauty? That is something we must all ask ourselves. If we have accepted Christ, one would hope that people would see this beauty in us– that a person would claim you had God’s beauty simply by being around you. When I think of us having God’s beauty I think of the fruit of the spirit– love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I think of Christ and the qualities He demonstrated to us all. I am reminded of God’s forgiving nature as well as His promise to never forsake us. I am reminded of the importance of the condition of our hearts. This is something to think about as we get closer to Christmas day. Are you beautiful with God’s beauty? We are to love others, to forgive, to be generous, to have compassion, to be an example, to show grace. If we truly are, then I believe we are beautiful with God’s beauty.