An Anointed Young Shepherd

Ericka Loynes

Read: 1 Samuel 16:2-13

There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep. (v. 11)

My son, DJ, decided to do stand-up comedy in a talent show one year. That surprised me. I viewed comedians as the life of the party. DJ was witty but mild-mannered in large groups. I could not see him being successful, and I wanted to spare him embarrassment. When the day came for his performance, he was great. His unique style delighted the crowd, and many parents told us DJ was the highlight of the show. My limited perspective almost prevented him from doing this.

When Samuel arrives in Bethlehem, he thinks God’s choice for the next king of Israel is Jesse’s oldest son, the tall and handsome Eliab. Samuel assumes this because he still sees King Saul as the standard for this role. Saul was taller and more handsome than any other man in Israel when Samuel anointed him king (1 Sam. 9:2). Perhaps that’s why Samuel almost overlooks David, who is the youngest son and only a sheepherder. God qualifies people based on their purpose and potential, and not solely on their present status. He looks beyond the outward appearance (16:7).

Like Samuel, we may miss what God wants to show us because our view is limited. To fully appreciate and activate God’s work, we must engage and empower children. They are young but valuable and don’t need to wait until they’re adults to impact the world. —Ericka Loynes

As you pray, ask God to help you encourage his work in the lives of children.