Whatever happened to that guy, the one that got Prophet Samuel mesmerized and perhaps confused about God’s choice for kingly Leadership of Israel? The guy that had all the trappings of a king, the looks, the physique, the built, the age, the soldiering skills, the qualification and just everything one would look for in the next king of Israel; the only problem was that it wasn’t to be decided ‘democratically’ but through ‘theocracy’.
I’m sure that like me, you don’t remember his name. Sometimes, I have to always go back to the scriptures to pull his name out, somewhere in 1 Samuel 16 v 6-7, the story is recorded about Eliab the first son of Jesse, kindly come with me as we go through this ‘inspirational’ journey together.
And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel,
Many individuals daily choose Eliab over the unknown David, yet we wonder why our lives are so ‘normal’ and uneventful without any success. We look at the external features of this guy, regardless of what God may be saying, then we say ‘…surely the anointed of the Lord is before him’, we choose him for marriage, for work, as pastor, elect him as president and many other important positions in our lives. We make sensitive decisions with our natural senses and miss the mark of God in doing so.
The lessons to be learnt from this passage are numerous and I will briefly share a few so that we may understand the many ways of God that are different from man’s ways. It is pertinent to note that many people make serious spiritual and religious decisions just like Samuel did, in fact we are baffled by God’s choices sometimes and some foolish scholars try hard to discredit God by questioning His styles and methods. I pity them in their folly because unbeknownst to them, they are part of God’s superior grand plan to show man’s foolishness in life.
4 LESSONS FROM THE HOUSE OF JESSE
- The Elder Isn’t Always The Leader: There are many erroneous teachings about the laws of firstborns in church today. These teachings are syncretic in nature and deeply cultural more than scriptural. Those who teach that the first born male is expected to be more successful than his younger ones simply don’t understand scriptures at all, and don’t understand the difference between Elders and Leaders. God reserves the exclusive right to bless whomsoever He chooses and he does so unapologetically as well. He chose Joseph the 11th child, Moses the 3rd child after Aaron and Miriam, David after Eliab, yet these were some of His best servants ever mentioned in the Bible. This applies to church leadership positions as well; we always assume that Elders should be Leaders and fail to understand that Leadership is a different ball game, and whilst not disparaging the Elders, we should only choose Leadership based on other qualities.
- Looks Can Be Deceitful: Eliab had the looks and in fact Samuel was swept off his feet with those looks. This is very important because many people make serious spiritual decisions today based on looks more than other things. God had to teach Samuel about the deceitful nature of looks, just like Proverbs 31 tells us that charm or looks can be deceitful (Prov. 31 v 30), some make the decisions about the church they attend based on the looks of the pastor, his suits not his character. What is most instructive about Eliab is that we didn’t hear about him anymore throughout scriptures; what a life! To have looks without books is like being hefty but empty.
- God And Man See Differently: Branding and marketing can make a demon look like an angel. I recall when one supposed Man of God started his synagogue many years ago somewhere in Lagos, his looks were quite frightening until he got some beauty specialists who had a complete makeover for him, now he looks like one of those gentlemen clergymen, almost an Eliab and is still fooling people in their groves, except for the fact that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but content. The church today is ‘cover centric’ more than ‘content centric’, and it works both sides of the divide. There is a man of God whose church has folded up now, he used to dress up in one of the most pious ways you can imagine but his heart was deeply immersed in greed and covetousness, he took so many loans from banks and had to flee the country some years ago.
- Man Can’t See The Heart: The best of Man on earth is still limited by certain things unlike those who are under the influence of the spirit. Samuel attempted using his natural senses to make spiritual judgement and he totally goofed. Many of us act likewise in our daily dealings with men and God. It is a fact of life that MAN CANNOT SEE INTO THE HEART OF MAN without the help of God, it takes men that are under the Leading of the spirit to be precise in matters of the heart.
Why not be Inspired today with these thoughts about the First Son of Jesse, the unknown celebrity called David dwarfed his elder brother because of God’s finger on his life. We should not pick the First Son of Jesse because he is not God’s choice for us as husband, boss, pastor, leader, banker, and so on. Look intently for the David in our lives and we shall build our Israel with power and grace.