Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kingdom's supporting cast

David Anointed King - 1 Samuel 16:13 (Artist unknown)

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13

TO CHEW ON: "Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward." 1 Samuel 16:13

For David, Samuel's request that he return home from the hills of Bethlehem to be anointed the future king of Israel came out of the blue (actually, it came out of the blue for Samuel too).

He was young at this time. My Bible's study notes suggest he was 15.

Though Samuel had voiced concerns to God about how Saul would take it if he knew Samuel was on a mission to anoint a new king (1 Samuel 16:1,2), this wasn't a totally private affair. Samuel seems comfortable anointing David in the presence of his family.

The act was a pivotal moment in David's life. The Spirit of God "came upon David from that day forward." But the Spirit's presence didn't spare him years of being trained and gaining experience. A meteoric rise to prominence with King Saul and the Israelite commoners was followed by living as a hunted outlaw in the wilderness before he was publicly anointed king, first over Judah (2 Samuel 2) and then over all Israel (2 Samuel 5).

David's example reminds me of some stories I've heard of current Christian leaders and their early "anointing." My own pastor tells of how God met him powerfully at camp when his age was barely in the double digits. Later when he was considering the direction of his life, memories of that encounter pulled him away from dreams of becoming a lawyer or politician, to Bible college and full-time ministry.

Those of us whose future is largely behind us can be the Samuels—the conduits of the Spirit's anointing. We can also be the family onlookers—not suspicious, cynical, and maybe even jealous, as David's oldest brother Eliab seems to be (1 Samuel 17:28)—but supportive, praying over and blessing our youth as God claims them for future leadership roles.

Practically we can make our churches welcoming places for them. We can support the youth department, make it possible for children and teens to go to camp, youth conference, and short-term mission trips—any place they will encounter God in a powerful way.

If we know of young people who have had a meeting with God and are straying, we can keep praying that God will remind them of His early touch on their lives and make them lonesome for Him. We can pray that they will again hear the voice of the Spirit that marked them for a kingdom destiny when they were young.

PRAYER: Dear God, please fill me with Your Spirit to recognize and affirm those You have anointed for particular roles in Your kingdom—including members of my family. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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