15. When people look down on you

We have looked at people with a poor self image, that didn't believe in their abilities. We have looked at Moses, Gideon and Saul. But I would now like to shift to someone who had an okay self image, but who was looked down upon. No one gave him a chance in life and thought that he would probably never amount to anything good. That person was David. Now if we think about David today, we see a mighty king, a gifted musician, a fierce warrior, a talented writer and above all a man who was close to the heart of the Lord. But before he was anointed as king he was looked down upon and considered as the least in the family.

You all know the story of how Saul was not the king he was crowned to be. He disobeyed direct commands from the Lord and the Lord rejected him as king and decided to anoint a new king in the mean time.  He sent Samuel to Bethlehem to go to Jesse and his sons and told Samuel to anoint one of Jesse's sons as the next king. Upon arrival Samuel invited Jesse and his sons for a sacrifice and when Samuel saw Jesse's oldest son he was convinced that he must be the new king. But the Lord said:

1 Samuel 16:7 "People judge by outward appearance. But the Lord looks at a person's thoughts and intentions."

One by one Jesse's sons stepped forward, but none of them were the right one. Samuel was confused, surely this was not all his sons? Now listen to Jesse's reply when Samuel asked him whether he had another son, it is really classic to me:

1 Samuel 16:11 "There is still the youngest, but he is out in the fields watching the sheep."

Imagine that. Your own father didn't even consider you worthy enough to join your brothers when the mighty prophet Samuel came to sacrifice to the Lord. He didn't even think of calling you. He kept you out in the field to look after the sheep, while they all enjoyed the honor of dining with the most influential man in Israel, besides the king. Imagine the look on his face when Samuel anointed David as king!

Have you ever experienced this kind of disbelief in your abilities? Have you ever had someone doubt that anything good can come from you? Have you ever had the experience of being shut out, because you are not good enough? It must hurt. Especially if it comes from someone close to you. David's own father didn't think much of him and it was evident that his brothers did not think much of him either. Because later on the oldest three brothers went to the army to fight against the Philistines, and when David arrived to bring some provisions for them, they taunted him:

1 Samuel 17:28 "What are you doing here anyway? What about those few sheep you're supposed to be taking care of?"

Wow, they didn't think much of him and this comment was made after he was anointed as king. They still didn't think that he was up to the task. They only gave him few sheep to look after. They obviously didn't believe that Samuel made the right choice in choosing David. Now listen to David's reaction:

1 Samuel 17:29 "What have I done now? I was only asking a question!"

If I look at his reaction I think it is safe to assume that this was not the first time that they taunted and degraded him. They didn't look up to him as their future king at all. In fact they looked down at him and didn't consider him to be on their level.

What I am trying to get at is that even if you are hypothetically speaking 'anointed' to start with your task, people won't immediately look up to you and believe in you. They might be jealous, they might want to drag you down to their level, they might want to discourage you, they might not consider you good enough, but be like David. He didn't let that get to him. Just after this comment of his brothers he defeated Goliath and started to gain respect from his brothers. Some of them even joined his forces later on when he was hiding from Saul.

So don't listen when others try to distract you and try to be nasty. Be focused on what the Lord wants you to do. You will defeat your Goliath and you will receive the victory and gain the respect of your peers. Just keep the faith!

Lord Jesus, please help us keep the faith. Help us not to listen to negative opinions around us. But help us to focus on You. Amen


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