by Matt Clark
From our “Weekend Series”. To Listen to the Podcast CLICK HERE
Think of your hero?
Now think of what makes that person your hero.
Being a hero is a very subjective thing since people have different qualifications that elevate a person to that status. My boys (four and two years old) love comic book characters like Batman and Spiderman. Apparently talking in a deep voice and being able to sling web are the only necessary qualifications for being a hero.
My hero growing up was Robin Hood. As a kid living in England, I was able to visit Nottingham and Sherwood Forrest which made the legend all that more real. When the movie starring Kevin Costner came out in 1991, I couldn’t stop watching it. (To this day I can’t believe my parents let me watch that movie. It is a hard PG-13.)
So what were the qualifications of Robin Hood that made him a hero in my eyes? First, I loved his courage and bravery. Second, I loved that he was a skilled warrior. Especially with his bow and arrow. The scene where he shoots two arrows at once, killing two soldiers heading towards him, is one of my favorite scenes of all time. And finally, I love that he fought for his girl. Maid Marian gets kidnapped by the Sheriff, and Robin Hood moved heaven and earth to get her back. As a kid, he was who I wanted to be.
These are qualifications that most people would see as heroic. But the question is; does God use the same qualifications when selecting heroes to complete His plan? The answer is no. God is not bound by worldly qualifications. In fact, He often uses people that we would never choose.
Take Israel for example. In the beginning of 1 Samuel, they wanted to select a king to lead them (1 Sam. 8:5). The problem is, they already had a king; God. This request was them turning their backs on Him. God finally allowed them to have an earthly king named Saul. While he started off doing the right thing, he eventually starting following his own heart leading him to disobey God. This resulted in God rejecting him as king of Israel (1 Sam. 15:26).
1 Samuel 16:1-13 tells us how God sends Samuel to hold a job interview for the one who was to become the new king of Israel.
1The 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.”
2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’
3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
4 Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”
5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”
9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.”
10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”
11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
We see in this passage that Samuel and God saw the applicants differently when it came to who was qualified to be king. Samuel looked at Jesse’s older sons and immediately wanted to give one of them the job. He obviously thought they looked the part. Remember what God said in that moment, “Do not consider his appearance of his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Samuel and God apparently had different qualifications for being a king. God finds qualification in the heart, not worldly standards.
How does this apply to us today?
Ask yourself if you are qualified to receive God’s love. Do you really think you deserve the grace of God? The answer is most definitely no. No-one has ever done enough to qualify them to be used by God (except for Jesus).
When I read about David, it gives me hope that God can use anyone. David was not only the youngest brother, but he was a shepherd. You don’t typically see shepherds become kings. Remember though, God didn’t need a resume. He saw that David would be a man after His heart (Acts 13:22). He would love God with everything in him. Even when he messed up, which he did often.
David not only committed adultery, but he had her husband killed so that he could marry her instead. Yet, God still used him.
That should give us all hope.
God wants your heart. And if you are willing to give it to him, He will use you in mighty ways.