And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” (1 Samuel 16:10, 11 ESV)
I can imagine the awkwardness of the situation. Jesse had all his sons pass before Samuel to see if one of them was fit to be king over Israel. “All his sons,” we were told. All seven of them.
The problem was he didn’t have seven sons. He had eight. Either Jesse forgot little David or he really didn’t think he was king-material. Whatever the reason, I could not imagine how it hurt David’s self esteem to know that even his father didn’t actually think that he was going to amount to anything better than tending sheep.
Some translations of the Bible say that David was the youngest. Other manuscripts say that he was physically the smallest. Either way, he was definitely the least among the brood- by stature, by physical appearance, by typical human standards.
History tells us that David was Israel’s finest king. He reigned during Israel’s Golden Era, or to put it more correctly, he was so great a king that his reign became Israel’s finest in history. The runt in the family became way much better than what his father thought he would become.
Do you sometimes feel limited by the way people treat you? Do you often feel frustrated when people look down on you on the basis of your age and appearance? Take comfort in the life of David. His own father forgot him. None of his brothers took him seriously. Yet, by the grace of God, he rose to become one of the most important spiritual figures in the Bible along with Israel’s patriarch Abraham.
When it comes to the calling and will of God for His children, other people’s opinion about you does not really matter.