Thursday, March 12, 2009

Despised - but chosen by God!

The rejected of men are often the beloved of the Lord. It is more painful to notice that David’s father should have had no idea of David’s excellence. A father has naturally more love to his child than a brother to his brother, and frequently the youngest child is the darling; but David does not seem to have been the tender one of his father. Jesse calls him the least, and if I understand the word which he uses in the original, there is something more implied than his being the youngest; he was the least in the estimation of the ill-judging parent. It is strange that he should have been left out when the rest were summoned to the feast, and I cannot acquit Jesse of fault in having omitted to call his son, when that feast was a special religious service. At a sacrifice all should be present; when the prophet comes none should be away, and yet it was not thought worthwhile to call David, although one would think a servant might have kept the sheep, and so the whole family might have met on so hallowed an occasion; yet no son was left in the field but David, all the others were assembled.

It sometimes happens (but O how wrongly!) that one in the family is overlooked, even by his parent, in his hopes and prayers. The father seems to think, “God may be pleased to convert William; he may call Mary; I trust in his providence we shall see John grow up to be a credit to us; but as for Richard or Sarah, I do not know what will ever become of them.” How often will parents have to confess that they have misjudged, and that the one upon whom they have set the black mark, has been after all the joy and comfort of their lives, and has given them more satisfaction than all the rest put together. Art thou such an one, young man? Art thou painfully conscious that thou hast a narrow share in thy parent’s heart? Be not downcast, distressed, or broken-hearted about this. Thou farest as David did before thee, and if he the favored servant of God, the man after God’s own heart, could put up with his position, be not thou too proud to abide in it, for if thy father and thy mother forsake thee, if the Lord take thee up, he will be better to thee than the best of parents.

From a sermon entitled "Who Are Elected?," delivered July 9, 1865. Image by Lida Rose under Creative Commons License.

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