October 14, 2011

An Unlikely Choice

1 Samuel 16:1-13

“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7


The Lord willing, I will be inaugurated as the seventh president of Calvin Theological Seminary tomorrow. I’ve been told that when the presidential search committee began its search process, their opening devotions were based on the verses from today’s Scripture.

I do not mean to compare my selection to that of David, but I do know something of being an “unlikely” choice. Maybe you do as well. If so, we are in good company.

I am sure that God has a sense of humor, and I know that he sees far beyond what we see. As Samuel came looking for a king, he was initially impressed by appearance and height. Even David’s father hadn’t bothered to call David in from the fields to appear before Samuel. It was only after all the other sons had been seen and passed by that Jesse sent for David—and God directed Samuel to anoint this young shepherd as the future king of Israel.

These verses remind me that God is the great director—not me. I am also challenged to see others as God would see them. The outward appearance can get in my way of seeing as God would have me see. As I move into a new position, I pray for God’s vision, and I pray that he prompts me to recognize the “unlikely” people that he aims to work through to build his kingdom.

Dear God, please forgive us when our sight is limited and prejudicial. Be our vision, I pray today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Julius T. Medenblik

Rev. Jul Medenblik is a former attorney who was called to pastoral ministry and became the founding pastor of a church in New Lenox, Illinois. He is currently serving as president of Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jul and his wife, Jackie, are blessed with a son, Joshua, and a daughter, Julianne.

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