November 9, 2021
Scripture: And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. 1 Samuel 16:12b-13a ESV
Observation: Continuing our four-part series that examines Samuel’s consecration of David (1 Samuel 16:1-13), today we are looking at the third step of preparing the next generation of leaders: confirm in the community (verses 12-13). The author tells us that Eli retrieved David per Samuel’s command, and Samuel anointed him in his brothers’ presence (above passage). Verses 4-5 state that Samuel instructed the elders of the community to take part as well. So why was it necessary to confirm David in front of his family and community? David would need their support, and they would need to remember that David was God’s chosen leader of the nation. Indeed, Eliab (the eldest brother) later railed at David when his little brother boldly boasted in the Lord about a sure victory over Goliath (1 Sa 17:28).
Takeaway: It was also essential to confirm the Son of God in the community. At Jesus’ baptism, John and the crowd witnessed the Holy Spirit descend on him (Matt 3:16), and the Father affirmed his love and pleasure for his Son (Matt 3:17). Similar to Eliab, when imprisoned by Herod, John the Baptist would have his doubts about whether Jesus was the Anointed One (Matt 11:2-3). Hence, the called and those who confirm the call equally benefit from community support to stay on track when life’s challenges erode their faith.
Joni Eareckson Tada provides us a modern-day example of the importance and power of community. At age 17, Joni suffered a tragic diving accident that resulted in quadriplegia. Feeling hopeless, she wanted to die. Yet, with the community’s help, Joni grew in her faith and eventually found the strength and courage to launch a non-profit ministry to equip paralyzed children in third-world countries with wheelchairs. She has already traveled more miles as a person with quadriplegia than most of us will in a lifetime. Along the way of this new journey of life, Joni met and married Ken Tada. Even though both are Christians, it hasn’t been easy over these past thirty-seven years. Pressing through feelings of being trapped (Joni in her pain-racked body and Ken in a 24/7 caregiving relationship), they are now mutual admirers and best friends—and this is only because of community support.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for the gift of the church. Please help us as the community of believers to work together to confirm and prepare the next generation of leaders to grow your kingdom and glorify your name. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling