Episode 1. The Runt of the Litter
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We tend to judge people from the outside in – by what they look like, or how much they earn, or what they can do for us. But so often – we miss out, because we don’t take a look at what’s …
Let’s be honest. We tend to judge people from the outside in – by how they look, or how much they earn, or what they can do for us. And as a result, we end up missing out, because we don’t take a look at what’s happening in their hearts.
I love the start of a new week. You know our team here at Christianityworks always says to me, “How is it you come up with all these new programs, week after week after week?” And the answer is, I’ve got to tell you it’s the joy of my life to be able to share things about life with you and take a look at them from, well a different perspective. I don’t know … it just kind of comes to me.
For me, the secret is being close to God. I mean I just can’t come up with all this new stuff out of my head. I just spend time with God, day after day and I pray with Him and somehow, as I walk with Him through life I see things, I hear things and they just click for me and hey presto, there’s another program or another series. See sometimes what we do is we have God and spirituality and all that stuff in one box and the life we actually live, well that’s way over there in another box.
It’s not like that for me, I want God close to me in my life. I want to walk step by step each day just knowing that He’s with me and more importantly, that I’m with Him. My life is like yours, life has its ups and downs right and so when it comes to being close to God, well some days that ain’t easy. So this week I thought we’d spend some time with a man who has a real heart after God.
Have you been to a supermarket checkout lately? I was there the other day, a young woman was serving me and she was as bored as. She’s talking to her friend while she’s serving me, and I’ll use that word ‘serving’ in very loose terms. It was just a fabulous experience, there’s one thing for sure. She wasn’t passionate about her job. She didn’t have a heart for what she was doing for me or for anyone else. So many people go through life bored with what they’re doing. Not committed or passionate or excited about what they’re doing but just plain old bored and you know, I’ve seen it in relationships too.
You see this couple out for dinner at the table next to you in the restaurant, he’s on the phone, she’s staring blankly into the air. I think, ‘What a relationship, where’s the passion? Where’s the joy, where’s the desire in their hearts to get connected?’ There’s a well known journalist who’s a self-professed atheist, his dad was a Church pastor and he reckons his dad was the most boring person he’d ever known. What a tragedy!
I mean I’m a passionate person, I’m a ‘boots and all’ kind of guy and I guess, in a sense, it’s in my nature to be passionate but you know something, I just figure we have one crack at life here on earth and I’m going to live that life to the full. I don’t want to waste it being bored or disinterested and in any case, life’s a whole bunch more fun when we’re passionate. Ordinary every day people who are passionate about what they do, well its fantastic when you meet them isn’t it? There’s a plumber I know and a painter, an electrician and a beauty therapist, you see it in their faces when you’re talking to them. It’s a joy to know them, it’s a joy to be with them because they’re passionate about what they do; they enjoy it so you enjoy it.
At the beginning of the program I said we were going to spend some time with a man who has a heart for God. This man is passionate for God. And when we talk about having a relationship with God, well in a sense it’s like any other relationship we have.
Frankly, before I met Jesus Christ for myself my perception was, like that journalist I was talking about, that the Christians I knew were boring people. Now, it turns out that they’re not all like that but still I know plenty who are, they kind of trot along to Church and sing songs and snore through the sermon and they go home and I think, ‘Man, what’s the point? If I’m going to live my life for God, I want to be in their boots and all’. Are you with me?
Well who’s this man we’re going to meet today on the program? His name is David, he’s the greatest King that Israel ever had and he did some mighty things for God but he started off, I have to tell you, as the runt of the litter. He was the youngest of a number of sons and it was time for the prophet Samuel to come and choose the next king of Israel and so David’s Dad paraded all the older sons before Samuel. The tall one, the good-looking one, the strong one, the bright one and Samuel rejected each one of them. At the end he says to Jessie, that’s David’s Dad, he says ‘um, you got anymore because the one that Gods looking for ain’t in this lot?’ And Jessie says, ‘Well there is one more, there’s the youngest one. He’s out tending after the sheep’.
Now I ask you, what does that tell you about what Dad thought of his young son David? It’s not a good start in life is it? I mean, why does this man of God, Samuel, reject all the other sons? Well you can read about it in the Old Testament, 1 Samuel chapter 16. The first one, his name is Eliab and the Lord said to Samuel,
Don’t look on his appearance or the height of his stature because I have rejected him for the Lord doesn’t see as mortals see, they look on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart.
One after one Samuel rejects the boys and then finally they bring David in. Now David was ruddy and had beautiful eyes ad he was handsome and the Lord said to Samuel:
Arise and anoint him for this is the one, this is my king. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. (1 Samuel 16:13)
Why did God choose the runt of the litter? Well simple, God goes on to say, “This is a man after my own heart.”
This boy had a heart for God and you see that over and over and over again in his life. We’re going to have a look at a few of those; I guess snapshots, of David’s life. Not so much to see about David but to see, well see what God was doing in David’s heart.
Let me ask you something; have you ever felt like you’re the runt of the litter? Like everyone’s taller or smarter, faster, stronger than you are. I think we’ve all felt like that haven’t we? The rest of the world tells us we’re worthless, I mean even David’s dad didn’t think he was worth getting out of the field and parading in front of Samuel the prophet. Pretty grim isn’t it? And yet God is looking around for – not the big one, not the flashy one, not the strong one, not the tall one, not the good-looking one – the runt with a heart after Him.
The little kid that was out there tending the sheep that no-one thought was worthwhile to bring in ’cause this kid could surely never be the king but God was looking for a man after His own heart. God was looking for a man with a heart for God and that’s the important thing. When the rest of the world tells us that we’re worthless, God is looking around for a runt with a heart.
People ask me sometimes, ‘how can I get close to God?’ And I ask them, ‘how much do you really want to be close to Him?’ Are you hungry in your heart after God? Does the Spirit stir you up today and each day? I don’t know I believe that maybe that’s why we’re together today; maybe God wants to touch you today and stir up a holy desire, a holy passion in your heart for Him.
“Father, I pray for each one of us. Pour your Spirit out and give us a heart after you, make us hungry for you, in Jesus name.”
I want to encourage you to pray over this; let Him fill your heart with a passion and a desire for Him.