As we follow the story of Samuel in our Old Testament readings, we see there also how God’s kingdom works differently from the norm, as this week we come to God’s rejection of Saul as the first king of Israel. Saul had looked like a likely king, but his reign displeased God. So, God sent Samuel out to anoint a successor as king, and God warned Samuel not to be led by appearances: “for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” From among the many promising sons of Jesse, God chose the least and the last, young David, who was out keeping sheep.
In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul writes, “we walk by faith and not by sight.” Because we follow Christ, who loved us and died for us and was raised for all, we no longer see anyone “from a human point of view.” We are “urged on,” compelled, by the love of Christ for us to see all people as he sees and loves them. Because of this, the creation is becoming new, as the old passes away, even though we cannot see it happening.
We often get stuck in believing everything we think and accepting everything we see at face value. Our lessons from scripture this week encourage us to have faith in the unseen workings of God’s kingdom, even now growing all around us. It just doesn’t look the way we expect!