Scripture: (1 Sam 16:11-12 NIV)  So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” {12} So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”

Observation: After God rejected Saul, or better, after Saul rejected God, Samuel was instructed to anoint the next king of Israel.  God directed Samuel to the home of Jesse who made six of his seven children parade in front of the prophet who chose none of them.  After inquiring as to whether there were any other children, he was told about the youngest one, tending the flocks in the field at the moment.  When the youngest son, David, came in, immediately Samuel identified him as the successor to Saul, and the second king of Israel.

Application: The youngest child in a family can take a lot from his/her older siblings.  In many cases, by the time the hand-me-downs they’ve been worn by so many older siblings that they look pitiful, and the toys, books, and furniture are not in the best of shape either.  They have to compete with older siblings for everything from school, to sports, and even for their parent’s attention, and for their entire life they be seen as the “baby” of the family.
     At the same time, since they seem unable to compete with their older siblings in other areas because they are taller, faster, more knowledgeable, they excel in other areas, among them, in the area of laughter – from an early age they learn that when they act in certain ways they draw attention to themselves, and they love being the center of attention.  This leads them to clown around, tell funny stories, and do all they can to make others laugh and thus be the life of every party.  No wonder so many actors and comedians are the last-born of the family.
     Paul wrote to young pastor Timothy: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim 4:12 NKJV) For those of us who have some of the characteristics of the last-born and enjoy humor and laughter, we can identify with David who was a singer (entertainer?), and with the fact that his older siblings did not take him seriously (see 1 Samuel 17:28).  But God doesn’t see younger children or the last-born child as unnecessary, unskilled, or unimportant.  In fact, with God’s guidance, and the natural gift of laughter, a younger person can do great things – just look at king David!

A Prayer You May Say: Father, may our conduct be such that others may respect who we are and what we do and thus be able to help others come to You.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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