A Humble Servant

1 Samuel 16:1-11

God saw in David the quality of humility. The Lord had gone to the home of Jesse in spirit form. Jesse didn’t know God was there. Nobody did. God was on a secret surveillance mission in that home, and he spotted Jesse’s youngest son and said, in effect, “That’s My man!”

Why? Because, as we saw before, the Lord saw in David a heart that was completely His. The boy was faithfully keeping his father’s sheep. God saw humility: He saw a servant’s heart. If you want further confirmation of this, go to the Psalms: “I have found David My servant; With My holy oil I have anointed him” (Psalm 89:20).

It’s as if God says, “I don’t care about all that slick public image business. Show me a person who has the character, and I’ll give him all the image he needs. I don’t require some certain temperament, I don’t care if he has a lot of charisma, I don’t care about size, I don’t care about an impressive education or résumé. I care about character! First, is the person deeply authentic in his or her spiritual walk or is he faking it? And second, is he or she a servant?”

When you have a servant’s heart, you’re humble. You do as you’re told. You don’t rebel. You respect those in charge. You serve faithfully and quietly without concern over who gets the credit.

That’s David. God looked at David, out in the fields in the foothills surrounding Bethlehem, keeping his father’s sheep, faithfully doing his father’s bidding, and God passed His approval on him.

I repeat, a servant doesn’t care who gets the glory. Remember that. A servant has one great goal, and that is to make the person he serves look better, to make that person even more successful. A servant does not want the person he serves to fail. A servant doesn’t care who thinks what, just so the job gets done.

So while David’s brothers were off in the army making rank and fighting big, impressive battles, David was all alone keeping the sheep. God loved his servant’s heart.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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