by Anitha Abraham May 22, 2020
“… 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. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward …’” 1 Samuel 16:12b-13b (ESV)

Have you ever felt like you were the default?

Sure, you got the job, promotion or opportunity, but was it because they really wanted you to have it? Or because the person they actually chose couldn’t or just didn’t want to take it?

Yes, it’s yours … but it seems like a half-win at best.

That’s exactly where I was, so I vented to my sister, Binu, about the situation. I told her it was hard to embrace my role when I felt like they didn’t want me there to begin with. I acknowledged feeling like the default.

Her response was immediate. “That’s not how I see it at all.” She went on: “I see man didn’t choose you for it, but God did.” Then, she reminded me of the story of David.

Her perspective changed everything for me.

When God wanted a new king for Israel, He sent the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem. When the elders of the town saw him coming, they were concerned. A visit from the prophet of God meant God was up to something.

With that in mind, the fact that Samuel showed up at Jesse’s house must have been a big deal. Samuel even invited Jesse and his sons to participate in a sacrifice to God. However, Jesse didn’t include his youngest son, David, who was working as a shepherd out in the field.

Then, Samuel began the selection process for King Saul’s successor. He took one look at Eliab and said, “‘Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him’” (1 Samuel 16:6b, ESV).

Samuel was wrong.

Jesse paraded seven of his sons in front of Samuel. He assumed one of them would be God’s chosen king for Israel.

Jesse was wrong.

“Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And he said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here’” (1 Samuel 16:11, ESV).

If Samuel hadn’t asked, would Jesse have included David? Even when Jesse mentions David, he doesn’t send for him. Samuel suggested that, too.

I wonder what David thought when he heard what had transpired before he arrived … the fact that he was an afterthought. He probably felt like a default, too.

But he would have been wrong.

While Saul was still on the throne, God chose David.


While he was still in the field, God chose David.


Though he didn’t look the part, God chose David.


Though no one saw it coming, God chose David.

David could have approached his role as king with the mindset that man didn’t think he should be there. Or he could choose to believe and see that God did. History shows us David became the greatest king of Israel.

So, maybe I wasn’t the first choice, but now I choose to see myself as chosen … maybe not by humans, but by God.

Not bad for a default.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for choosing me to be Your child. Because of that, I can walk boldly knowing You have ordained my steps. My confidence isn’t based on human approval but Yours alone. May You receive all of the glory in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


1 Samuel 16:7, “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.’” (ESV)

1 Corinthians 1:25, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (ESV)


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