Four years ago when I preached on this text from 1 Samuel, on the subject of electing leaders, I began by pointing out a survey at the time that Congress’ approval rating was a whopping 10%. Believe it or not, things have improved in the last four years! Today, 13% of Americans approve of Congress; this in spite of the fact that by all appearances they’ve haven’t actually done anything in those intervening four years.
Still, 13% approval is pretty terrible, so I think the point I was making four years ago stands today: We make terrible choices when it comes to electing people. Now, we can say that all the choices are bad, which may be true however uninspiring. We can point to local and regional leadership that is much better than our national leaders. This is more hopeful. However, at the end of the day, most of us take issue with the way most leaders lead us most of the time.
Thank goodness God doesn’t elect democratically. God elects with a backwards kind of politics. He elects the shepherd boy. The youngest. The least mature. The least wise to the ways of the world. The one we choose last. That’s who God chooses first.
Human beings look on the outside, but God looks on the heart, says God in verse 7.