I Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance or on the height of his
stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
In anointing the next king of Israel, Samuel the Prophet is looking at all the sons of Jesse. He sees the older boys, the stronger boys, the bigger boys but none of them “cut the mustard” when it comes to being the next king. God had to remind Samuel that what people value as qualifications for leadership, God has a different set of criteria.
When we look at that young boy or girl in our pew what do we see? Do we see a lazy person, or do we see someone who has not had the proper training in order to develop a good work ethic? Do we see a rebellious teen, or do we see someone who has been allowed to have their own way for so long it’s no wonder they behave the way they do? Do we look at a timid, shy, young boy and think, “there is no way he could be a leader of men”? Do we see a young girl who is backward and wonder, “she could never lead someone to Jesus Christ”? I don’t know who sits in your pew at church or in your Sunday school classroom, but God has a plan for their life. To be fair, that individual needs to surrender to God’s Word and God’s Will but we need to do all we can to make “doing right desirable and possible”.
When Samuel came to the young shepherd boy, he had no clue he would be the next king. God had to audibly tell Samuel that David was the one…because Samuel couldn’t tell it by looking at David. I Samuel 16:12 says, “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” Every kid needs a fighting chance to serve the LORD. Many kids come from broken homes, it’s a miracle if they turn out to be decent citizens much less servants of God in the ministry! It’s a sad statement but we as parents are failing the next generation by not training our own children. They should be taught how to sit at the dinner table, how to be quiet in the presence of adults, to speak when spoken to, to enjoy hard work, to learn the principle of sowing and reaping, to enjoy church, to go soul winning and to love serving Jesus Christ. Since many children, even church kids are not being trained in many of these areas, the Pastor and/or Youth Pastor has to step in and teach some of these characteristics.
Let’s be honest, four hours a week (Sunday School, Sunday Morning, Sunday Evening, and Mid Week Bible Study) are not enough to overcome the 35 hours a week kids spend in the socialistic government schools and in the homes of parents who “leave their children to themselves”. But with that said, we should do everything we can to “climb this mountain”. I didn’t have the privilege of growing up in a Christian home where the Bible was taught. I didn’t have a Christian education; I am the product of the government schools. What I did have was a Preacher who preached and taught the Bible that “lit a spark” inside me as I had a thirst for God. I didn’t need a basketball activity on Friday night to get me to church as a Teenager. I couldn’t wait for church on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening so I could listen to Bible preaching!
As preachers we should make the Word of God plain to young people and show them how it applies to their life today. Case in point, the Bible says, “the borrower is servant to the lender”. We should teach the young generation how that money affects people’s behavior. There is a reason why people are happier on “payday”! There is a reason why people are depressed when there is no money in the bank! We can and should teach how to make money (hard work), manage our money (tithe, give and pay your bills) and multiply our money (save and invest). The second in command in Egypt (Joseph) told the king to save 1/5 (20%) of everything during the seven years of plenty. Our children should learn that after you tithe (10%) on the gross (smile), then you save/invest 20% of your paycheck. So, in reality you will be living on 50% of your monthly gross income (10% Tithe; 20% Taxes; 20% Savings/Investing). In making the Bible come alive and how it applies to their life as a Teenager we can see young people get excited about Biblical principles. That’s one example we could look at in terms of relating the Bible to a young person’s life. I believe with all my heart that if and when young people see God’s Word as relevant and real to them in 2020, they will fall in love with God’s Word. Let’s do all we can as preachers to help them see the blessings of following Christ. By the way, “more is caught then taught”. So, let’s make sure they see us GENUINELY modeling what we are preaching…if not…young people have a way of seeing right through our hypocrisy.
Pastor Jeff Harris
Anchor Baptist Church | Hilton, NY