I was talking to a young man the other day that has faced a disappointment, and he asked me a question, “Does God still promote men who are faithful on the backside of the desert because it seems those that get promoted these days are those at the king’s table.” As I ponder on that, I wonder about the answer to the question. I mean, how do the systems of men affect the will of God? Does God call men’s systems to mess things up? When does God step in and overcome the will of men and perform His own will? Now I know God is sovereign, and God is all ways in control, and God can do anything that He choices, but therein is the kicker to the whole idea. The decision is God’s to when and how He moves. All of us, at some points, have been overlooked and felt that we were wronged in some way or another. Whether that is on your job for a promotion, the team did not pick you, or the girl you liked picked some loser from across town. When those things happen as Christians, we seem always to want to know why. Sometimes we find out that God was saving us from a terrible situation, and in those times, we are so happy we did not get the promotion on the team or the girl. Then there are other times when it is more difficult to understand when the thing we wanted was great and did not get it. I know for me, these are the times when I ask God what went wrong.
Now let me stop here and show that God can overcome the systems of men. We find in Samuel that Israel needs a new king. Saul has disobeyed God, and God has come to a point where He is tired of the rebellious sin in Saul’s life and tells the prophet to go and anoint another king. First, we have to see that it was never God’s will that Israel have a king in the first place, but God did have a plan for the kingship of Israel, being that His son would come from a king. So, God tells Samuel to go to the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons to be the king. Now there was a system in place for picking a king. As with Saul, Samuel looked at the outer appearance of the young men to choose a king. He wanted the biggest and the most charismatic young man, which is a system that we are still using to this day. When we choose someone to lead, we often look at the visible things of a person. We want a well-spoken person who has certain qualities and looks a certain way. But what we find in the story is that God does not look on the outside of a person, but rather He looks within. God knows us at our very heart and soul. As you may know, God tells Samuel no on seven of the brothers until finally, Samuel asks Jesse whether he has any other sons. Jesse replies that the youngest is out in the field keeping the sheep. David was such an odd choice that his father never even considered him enough to call him inside. But what men missed, God saw, so God jumped the system of men to promote a boy from a shepherd to a king.
We often do not understand why things happen, and I am not telling you that I have all the answers to why God does what He does. I know that if we are faithful to God, then God will surely be faithful to us. In this world, men do not always deal straight with us. They often have agendas and plans in place, and other times we are overlooked no matter how faithful we are. But know that God never overlooks us, and God never forgets who and where we are. Though His ways are not my ways, I still know what the Psalmist said when he stated, “The Lord orders the steps of a good man, and He delights in all his ways” (Psalms 37:23). Disappointment will come to us all, and there is little we can do about it, but if we remain faithful in the end, we will be rewarded for our effort. So, I guess the answer is that there are times when God moves beyond the systems of men, and there are times when He allows those systems to operate even when they make a mistake. But in the end, we can know that God is all ways in control, and He has a plan for each of us. So, take comfort and trust in the Lord to lead you every step.