The LORD said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have selected a king from his sons.”…Samuel asked him, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” he answered, “but right now he’s tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse, “Send for him. We won’t sit down to eat until he gets here.” So Jesse sent for him. He had beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance. Then the LORD said, “Anoint him, for he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil, anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD took control of David from that day forward. Then Samuel set out and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13 HCSB Emphasis mine)
I noticed this today, and it was just a really cool thing to me. God made the first move. God had selected the king from Jesse’s sons and then, after His selection was revealed, His Spirit took control of ( or “rushed upon” as the ESV renders it) David.
I kinda like the HCSB’s rendering that the Holy Spirit “took control” of David “from that day forward”. This whole scenerio with David being annointed king is a beautiful picture of God’s election of people. It was going on before this, though.
Cain and Able is a picture of God’s election. Most people don’t see it that way though, but if you read the text in Genesis 4, you see this:
In the course of time Cain presented some of the land’s produce as an offering to the LORD. And Abel also presented an offering–some of the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions. The LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but He did not have regard for Cain and his offering. Cain was furious, and he was downcast. (Genesis 4:3-5 HCSB)
This was, first, before the sacrificial system had been instituted, so there couldn’t have been a wrong kind of sacrifice being given; and, second, nothing is said of anyone having bad motives for making the sacrifice. Afterward, Cain gets mad, not during or before. So, those things considered, God chose the younger brother’s sacrifice over the older’s for no reason that we can really see in the text. God chose it for His own purposes.
And, you know what, He does the same in our lives as well.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, in Christ; for He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6 HCSB)
It is interesting to note here that our being chosen happened before the foundation of the world, meaning that we hadn’t been created yet. God chose us before He created us. That being the case, it makes perfect sense that He did so “according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace”. If He had chosen us after He created us, than there would have been a condition to His choosing us. We can only speculate what that condition would have been. It could have been some forseen action on our part or it could have been based on who was the most sinful. But there would have been a condition. As it stands, God’s choosing was based on what He wanted to do. As Paul states in Romans,
What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it does not depend on human will or effort, but on God who shows mercy. For the Scripture tells Pharaoh: For this reason I raised you up: so that I may display My power in you, and that My name may be proclaimed in all the earth. So then, He shows mercy to whom He wills, and He hardens whom He wills. (Romans 9:14-18 HCSB)
God made the first move in choosing Able’s sacrifice over Cain’s. God made the first move in choosing Jacob over Esau (Malachi 1:1-3; Romans 9:10-13). God made the first move in choosing David. God made the first move in our eternal salvation.