• Jon Forrest


The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

God Uses Underestimated People

In 1884, a young man died. His grieving parents wanted to do something special in his memory so they decided to establish a memorial to him. With that in mind they met with Charles Eliot, president of Harvard University.

Eliot received the average looking couple into his office and asked what he could do. After they expressed their desire to fund a memorial, Eliot impatiently said, "Perhaps you have in mind a scholarship."

"We were thinking of something more substantial than that...perhaps a building," the mother replied. In a patronizing tone, Eliot brushed aside the idea as being too expensive and the couple departed.

The next year, Eliot learned that this plain pair had gone elsewhere and established a memorial named Leland Stanford Junior University, better known today as Stanford. They gave $26 million dollars!

When God sent Samuel to anoint a new King for the nation of Israel, He knew precisely what and whom he needed for the role. The prophet, who had anointed the big strapping previous King Saul had in his own mind what he thought God would want. As soon as he saw Jessie’s oldest Son, Eliab, he began to open the horn of anointing oil. This handsome, athletic and rugged looking military man seemed to be the perfect fit. However, God turned him down.

Before the day was over, Samuel had looked through all 7 of Jessie’s older sons and would finally come to the eighth, the youngest and least likely choice of the group and God would say, “That’s the one.”

David would be used by God to accomplish impossible tasks. He would take this lowly shepherd boy and build a King like no other. He would choose David’s family to bring forth the Savior of the world, the Messiah, Jesus.

Samuel knew that his task was important, but he had no idea just how dramatically vital this choice would be for God and the entire human race. He and David’s father and the entire community would never have chosen this “child” to rule over Israel, but God knew what he had. He had a man after his own heart.

Have you been underestimated? Have you underestimated the value and potential of someone else? Perhaps the underestimation came on the basis of physical traits or the size of bank accounts or popularity or observable talent.

God looks at the person’s heart.

The director of a well-known Christian Children’s home was visited by a rugged and plain looking middle-aged cowboy. He was wearing a simple western shirt, an old rolled up straw hat, a belt with a wide shiny buckle, simple Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots with beat up pointed toes. The cowboy asked the director if he could take a look at the organization’s books. The director objected. He told him that he can’t show those books to just anyone. The cowboy insisted, but the director stood his ground. Disappointed, the cowboy turned and headed out the door. As he departed, he made the statement, “I was prepared to write a check for $60,000 today, but not now since you don’t think I’m worthy of seeing where it is going.” The director had underestimated the potential of this wealthy and willing supporter.

God works through the most unlikely people to do amazing things. In the coming weeks we will begin a series of messages on the early life of King David. It is titled, “When God Build’s a King” How a lowly shepherd became a great king. The first message this Sunday is God’s Building Material based on 1 Samuel 16:1-13. I hope you will join us and bring a friend to learn how God can take the least likely people and use them for his glory and praise.

Ready to be used,


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