The Smallest Tribe
“And Saul answered and said, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me” 1 Samuel 9:21
How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as a vessel of Jesus, an instrument He can use to advance His kingdom, and use to His glory? Most believers have a hard time seeing themselves as Jesus sees them. In fact, most followers of Christ feel that they are unusable or unqualified to be used by Jesus in any meaningful way in this life. That is because we often see ourselves through a natural lens. We are well aware of our own shortcomings, faults, and failures. We feel that someone like ourselves would not be usable because how could something that is flawed or tainted as we are to be used in glorious work? In our own eyes, we are inadequate.
Since we see ourselves in this diminished role, we see ourselves as small, too small and unimportant to be vitally used by Jesus in this life. We also have the human tendency to look at others and compare ourselves to others. When making this comparison in our own minds we often come up short. The result is that sometimes we don’t do more kingdom work because we are too small and unimportant to be used, especially when compared with others.
In 1 Samuel God is giving a king to the nation of Israel and He is using His prophet Samuel to call and prepare the one whom God has chosen to be king. Saul is the choice that God has made but in the verse above, as Saul is being prepared for this reality, he questions the man of God. How can Saul be the one chosen by God because he sees himself as unusable? How can he be king, he wants to know when he is from the smallest of all the tribes of Israel?
We don’t see the things that God sees, not even when it concerns ourselves. Jesus has very specific plans for you and your life. He even has very specific plans for your day today, plans to bring glory to Him and plans that will fill you with contentment as you serve Him. You would likely be amazed at the plans He has for you because you cannot see them yourself, or really even imagine them. They are His plans for you none the less, and if He has planned them, then you are adequate to achieve them in His strength. Just be quiet for a few moments today and listen and hear what He has for you. Be open to it and have a sense of expectation as you listen, because what He will do through you is well beyond what you would think possible. In fact, in your own strength and abilities, it would be impossible. Nothing is more exciting than being used by Jesus for His glory and knowing that He used you, seeing the results of His power through your life. You will miss that every day if you see yourself as Saul did, as too small and inadequate.
God uses the small things of the world to do great things, so if you feel too small today, then you are probably the one He is looking for to do great things. Make yourself available, be expectant and then move with boldness.
J Todd Hostetler