1 Samuel 16:8-10

One weekend when my parents were visiting, my dad invited my husband, Tyler, to help him put a Star Wars puzzle together. The puzzle’s image consisted of thousands of one-millimeter stills, taken from the entire saga of movies. Dad and Tyler worked diligently for two days. By the time my parents left, they had completed the border and a portion of BB-8’s domed head.

Tyler, who is no quitter, sat at our dining room table daily for over a month to finish the puzzle. Since he was so determined, I helped by scanning for pieces with the right shape and movie stills I thought he’d need. I confidently lined them all up: “Surely the right piece is in this group.” After repeatedly failing to find the right fit, I’d grow melancholy, frustrated, and often hungry. Ready to use pieces that didn’t exactly line up with the ones next to them, but were good enough, right?

Did Samuel nurse similar feelings? Does his stomach rumble as yet another of Jesse’s seven sons walks past him? “The LORD has not chosen any of these,” he tells Jesse (v. 10).

Whenever tasks seem impossible, quitting—or settling for “good enough”—may be tempting. With no clear indication from God, we yearn to pick whatever seems good enough to get the job done. Any of these young sons would be better than Saul, right?

But Samuel, who is no quitter, wisely believes that God has already chosen Israel’s next king and only that son of Jesse will do.

Our passage ends before Samuel’s confusion resolves. Does he consider having the sons walk by again? Or should he withdraw and pray for guidance? Then a question comes to mind: What if this isn’t all of Jesse’s sons?


When have you been tempted to take whatever’s available rather than continuing to search for exactly what you need?


God of David, when the stakes are high and we’re short on patience, help us to hold out for a clear indication from you. Amen.

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