Small Group Tools
Contemporary Comments 2010
Scripture: Exodus 28:6, 39:2-7; 1 Samuel 21:1-9, 22:6-23; 2 Samuel 15:13-29.
It is very special to be chosen. You are wanted. You are picked out from among others. You are desired. But to be unchosen? That is painful.
An eight week old baby may not clearly know it is unchosen, but someday this child will know. In Daytona Beach, Florida this week a baby’s grandmother tried to sell him to an undercover cop for $75,000. She and her boy friend put out an ad and the police responded. After a little bartering, the grandmother agreed to $30,000 and the exchange was made. When the undercover officer put the baby into the back seat of his car and prepared to drive away, a swarm of police descended and caught the grandmother and her boyfriend. The baby’s mother is already in jail for other charges. “The infant, who was not hurt, is in the custody of child welfare.” 1 He may not be hurt physically, but can you imagine starting life out with this kind of heritage?
Perhaps it was a little better for former Vice-President Dick Cheney who was almost rejected as former President George W. Bush’s running mate for a second term. In next week’s release of Bush’s memoirs of being the 43rd president of the United States called Decision Points, he discloses “that Mr. Cheney offered to step down in 2003 so the president could pick someone else as his 2004 campaign running mate. Mr. Bush considered the offer, writing that while Mr. Cheney ‘helped with important parts of our base, he had become a lightning rod for criticism from the media and the left. He was seen as dark and heartless – the Darth Vader of the administration.’ He added that accepting the resignation offer would help ‘demonstrate that I was in charge,’ although he ultimately decided to stick with Mr. Cheney.” 2
This week’s Sabbath school lesson reminds us that we are chosen. In 1 Peter 2:9 it says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (NIV). The lesson focuses on the dramatic experiences of Abiathar, a priest in Israel who almost loses his life when Saul orders his entire family (and village) put to the sword. He escapes and becomes a loyal follower of David. But he turns his back on David when the King’s fourth son declares himself to be the next king (even though God revealed it would be Solomon). Solomon could have had Abiathar destroyed, but in an act of mercy dismisses him from the priesthood.
Abiathar had been chosen, and then unchosen by his own betrayal to the King. We too are chosen by God to do an important work of sharing the light of the gospel with the world. But if we turn our back on our King, we disqualify ourselves. God doesn’t change, we change.
A grandmother in Florida decides to sell her grandson. She is willing to give up her grandchild for cash. He is no longer “chosen” by her. She chooses money instead. It seems that the person who gives up being chosen is not the grandchild but the grandmother. She disqualifies herself from being a grandparent. Former President George W. Bush almost gives up on Dick Cheney. But in the end he sticks with him. In a much greater way we have a Friend who will never waffle. Jesus will stick with us to the end. He will never give us away. Will we be faithful to Him?