But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans. . . (1 Sam. 9:21)

Is it a sign of poor character to expect a promotion? Should one expect to be surpassed by the performance of others? Should one pretend ignorance of her own gifts, abilities and possibilities?

When God chose the man to be the first king of Israel, He selected him from the least prominent family in the tiny tribe of Benjamin. Saul’s words to the prophet Samuel registered his surprise. We aren’t told what his specific skills and gifts were. He was obviously a responsible and trustworthy son for his father to send him on a mission to rescue the livestock. Perhaps he was a gifted leader, a clever strategist, a born agriculturalist.

Saul’s opinion of himself is similar to that of Gideon who expressed almost the same thoughts to the angel in Judges 6:15—my family is nothing and I am nothing. Is this the test of character?

According to 1 Samuel 15:17, Samuel told Saul that he had originally been chosen by God because he was “little in his own eyes.” Here is the crux of character. When self is the biggest image on one’s horizon, good character and wise leadership are impossible. Saul and Gideon were chosen not for their poor opinion of themselves, but for their proper view of who they were in perspective to the God who rules all.

Being small before God makes one tall in life.

Valorie Quesenberry is a pastor’s wife, mother, author, speaker and editor of a publication for Christian women. She has a passion to communicate biblical truth for today’s issues.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.