THE story of how David was anointed to be king plainly tells us that God’s ways are inscrutable. (cfr. 1 Samuel 16,1-13) This story tells us that we need to trust in God’s mysterious ways rather be guided simply by our own estimation of things.
As narrated in the story, God asked the prophet Samuel to choose from the children of Jesse the one to succeed Saul as king. Samuel was quite sure the first ones presented must be the one God would anoint because of how they looked. But God rejected them and corrected Samuel.
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,” God told Samuel after Eliab, one of the first one was presented, “because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because he sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.”
So, the other sons of Jesse were presented. And still they were all rejected. When Samuel asked Jesse if there was still another son left, Jesse then called David, the youngest who at that time was tending sheep. It was then that God chose David to succeed Saul as king.
We should just be humble enough to realize that our certainties can never cope with all the mysteries of life. No matter how objective and scientific these certainties are derived, no matter how deep and exhaustive our philosophies, theologies and ideologies are made, our certainties just cannot take all the mysteries in our life.
Even in the world of nature where in theory we have the capacity to know things conclusively, we often find ourselves in situations of tentativeness and even of outright error. That is why we are always in the process of discoveries and we would not know when we can end it, that is to say, when we can say that we have known everything to be known in the world of nature.
This does not mean that our certainties can never know the truth, even the absolute, and not just relative, truths. Yes, we can, but the best that we can do is to project ourselves to infinite possibilities, because even the absolute truths are not things that are frozen. They are always dynamic.
Our certainties can only tackle some aspects and levels of the reality that is proper to us. We need to realize more deeply that we have to contend not only with natural and even spiritual realities but also with supernatural realities that simply are above our nature to know, unless some revelation is made which should be corresponded to with our act of belief.
We just have to learn to abandon ourselves to the mysterious ways of God who in his wise providence takes care of everything. We are not expected to know and understand everything. What is expected of us is to have faith in God so we can always be with him no matter how things turn.
With all the things that we have to contend with in this life, we certainly need to have a healthy sense of trust in God’s loving and wise providence, abandoning ourselves in his will and ways that often are mysterious to us and can appear to be contrary to what we would like to have.
We also have to make sure that our inability to fully capture life’s mysteries should not dampen our eagerness to know and love Christ more. Rather it should prod us to know and love Christ better. And with that motive, let us polish and refine our certainties some more.