FRONT-PORCH GOSPEL: Don’t be shocked to find a ‘sleeper’ in the late rounds!
Good day to all. Welcome to the “front porch.”
Did you know that Bart Starr – quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s – was picked in the seventeenth round of the 1956 draft. He was the 200th player taken in.
This one may surprise you, too: Bo Jackson made it all the way to the seventh round in the 1987 draft, the 183rd pick overall. Some of you may remember the commercials with Bo Jackson that promoted its product by saying, “Bo knows.” His story is a little different, though. He actually was drafted number one in 1986 but chose to play baseball instead. The next year Oakland “wasted” a late-round draft pick on him, hoping he would come back – which, to everybody’s surprise, he did.
The most famous lateround draft pick is Tom Brady, drafted 199th in 2000. It’s almost funny to think that almost two-hundred players were drafted before the man who is probably the greatest quarterback of all time – like him or not, he probably is.
The Tom Brady’s of the world teach us that, yes, we sometimes miss on our “draft picks.”
There is a familiar Old Testament story where we find a “miss” similar to the case with Tom Brady.
God sends the great prophet to Samuel to the house of Jesse to select the next king who would one day replace Saul. In other words, Samuel has the number one pick in the draft, which sometimes can be an easy choice. In this case it seems to be, as Samuel quickly sees the son he wants to choose: Jesse’s oldest son Eliab.
At first glance he says, “Ah, here’s the next king of Israel.”
But God shocks Samuel when He says, “No, he’s not the one!” Sometimes God does that, to our own surprise.
Samuel must have thought, “What do you mean ‘No’? Look at this man!” And he was right. Eliab was quite a physical specimen. He was tall, strong, and handsome.
But he wasn’t the one. If he had taken time to think on it, Samuel would have realized that King Saul also was tall, strong, and handsome. He stood head and shoulders above all the rest, but he was a total failure as a king. We have evidence later on that shows that Eliab likely would have followed suit.
Even with the rejection of Eliab, Samuel has other choices for his prized draft pick. He has Abinadab, Shammah – the next in line of Jesse’s son – plus five others from the sons Jesse brings before him.
But God’s answer is no, no, and no – all the way to the last of the seven. We know, though, that Jesse has eight sons, and the youngest one – the auburn-headed baby boy of the group – is out in the field tending the sheep during Jesse’s visit.
The Lord ultimately leads the prophet to the son with the “bright eyes,” and along the way He teaches Samuel a great lesson.
Here’s how the Lord puts it: “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” – 1 Samuel 16:7.
Truth is, sometimes we, as with Samuel, miscalculate people’s worth. We judge much too quickly. Naturally, we cannot see down deep into the heart the way the Lord can. We can miscalculate even with our own children, or grandchildren. Greatness lies within them, no doubt, much more than we sometimes know.
And sometimes we can misjudge with ourselves. You understand.
Six names remind us of how easy it is to miss out on someone if we judge prematurely:
Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, Spergon Wynn – six noteworthy men you probably have never heard of.
These six, you see, were quarterbacks all drafted before Tom Brady in the 2000 draft.
Ah, let’s be ready. You may find a Tom Brady when you least expect it.
Or, in the case of Samuel, you may find a David.
Coach Steven Bowen, a long-time Red Oak teacher and coach, now enjoys his time as a full-time writer and preacher of the gospel. In addition to his evangelistic travels, he works and writes for the Church of Christ of Red Oak at Uhl Road and Ovilla. Their worship times are 10 a.m. Sundays and 7:30 pm. Wednesdays. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text 972-824-5197.