The Oshkosh International Pathfinder Camporee 2019 is reflective of a great movement, a movement of young people from around the world coming to one place to experience the love of God in a collective manner. You may have heard or read about it. It was an amazing experience for the youth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Coming from over 100 countries around the world, the gathering demonstrated the enthusiasm, energy, and sense of mission of our youth.
One thing I took from the Chosen Camporee, unequivocally, was the spiritual atmosphere. It was felt during the morning worships, in the evenings at the main meeting with the guest speaker, during the dramatization of the biblical account of the life of David, and through the many prayers and interactions witnessed on the streets. Leaders could be seen praying with young people, kids prayed with kids, groups were singing all over the campground, there was great fellowship, and awesome courtesy was displayed on the road. In fact, we had more time to spend with each other there. I think that the lack of good cell phone reception helped to facilitate meaningful interactions with one another.
So, Chosen! Two kings, both chosen by God. Saul on one hand was the right fit for the job. The people wanted a king so badly that eventually Saul was chosen. However, his mind deviated from the mission. His heart drifted away from the One who had chosen him, but he always had the opportunity to choose God. He allowed his arrogance to eclipse humility.
David, commonly known as the shepherd boy, did not have much to bring to the table. He was not the tallest guy, not the oldest among his peers. His family was not the most influential or affluent, but he was chosen. It was not that he understood one day what the job would be like, however, his constant devotion and dependency on the influence and power of God made him a man according to God’s own heart.
The difference between these two kings was that David sought God in everything, but Saul sought the logic of his career, the advice of his trusted political consultants, and the wisdom of false religious views. We, too, have choices to make.
God did not stop choosing people after Saul and David. In fact, He had chosen many before them and many after the story of these two kings. God has a chosen generation, a generation of men and women, boys and girls, who are called by Him.
Inspired by what he knew about the past and what he was shown of the time to come, Peter confirms the positioning of God’s people, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy”— 1 Peter 2:9, 10 (NKJV).
In the end, it is the choices that we make that will differentiate us from others. Like David, it might take some time until we can see the exact purpose for which we have been chosen. However, stay on course. God has a purpose for everyone. He has chosen you to fulfill His mission.
Elias F. Zabala, Sr., is the Atlantic Union Conference treasurer and stewardship director.
This editorial first appeared in the October 2019 issue of the Atlantic Union Gleaner magazine, page 3.