I Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”
The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
4 Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked,
“Do you come in peace?”
5 Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves
and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and
invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands
here before the Lord.”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height,
for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the
outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel.
But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.”9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.”10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to
him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with
health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of
his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
One of the most contentious rivalries in scripture is that of Saul and David. It
went like this. Prior to the kings of Israel the Hebrew people were ruled by judges.The spirit of God would descend upon these judges and they would be anointed to rule. These judges- Deborah, Samson, and Samuel- to name a few- governed Israel
justly and according to God’s law. There was only one problem. The people of Israel
were not happy. See, every other people had a king. How could they be a true and
powerful nation without a king to lead them. God’s response was simple- “Am I
not your King?” But the people demanded a king who they could see, cheer, and pay homage. Finally, God
relented and sent Samuel to anoint a young man named Saul as the king of Israel
in chapter 9 of 1 Samuel. Now Saul was a very popular choice. He was tall and
strong- a fine looking man. He very much looked the part of a king.In the beginning, he served faithfully but he quickly
became disobedient to God and arrogant with his people. Both Samuel and God
became exasperated with him and began to look for his replacement.
God tells Samuel that one of the sons of Jesse will be chosen but does not tell him which one.He instructs Samuel to go to Bethlehem and invite Jesse and his family to a sacrifice.
As the sons of Jesse come forward, God judges them all to be unworthy. This was
quite confusing to Samuel because on paper some of these candidates looked to
be well qualified. When Eliab stood before Samuel, he thought surely he must be the one.
But then God imparted some very wise words to Samuel in verse 7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider
his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things
people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Finally, Samuel asks is this all the sons you
have? There is only one left but I don’t think
you would want him. He is just a kid who tends to the sheep. Samuel says no
problem, go get him, we will wait. When the 12 year old David arrived, Samuel was instructed to anoint him to be the
successor of Saul.
In this time of crisis it is important
to remember that God doesn’t always choose the strongest, the tallest, or the
best looking.If that was true I would have never been called into the ministry.
Above all else God looks at the heart. And God has looked at your hearts
and found them worthy.
We are the baptized. We are God’s anointed of today. Understanding this is very important during
the Coronavirus pandemic. While our local, state, and federal leaders are critical to this fight and we do need to
support them with our thoughts and prayers- God is looking into all of our
hearts and choosing us all to be leaders in our own homes and communities.
In her poem for the women of South Africa, June Jordan, states at the end,
“We are the ones we have been waiting for.” So let us all step up during the coming weeks to become the ones God has
been waiting for as we look out for one another, pray for one another, and love