Loving Father God, how marvelous are your wondrous ways; how kind is your forgiving grace. I praise you.
Read 1 SAMUEL 16:1-23
Samuel Anoints David
16 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.
David in Saul’s Service
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil[a] spirit from the Lord tormented him.
15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”
17 So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”
18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”
19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.
21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”
23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
- 1 Samuel 16:14 Or and a harmful; similarly in verses 15, 16 and 23
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Be thou my wisdom, and thou my true word; I ever with thee and thou with me, Lord’, (translated Mary E Byrne, 1880–1931). However big the decision, God wants us to receive his wisdom.
Job interviews can be challenging for both candidate and interviewer. Here Samuel was involved in a critically important selection process, nothing less than the choice of a new king. To make it harder, he was alone – no interview panel to share the load. Fortunately, God was guiding him through the process (vs 1,2,7,12).
The usual advice when going for a job interview is to make a positive impact as you enter the room. It makes a lot of sense, it’s certainly much better than making a negative impact! Intentionally or not, Eliab made such an impact on Samuel: surely he must be God’s choice (v 6). But God’s perspective is different. The interior is more important than the exterior (v 7). And so the parade continues. Seven sons and none of them is the right one. Is there no one else?
So often, as here, the unlikely choice is the right one. The youngest son, David, wasn’t even present (v 11). He may have been good-looking but God had already removed appearance from the selection criteria (v 7). What really mattered was that he was God’s choice (v 12). And God not only called him, he equipped him (v 13).
Are you facing big decisions or choices? Are you asking God to help you see past the obvious and discern his way forward?
Father of Light, sometimes I stumble around in the darkness of my circumstances, not sure what to do. Spread your light and show me the way.
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