Day 10

Samuel Anoints David

from the reading plan

1 Samuel 15:1-35, 1 Samuel 16:1-23, Ruth 4:18-22, Luke 6:45

The morning of June 1, 2013, finally arrived after a long, soggy night. By the grace of God, the river rushing down the road in front of my parents’ house disappeared, but it took our sleep with it. I don’t know how much rain fell between our rehearsal dinner and the morning of our wedding, but it was enough to flood my parents’ basement, my future mother-in-law’s house, and two friends’ cars.

Few wedding attendees knew we were running on virtually no sleep, for the joy of a long-awaited wedding is enough to cover even a week of sleepless nights and sopping basements. But Susie and I knew. We knew that, as merry as our wedding may be, our sleeplessness would threaten whatever energy our adrenaline could create. How we looked on the outside was the opposite of how we felt on the inside.

How exhausting it would be to live in such a state every day before the all-knowing God of the universe. As we read in 1 Samuel 15, God rejected Saul as king of Israel because he tried to please people instead of God. After this, the Lord instructs His prophet Samuel to make the trek to Bethlehem where he would find the one God had chosen to replace Saul as king.

Samuel initially mistakes the chosen one as the firstborn son, Eliab, but the Lord reminds him in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Humans do not see what the LORD sees, for humans see what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”

God and people see reality differently. Even a prophet of God like Samuel cannot discern the heart of a man and his fitness for king.

The fundamental flaw in our human perspective is that we can only see what is visible, while God can see that which is invisible: the heart. The temptation, then, in our effort to impress others, is to put on a show—to prove to others that we have it all together. But God is not fooled by our foolishness.

The light of God’s wisdom pierces the darkness of our outward performance to illuminate the depths of our inward being. No amount of spiritual showboating, good looks, cool toys, or theological knowledge is more important than a heart that’s more interested in pleasing God than man.

David, the one who would be selected by God as king over His chosen people, wasn’t even present when the sons of Jesse paraded in front of Samuel. He was tending to his sheep, without hope of great renown or riches.

Our God is not interested in spiritual performances, whether inspired by the life of Jesus or aimed to please others. Instead, the Lord desires for our hearts to be humbled, transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, with the intent of glorifying Him.

Written by Chris Martin

Post Comments (6)

6 thoughts on "Samuel Anoints David"

  1. Max Hohner says:

    The Lord’s choice to make David, the runt of Jesse’s litter, king of Israel reflects the importance of the fact that God values and is the only one who can truly see what lies inside our hearts. David is being obedient, tending to the sheep and not expecting riches, when Samuel inspects Jesse’s sons. Saul’s choice to keep the animals alive for sacrifices also reflects how greatly God values what is inside our hearts. Saul chose to follow what he thought, through human wisdom, which is actually folly, rather than Godly wisdom, would bring glory to God, instead of just obeying God. If in our hearts we desire only to bring glory to God and reject the praise of man, then God will make clear his will to us so that we can bring Him glory through obedience.

  2. Steven says:

    I’m struck by how Saul acted around Samuel when God rejected the king. I can sympathize with Saul, why let perfectly good cattle go to waste? And yet, he was disobedient.

    I empathize with Saul. How many times have I faced situations with obvious, rational solutions, and heard God give a different directive? How many times have I don’t this, to the point that I don’t even hear these ordained directions? Lord, may I grow ever closer, the better to hear you and follow your divine and perfect will.

  3. Matt Lockwood says:

    God sees our heart; our true self. Even when we try to hide it or cover it out. It is only by grace that we are saved.

  4. Kevin says:

    Day 10: God does not care how cool you look, what shoes you have on, what haircut you just got. He doesn’t look at that. He is way more interested in a heart that desires to serve and love him. It’s easy to get caught up in performing so other people think we have our life together. God is not fooled but our foolishness. He’s steady and consistent. Always looking at the heart. Hope y’all know I’m praying for you as you start the semester today. I love and miss y’all.

  5. Daniel Rhodes says:

    God didn’t tells Samuel a lot when he told him to find Jesse and anoint a new king. Samuel had to obey God in what he knew God said and have faith that he would come through and reveal to Samuel who the new king would be. This is a good reminder that we may not see the full picture but God has a plan, and if he only shows us the first half, we need to obey and trust in him that he will lead us all the way.

    “The lord cares more about obedience than sacrifices” this is a good reminder that actions don’t matter if we are not obeying god. The one thing we have to do is obey and if we can’t do that, then we won’t do anything else right.

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