Reading For Tuesday 1 Samuel 16:1-13
We are not told how many people knew that Saul had been rejected as king. It could be that the matter was kept between Samuel and Saul, but when Samuel no longer appeared at the royal court, the people must have become uneasy and perhaps suspected that all was not well between the prophet and the king. Samuel’s continued mourning over Saul was deemed inappropriate because God had rejected him and the prophet was commanded to take his horn of oil to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem. God had chosen a new king from among the sons of Jesse. Samuel feared for his life and the life of anyone he might anoint. Furthermore, anointing a new king might trigger a civil war. These considerations explain Samuel’s reticence to carry out his instructions.
God directed Samuel to take a heifer to verify his sacrificial intentions should he be challenged by Saul’s agents. Jesse’s family was to be invited to the sacrifice during which God would show Samuel what he should do. So Samuel went to Bethlehem but because it was unusual for the prophet to be in their area, the elders feared the worst. If they knew of the rift between the prophet and the king, they did not wish to be involved. Samuel indicated that he had come in peace to offer a sacrifice, and he instructed the elders to consecrate themselves for the service. Samuel specifically invited Jesse and his sons.
Apparently after the sacrifice, Samuel retired to the house of Jesse to partake in the sacrificial meal. As each of Jesse’s sons entered the room, Samuel evaluated them, and when he saw Jesse’s firstborn, Eliab, he believed that he was “the LORD's anointed.” God directed the prophet not to look on the outward appearance because God looks on the heart. All seven of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel but in each case God dismissed the candidate. Samuel learned of an eighth son that had been left to tend the sheep. Samuel charged Jesse to send for his youngest son because the family would not sit down to eat of the fellowship meal until David joined them. David finally arrived. He had beautiful eyes and handsome features but what was most attractive was his heart. Samuel was told to anoint this son as the Spirit of God rushed upon David. After the anointing, Samuel departed for Ramah.
Thing To Consider:
- Why do you think Samuel was still struggling with God's decision regarding Saul?
- Was it ethical for God to send Samuel as he did? Why?
- How does God see us? Is that frightening or comforting? Why?
- Do you think it mattered that David was the youngest or that he came from obscurity? Why?
- Why is important to know that the Spirit rushed upon David?