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1 Samuel 16:1-13Common English Bible (CEB)

Samuel anoints David

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long are you going to grieve over Saul? I have rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have found my next king among his sons.”

“How can I do that?” Samuel asked. “When Saul hears of it he’ll kill me!”

“Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say, ‘I have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will make clear to you what you should do. You will anoint for me the person I point out to you.”

Samuel did what the Lord instructed. When he came to Bethlehem, the city elders came to meet him. They were shaking with fear. “Do you come in peace?” they asked.

“Yes,” Samuel answered. “I’ve come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Now make yourselves holy, then come with me to the sacrifice.” Samuel made Jesse and his sons holy and invited them to the sacrifice as well.

When they arrived, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, That must be the Lord’s anointed right in front.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Have no regard for his appearance or stature, because I haven’t selected him. God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart.”

Next Jesse called for Abinadab, who presented himself to Samuel, but he said, “The Lordhasn’t chosen this one either.” So Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, “No, theLord hasn’t chosen this one.” 10 Jesse presented seven of his sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord hasn’t picked any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Is that all of your boys?”

“There is still the youngest one,” Jesse answered, “but he’s out keeping the sheep.”

“Send for him,” Samuel told Jesse, “because we can’t proceed until he gets here.”

12 So Jesse sent and brought him in. He was reddish brown, had beautiful eyes, and was good-looking. The Lord said, “That’s the one. Go anoint him.” 13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him right there in front of his brothers. The Lord’s spirit came over David from that point forward.

Then Samuel left and went to Ramah.

I really like this passage.  It has two of the bravest folks in the bible.  Samuel, who, becasue God told him, annoints a new king while the old king still liveth.  Samuel even points out this could cost him his life.  Then there’s David, the one who will one day face the giant that makes even soldiers tremble.  Yet, that’s not what strikes me the most about this passage.  What touches my heart is word from God to Samuel:  God doesn’t look at things like humans do. Humans see only what is visible to the eyes, but the Lord sees into the heart.  For here, we see into God’s heart.  God doesn’t choose the oldest son, the biggest son, or any of Jesse’s sons, that we expect.  God, looking on their hearts, choose the youngest son, David the runt, the underdog.  

Thank God we have at least one relationship where we don’t have to impress someone with how we look.   Seriously, how much money do we spend each year to look good?  Cosmetics?  Cars?  Clothes?  Cell Phones?  And we wonder why we have a hard time finding ten percent to give back to God.  I am as guilty as any one, so I’m not pointing the finger at you here, I am pointing it at myself, but I have a sneaking suspicion alone.  L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics company, reported its net profit rose by 3.2% last year to 2.96 billion euros (US$4 billion) on sales which rose by 2.3% to 22.98 billion euros. (Industry Week, February 11, 2014)

Maybe we should stop trying so agonizingly hard at impressing others, and focus more on the relationship that matters most, the one with our Maker, the one who knows us best, who sees our hearts, and loves us anyway.  That’s grace for your grind.


1.  Who are you hoping to impress today?  A boss, a teacher, a client, that guy/girl you want to go on a date with?  How about impressing God with the good heart God gave you?  Help someone else.

2.  Where do I spend my money and why?

Prayer:  Lord, thank you.  I haven’t even showered or brushed my teeth yet and you love me.  Even more, you’ve seen my heart and love me anyway.  Thanks.  Amen.