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Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

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Some years ago the MINNESOTA CRIME COMMISSION released a statement more in line with what the Bible teaches about man’s basic nature. ‘Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish, and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it - his bottl … More

Self Centered

God had rejected Saul because he was self-centered and refused to obey Him. Now He has already made His choice of a new king to replace Saul and asks Samuel to go to Bethlehem to meet and anoint this chosen one (v. 1). However, Samuel had to do this in secret because, if Saul had known about it, his life would have been in jeopardy (v. 2). God tells Samuel exactly what to do but he does not give him any advance information. So Samuel goes to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse and asks he and his sons to come for a sacrifice (v. 3). The elders were apprehensive about Samuel coming to their town because of his estrangement with the king (v. 4). Samuel took great care in the sanctification of Jesse’s family (v. 5).

Since Saul was a tall, handsome and impressive-looking man, Samuel was looking for someone that looked like him (v. 6). However, God warned him that the outward appearance was not to be considered at all in making the choice (v.7). God judges by faith and character and not by appearance. Because He is the only one who can see the inside of a person, He is the only one who can accurately judge people. You and I demonstrate whether or not we are children of the Lord Jesus Christ by our love for Him. It is not what we say in testimony; It is whether on not we are obeying Him. The Christian life is one of reality. It is not a life of “put on” and pretense.

After the seven older sons of Jesse were disqualified one by one (vv. 8-10) as they passed by Samuel, David was singled out by the Lord and anointed by Samuel (vv. 11-13). Jesse certainly would not have chosen him. In fact, he had ignored him entirely. David was only a boy. It is believed that he was abought sixteen. This was the supernatural authentication of God’s will. The anointing, as in the experience of Saul, was accompanied by the coming of the Spirit of God mightily on the young lad (v. 13). David was anointed king in a secret ceremony and was not publically anointed until much later (II Samuel 2:4-5:3). Saul was still legally the king, but God was preparing David for his future responsibilities. Until his death, Saul is respected by David as the Lord’s anointed.

Application

Many people spend hours each week working on their outward appearance when they should be spending more time developing the inner character. What steps do I need to take to improve my heart’s attitude about what others may or may not think about me?

I Samuel 16:1-13 (English Standard Version)

The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons." And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you." Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, "Do you come peaceably?" And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before him." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one." And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these." Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here." And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

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