Friday, August 24, 2007

A new King

Reading this morning in 1 Samuel 16 about where David is chosen of God to be the next King of Israel. Note Saul is not dead yet. He is still alive and doing relatively well.

God is straight-forward with Samuel, asking him how long he will be sad about how things have gone with Saul. In fact, he says Samuel, get over to Jesse's place because I have chosen who the next King of Israel is to be.

Samuel of course is somewhat unsure about that... how can I go? If Saul finds out, I'm a dead man! I read that, and thought, how like us, how like me..... to know that we should obey God right off, but finding reasons not to do so.

God, as he does, provided the perfect excuse for Samuel. Just say that you are there to offer a sacrifice to me. Read it here:
2And 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.' 3And 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." 4Samuel 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?" 5And 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.
All these boys of Jesse came to Samuel, and as they passed, Samuel would see what nice lads they were and thought to himself, this is the one. But God would say no
"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."
This is something I need to learn to do better. To see as God sees. To not just see the outside stuff, but to search the heart - well, at least as best I can. :)

All the boys until there were none left. Samuel asked Jesse, are there any other boys? And discovered that yes, the youngest was out watching the sheep.
And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here." 12And 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." 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers.
David, the youngest of the lot, not the one who would have first been chosen by Samuel, but he was the boy that God wanted to be King.

Most of us reading will know the story of David, and how he became the best King that Israel had. For those of us who don't know the story of David, I invite you to read through the Old Testament - Psalms, Samuel, Kings and so forth. Read of this man who loved God passionately. This man who sinned significantly but loved greatly.

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