God allowed the people to make their poor choice in wanting a King instead of waiting on Him to reveal the King He had chosen for them. God answered their prayer even though it was not His best for them which is why we need to always pray “Your Will be done” and not demand from God like some of the teaching on television tells us to do.
God’s promises always come true just not in the time frame we always desire. Today we are going to see what really matters to God when He is looking for someone for His service. We are introduced to David who was born about 10 years after Saul became King.
Read 1 Samuel 16:1-5
Samuel, who rebuked Saul for his actions and told him that the Kingdom is no longer his to rule, is still grieved over the sin of Saul the fact that God has taken his right to be king away. Although Samuel has a love in his heart for Saul something in Saul has changed. Samuel who used to be bold enough to confront Saul is now scared to upset him because Saul has become more of a tyrant as a ruler. Some believe this was Saul’s attempt to try to hold onto the kingdom and prove that he is still the king. We do not know all the ways that Saul has become a tyrant but the fact that the Author mentions that Samuel is scared of Saul says a lot about the kind of person Saul has become.
God gives Samuel a good excuse to leave and go because for Samuel to make a sacrifice in another area was not uncommon for him to do. This gives Samuel the peace of mind he needed to get away from a king what has become paranoid of any suspicious activity.
Samuel goes to the house of Jesse as God asked him to do and he ask the Priest of the town, as well as Jesse’s family, to consecrate themselves which probably entailed taking a bath and washing their clothes. (Exodus 19:10; Numbers 8:21;11:18) It was not uncommon for a prophet to have a special dinner where only certain people were invited so this would not have seemed out of the ordinary for anyone involved. Only Samuel knew what the real meeting was for because he knew it was at this time that he would pick the next leader of Israel.
Read 1 Samuel 16:6-13
This was the first time that Samuel did not know exactly what Gods will was. Samuel had to have Jesse’s sons pass in front of him individually until God showed him exactly which son would be the one God chose to be the ruler. This is a good lesson for us because God does not always tell us ahead of time all the details of what He is calling us to do. We have to move ahead and trust Him for His guidance as we move forward by faith until He tells us the exact next step. It was as Jesse’s sons came one by one in front of the Prophet Samuel that we see the person God chooses for His service.
The Person God Uses:
1) Has a Heart for God.
Our culture is all about the outward appearance. Advertisements, magazines, talk shows and the fitness industry all show that our world is focused on the outward appearance of people. Athletes who mess up get a pass because of their outward ability to play a sport. Certain celebrities get a pass when they do things that are wrong because they starred in a certain movie that people liked. Even comedian Jim Gaffigan says if a good looking stranger says hi to you on the street you say they were nice, but if an ugly person says hi to you then you wonder what they want from you.
The beauty society we live in is more about appearance than about character but that is the exact opposite of what God looks at. There is nothing wrong with trying to look good and be in shape but we have to be careful that those things do not become a god in and of themselves. We have to know that God cares about character even more than our health.
1 Timothy 4:7-8 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
When we train ourselves to care about the things of God they have eternal rewards where all of our bodies will one day perish and we will be given new bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:1-5) So because these bodies we live in now will be gone we need to focus more on the things that God cares about which is the heart.
When we think of the heart we think of emotions or things that give us a feeling one way or another. We think worshiping with our heart is how we feel but worship involves so much more than feelings. But in the Hebrew language the heart meant much more than just emotions that could come and go it involved your mind, your emotions and your intentions.
A) Mind or Thoughts
The Bible says where your treasure is that is where your heart will be. (Matthew 6:21) That is all about the focus or your mind. The Bible could says where your thoughts are is what you really love. What do you think about? What consumes your day? Good things can even consume our day and take our mind away from the best things.
Romans 8:5-6 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
To set your mind on something is like a hunter with a scope on his rifle who focuses only on the animal he is looking to shoot. Everything else gets blocked out and the focus in only on what is the most important matter which is the thing you are hunting.
You cannot always control your life but you can control where you place your thoughts. Placing our thoughts in the right place determines the direction we are heading so if we are going to follow God with all of our heart we have to have our mind focused on the things of God.
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Emotions are a strong feeling, such as love, anger, joy, hate, or fear.
Emotions are part of our make up and are very important to how we function on a daily basis. Emotions, like any other area of our lives, must be kept in balance with the situation we are in. Many people get emotional when they see a movie or at a sporting event but those same people go to church emotionless. Some churches the people are too emotional and other churches have people that have no emotion to show.
If we are to worship God with all of our heart then we have to see that emotions are involved. When David fights Goliath it took mind, will and emotions. Emotions get you going but they have to be guided by truth and your will. When the Bible talks about the heart it does not separate obedience to the word of God (Mind) from how you feel (emotions). This is why you cannot say this is what I feel God would have me do if it is contrary to the Word of God.
C) Intent or will
Sin is missing the mark but there are two ways to miss the mark. One is to miss it because we are human and we fail all the time and the other is to intentionally miss the mark because you are choosing to do so. When we sin and do not care we are basically telling God we do not care what He thinks this is just the way that I am.
What are the intentions behind what you are doing? Have you ever done something with the wrong attitude? Do you do things to honor God or to make yourself look good? Was your intent to do your best?
God looked toward David because although he may have been a no one in everyone else’s eyes, David, who was not perfect, had a heart that was committed to God.
Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
2) Will not always be the world’s choice
Everyone was invited to the sacrifice but David. The Father was asked by Samuel to bring his sons but the father did not think that David would be important enough to even have at the sacrifice. David being the youngest of the brothers would have been the world’s last choice
Isaiah 49:15 Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
If you have ever felt forgotten by the world just remember that God has not forgotten you. The world may forget you and your earthly father may forget you but God will never forget you. Things may not be going the way you think they should but you have to realize that He sees where you are and has a plan. God looks to people that have to rely on Him because it is when we do that we see God work powerfully through our lives.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,[a] not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being[b] might boast in the presence of God.
God chooses the nobodies and makes them a somebody. Those that think they have it altogether many times will ignore God and rely on their own strength where those that know they are weak turn to Him daily. Whatever your weaknesses are do not focus on them but focus on the power of God to do great things through you.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
If any verse is anti what we are taught it is this one. We are taught to “Fake it till you make it” or “Never let them see you sweat.” God looks for the weak things of the world to use to prove that He is God.
Read 1 Samuel 16:14-23
3) Is Faithful
David was doing the job he was assigned to do even after he was anointed the next King of Israel. Saul was being tormented because the Spirit of God had left him and so David, who was a skillful harp player, was called upon to help keep Saul calm through his music. David carried out whatever job was in front of him and he did it so well that Saul made him a part of the royal court.
We will see in chapter 17 that David not only did his job with Saul but he also went back and forth to take care of his father’s sheep. David had responsibilities and he was faithful to carry them out.
No one was there to watch him but he was faithfully carrying out his job. We live in a society that thinks they do not have to do anything unless they are rewarded for it. Wherever God has placed you be faithful to do what is in front of you until He calls you to another place. Whoever you work for or whatever you are doing should always be done in such a way knowing that God is using you in that place or is training you for something He has planned down the road.
Colossians 3:22-25 Bondservants,[f] obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,[g] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless…”
Where would you say your heart (mind, emotions and will) are with God? God is always looking for people that have their hearts in the right place. Do you have a Heart for God? Does your calendar show that you love God more than anything else? Do you think God cannot use you for some reason? Are you looking at your weaknesses instead of His strengths? Are you faithful to do what God has put in front of you?
Our world needs us to have a heart for God which will in turn give us a love for the people around us. Refocus your life on Him and you will see Him use you more than you ever thought possible.