Last week we saw how Saul disobeyed God’s
instructions. As the days passed by, Samuel sorrowed for Saul, but God
spoke to him and said, “How long will you mourn for this man whom
I have rejected as the ruler of my people? Now I have chosen another to
take his place.” God said, “Fill your empty horn with oil
for I am going to send you to Bethlehem to anoint the one whom I have
chosen to be Israel’s king in place of Saul.”
At first Samuel was afraid to go. He said, “How can I go? Saul will
hear of it, and he will surely kill me.” But God told him to take
an offering for a sacrifice and prepare a feast for the people of Bethlehem
and invite an old man named Jesse, who lived near the city to come with
his sons to the feast. “Because one of his sons I have chosen,”
the Lord said, “and I will tell you which one of them shall be Israel’s
next king. Samuel did what the Lord said.
Here is an example of true obedience. Samuel was afraid of Saul and did
not know how things would turn out. What can we learn from his example?
Samuel obeyed God’s command, and trusted God to take care of the
consequences. If Jesus is your Saviour, each day God wants you to obey
Him and trust Him (or rely on Him) to work out the difficulties in your
life. When a hard situation comes up at school or at home, (example, friendship)
pray. Talk to the Lord about it and ask Him to help you.
When the rulers of the city saw Samuel coming toward them they were afraid.
They asked, “Why have you come? Do you come in peace?” Samuel
told them that he had come to worship God at that place, and when they
saw his offering for the sacrifice they made themselves ready to enjoy
the feast that would follow. And Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to
attend the feast too.
Now Jesse had eight sons, but only seven came to the feast. The youngest
was not yet grown to manhood, and he kept his father’s sheep in
the fields outside the city. When Eliab, the eldest son of Jesse, came,
Samuel thought, “Surely this must be the man whom God has chosen.”
For Eliab was a tall, handsome young man, and Samuel was pleased with
his appearance. But God said, “This is not the man. You are judging
by the outward appearance; I am looking at the heart.”
Perhaps you are good-looking, you wear nice clothes, and you know that
people think you are a good girl or boy. But God does not see only those
outward things, He sees our heart. He sees the real you. Do you often
think angry thoughts about people? Would you be ashamed if anyone read
your secret thoughts? Well, God does read our thoughts.
Jesse then brought his other sons to Samuel, and one by one they passed
before the prophet. But Samuel shook his head and said, “God has
chosen none of these, have you no other son?” Jesse replied, “I
have one more, but I did not bring him to the feast. David is my youngest,
and he is now in the field caring for my sheep.”
From boyhood David had heard the Word of God from his father and perhaps
from Samuel when they went once a year to the house of God to offer sacrifices.
He learned when just a young boy to trust God to take away his sin --be
like Him –trust God to forgive your sin. You see, Christ died to
take away sin, and He rose again. All those who trust in Christ are declared
right with God forever.
Sometimes as David kept the sheep he led them far away and he could not
get back to his home at night. Then he slept under the stars near the
sheep. He led them in safe places during the day so that they had good
pasture. He counted them in the evening to see that they were all there.
He watched carefully for the tracks of wild animals so that his sheep
would be protected. He was alone a great deal. He practiced many hours
throwing stones with his sling which was his only weapon other than his
One time a bear came into the flock to carry away one of the sheep, and
David had no weapon except his staff. He cried to the Lord for help, and
then he killed the bear. Another time a lion came sneaking down right
into the flock, took a little lamb away in his mouth and started running
away. David ran after him. He struck the lion so that he dropped the little
lamb on the ground and it was safe. Then the lion turned to spring on
David. David again cried to the Lord for strength. He was too close to
the lion to use his sling. He caught the lion by the beard and struck
him and killed him. God had delivered David from both a lion and a bear.
David did not know that he was being tested to see if God could trust
him to do his work and that one day he would look after God’s people.
He did not think about his own danger, but only about his sheep. He was
a faithful shepherd.
The old prophet Samuel had told Jesse, David’s father, to send for
the shepherd-boy at once, because God had chosen him to do a great work.
And they waited while a messenger hurried away to bring the lad to Samuel.
David, the shepherd-boy, was surprised to see a messenger running toward
him from over the hills near Bethlehem. He rose quickly and drew his shepherd-coat
about him. Then, picking up his rod, he hurried to meet the breathless
runner. “You are wanted in Bethlehem at once.” gasped the
runner. “Samuel, the old prophet, wishes to see you, and your father
has sent word that you must leave your sheep and come in haste.”
Samuel waited patiently, and when at last a rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed
youth, clad in a shepherd’s garb, entered the room, the Lord said
to Samuel, “Arise and anoint this young man, for he is the one whom
I have chosen.” So Samuel poured oil from his horn upon the head
of David, as God had commanded, and from that day on the Spirit of the
Lord came upon David in power. David understood by this act that God had
chosen him to become the leader of Israel some day.
After the feast had ended, Samuel returned again to Ramah, and he did
not grieve any more about Saul. He knew God had chosen a better person
to sit upon the throne of Israel.
After David was anointed, he went back to tending the sheep for his father.
What do you think kept David from running ahead and going to the palace
and demanding to be king now? He was willing to wait on God’s timing.
David knew that things were in God’s hands, and he knew that God’s
timing is always right. We have seen in this story that David and Samuel
both were obedient in trusting God even when they didn’t know how
God would work out the details. May we trust like Samuel and David did.
Our Heavenly Father, You are all-knowing and all-wise. You see what we
are really like in our hearts. Forgive us of our sins and may be trust
and obey you as Samuel and David did in our lesson. Thank you for sending
Christ to die for sinners and to pay the penalty for sin. If there is
anyone here who has never trusted Christ for the payment of their sin,
may they do so today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Copyright Material BCM International