David Part 3
Samuel enters Bethlehem, and all of a sudden, people know he’s there. Because Samuel is a prophet of God, they think, “This can’t be good. Perhaps he’s here to call judgment on us.” So in 1 Samuel 16:4, they ask, “Do you come in peace?”
1 Samuel 16:5 – And Samuel said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.
Whatever the details of consecration involved, they all did it without question. After all, they knew that God spoke through Samuel and this must be very important and special.
1 Samuel 16:6 – So it was, when they came, that he (Samuel) looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.”
Perhaps Eliab was strong-looking and big in stature. He possibly looked the part of a king, in Samuel’s eyes. But, we see in the next chapter that Eliab was critical, negative, and looked down on his younger brother. God doesn’t look on the outside when choosing, man does.
Samuel knew it wasn’t Eliab when he didn’t get a response from God, so he went to the next son of Jesse.
1 Samuel 16:8 – Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he (Samuel) said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”
Abinadab is listed as the second son of Jesse. I’m sure he was as impressive looking as Eliab had been. But nope, God doesn’t choose him either.
1 Samuel 16:9 – Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he (Samuel) said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”
God had already told Samuel in verse 7 not to look at the appearance or at his height of his stature, because he has rejected him. For the Lord does not see what man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
Only God can look at a person’s heart. However, He will give His children a Spirit of discernment. God had also told Samuel what He was looking for: “A man after My own heart.”
God usually chooses what man rejects. Jesse didn’t have the same appreciation for all his children. If he did, he would have had David there because he knew something big was taking place. Jesse saw his youngest son as nothing more than a boy who tended sheep.
1 Samuel 16:11 – And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he (Jesse) said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes.”
David is out in the field, normal day, and is about to have a “Suddenly!”
1 Samuel 16:12, 13 – So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” (Verse 13) Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him (David) in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
As we read this, did you wonder why God had Samuel go through all the brothers? Could not God have simply told Samuel from the beginning, “Samuel go to Bethlehem, look up Jesse, and anoint his son, David, as the next King of Israel?” Wouldn’t that have saved a lot of doubt and wondering over each son?
I believe that God doesn’t tell us all the details of what’s about to take place because He wants us to trust Him every step of the way. We learn this through a process of following and trusting God, step by step. As we go, we develop the Spirit of discernment. He wants us to go forth with great expectancy of knowing He is faithful to His Word. He develops us along the way to use our faith and to learn to listen for His voice.