Thursday, October 23, 2008

1 Samuel 16

I once again wanted to step back into the Old Testament to talk about one of the old school heroes of the Bible. This time, we are talking about the life of King David. With him, we see both the greatest that humanity has to offer, and the lowest that we as a race can go. David was one of God’s greatest servants, yet he still fell short of the glory of God numerous times. He is one of the greatest authors of the Old Testament, but I wanted to look at his life as chronicled by the prophet Samuel. This is all new to me, so please bear with me as I haven’t read these accounts in years.

1 Samuel 16 is where we run into David first. At this time he is still a boy, one of the eight sons of Jesse. At this time, God had rejected Saul as Israel’s first king because he did not dedicate himself to the Lord. Samuel was directed to visit Jesse because God Himself would select the next king of Israel personally. This wasn’t even something that would be fulfilled that day. As we will see, it would take years before David officially became king. It was on this day, however, that his destiny was laid out for him.

6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD."

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." – 1 Samuel 16:6-7

Essentially, God told Samuel not to judge a book by its cover. Like most of the Bible, this is also a preview of the life of Jesus. David was the unheralded eighth son. Because Middle Eastern society gave such importance to the first born, little was expected of him. Ironically, God often went against this tradition often. Isaac was not Abraham’s first born, but he was chosen. The same with Jacob and Joseph. David is no different in that God knew his heart and saw past the physical characteristics that mankind tends to focus on.

We see that this begins David’s ascension to the throne. Though still just a boy, he was anointed by Samuel and went to serve King Saul as an armor-bearer. This is important because though he would become a great king, he began his role in a posture of humility and servitude. This is what God asks of us today. We must be humble before him, accepting the small first before we can be trusted with the great.

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