Summary: God sees what we can become in His kingdom
In God’s Eyes I Samuel 15:34-16:13
II Cor 5:6-10 14-17
Mark 4: 26-29
I’m going to summarize a little background of the story that took place earlier in the book of Samuel before we get into the section of our text we read today.
The Israelite people at first were governed directly by God. They had prophets who served as God’s mouth piece to the people and priests who made sacrifices for the people.
They were warned that elevating a man to the throne would bring political corruption and trouble.
But as they looked around at neighboring countries they became envious of them because they all had kings that they could see and approach, and the Israelites’ king was in the heavens.
So in spite of the prophet Samuel’s warnings about all the problems a king would cause them, the people insisted and so God gave them Saul as their king. He was an obvious choice and the people were excited to have him
The Bible tells us that part of Saul’s attraction for the position of Israel’s first king was that he was a magnificent physical specimen. Saul was what you would expect in a king. He was a handsome man and very strong. He was the kind of person who demanded your attention and your respect. He was young, and stood head and shoulders taller than anyone else in Israel.
While Saul may have been a giant among men, he was a spiritual pygmy! He made a good public image and seemed to have the charisma to rally the people. But those characteristics don’t ensure quality leadership. He was significant to men, but he was disobedient to God.
Saul was a jealous man, who lived for the praises of the people. He tended to overstep his boundaries and was guilty of gross disobedience to the commands of the Lord.
It didn’t take long for him to stop seeking God’s direction and begin taking things into his own hands. He began his reign as a humble servant but it wasn’t long until his real character was revealed.
Basically Saul was a proud man who turned out to be stubborn and impetuous, with a strong self-will. These character flaws lead to his downfall.
Because of his deliberate disregard for the God’s Word and his inability to place himself completely under divine control, the Lord ended up taking the royal monarchy from Saul.
When Samuel confronted Saul for not destroying everything among the Amalekites both man and beast, Saul tried to worm his way out of it by saying that the only reason he didn’t destroy everything was so he would have something left to sacrifice to the Lord.
It sounds good, but the Lord didn’t tell Saul to spare anything for a sacrifice. That is why Samuel responded to this weak excuse by asking “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice?”
The very last verse of I Samuel 15 says that “The Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king.” That’s where our story picks up today. in chapter 16.
Samuel is upset that this first King has failed so miserably. and he is grieving, having his own pity party That’s why in our text, we see God saying to Samuel in verse: 1 - “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? I am sending you to Jesse in Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
This time it is Samuel who is hesitant to follow instructions. He says, you know Lord if I do that and Saul hears about it he will kill me! Then God does something that on the surface seems very strange. He seems to tell Samuel to be deceptive as to his real agenda. He says take a heifer with you and say that you have come to sacrifice. (What a cover story!) That is exactly what a sacrifice is for.
God says he will indicate which son of Jesse is to be anointed. But Samuel thinks he can figure out whom God will choose. He thinks it is Eliab, since he is such a fine looking man and the obvious choice as the eldest son in the family.
But in verse 7 we see that the Lord told Samuel,
“Do not consider his appearance or his height….the Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
So after all the sons of Jesse had been rejected and Samuel inquired if there were any more, then Jesse said, “Oh yes I have the youngest one out there tending sheep.” You see even his own father thought God would not choose David. He came in from the field still in his shepherd’s garb, still smelling like sheep, and God says, “Rise and anoint him, he’s the one.”