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Summary: David, Pt. 1

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THE HEART OF THE MATTER IS THE MATTER OF THE HEART (1 SAMUEL 16)

During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer.

“Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to me and the part where I’m to promise to ‘love, honor and obey’ and ‘forsaking all others, be faithful to her forever,’ I’d appreciate it if you’d just leave that part out.” He passed the minister a $100 bill and walked away satisfied.

It is now the day of the wedding, and the bride and groom have moved to that part of the ceremony where the vows are exchanged. When it comes time for the groom’s vows, the pastor looks the young man in the eye and says, “Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?”

The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, “Yes.” The groom leaned toward the pastor and hissed, “I thought we had a deal.” The pastor put the $100 bill into his hand and whispered back, “She made me a much better offer.”

The aging Samuel finally had something to look forward to. Nothing saddened, pained and grieved Samuel so much in his life as the realization that Saul’s reign was doomed, but nothing comforted, inspired and thrilled him as much as the promise of a better king than Saul (1 Sam 15:28). King Saul’s rebellion and arrogance (1 Sam 15:23) had no limits. Samuel “mourned” non-stop (1 Sam 15:31, 16:1) for Saul like a parent losing a child, the same word describing Jacob mourning for Joseph (Gen 37:34) and David for Absalom (2 Sam 13:37, 19:1), until he heard from God the good news of the promise of a new king.

David was Israel’s greatest king, the great grandson of Ruth and the forefather of Jesus, the promised Messiah. Israel’s second king was an extremely popular person, a very dedicated friend and an incredibly brave warrior, but he was fairly ordinary, easily overlooked and practically anonymous when he was a youth.

What did God see in a person like David that others, including his father and Samuel the prophet, did not? Why is it essential not to judge people by their looks? How does a nobody make a difference and rise above a crowded field of talented people?

Make Your Potential Count

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.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” (1 Sam 16:1-13)

It’s been said that parenting is like a “short sentence” - usually in three words:

- Wash your hands

- Brush your teeth

- Take a bath

- Get a haircut

- Change your clothes

- Button your shirt

- Shut the door

- Clean your room

- Make your bed

- Do your homework

- Flush the toilet

- Do your chores

- Stop the noise

- Save your money

- No more TV

David’s father was harsher on him than most fathers are on their kids. In Jesse’s eyes, David was just a kid, a boy, a minor; he did not see the potential that was in his son. In his father’s eyes David was not strong, capable or gifted; neither was he a leader, a warrior or a hero. The apron strings were tightly wrapped around David. David spent the most part of his youth running errands (1 Sam 17:17), delivering messages (1 Sam 17:18) and doing chores.

Man looks at seniority, status and stature, but God sees the potential in a person. According to the next chapter, Eliab, Abinadab and Shammah were the three oldest sons of Jesse - in that order (1 Sam 17:13). Their names were specifically mentioned because they were soldiers in Saul’s army. They were not necessarily the family’s sole breadwinners, but they were definitely not dependents. The three sons of Jesse were grownups or adults in the eyes of Jesse, Samuel and the Israelites. They were the apple of their father’s eye and the cream of the crop in the army, the best that they could be.

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