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Before There Were Kings 8 - Samuel Anoints a New King

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Reading: 1Samuel 16:1-13
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 16:7b (NIV)

I.   God rejects an Obvious choice

     A.  God Rejects Saul as king

           1.  God had acquiesced to the people’s desire to have a king.

                 a.  Samuel warned them. . .
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20 (NIV)

           2.  Saul was an externally obvious choice.

                 a.  He was tall and strong and able to lead.

                 b.  He started out with humility - he began well.

           3.  Saul proved unfit to lead, because of the true character of his heart.

                 a.  Well begun is still only half done.

                 b.  Saul didn’t finish well.

     B.  God rejects Eliab

           1.  Eliab also seemed a good choice (even to Samuel).

                 a.  He was oldest, traditionally kings were the eldest son.

                 b.  He looked like a leader.

           2.  We shouldn’t presume Eliab was a bad person, just not the king God chose.

                 a.  God rejected Eliab (v.7a).

                 b.  The only thing we know about him besides his name is that he gets mad with David, when David starts asking questions about Goliath (ch.17)

           3.  God had chosen someone else instead

                 a.  Eliab is passed over because God had chosen another.

                 b.  God chose David long before (ch 13:14)

     C.  God’s Check-list is different from ours

           1.  God does not look at the things human beings look at.

                 a.  God knows our hearts better than we ourselves know them.

                 b.  We size people up by who they appear to be, God, by who they are.

           2.  God’s job description for leadership isn’t certification, but devotion.

                 a.  When we look think about experience and training.

                 b.  God looks for someone with a submitted heart.

II.  Samuel still Relies on God’s direction

     A.  On his own, Samuel is Wrong

           1.  He believed Eliab was a good choice.

                 a.  His first impression: “This is the guy.”

                 b.  Though Sam had spent his whole life serving God, he still didn’t see as God sees.

           2.  God told him no.

                 a.  Samuel’s judgement was wrong.

                 b.  Not even the eyes of the spiritually mature are always reliable.

     B.  He can’t see past what he can See

           1.  And neither can we.

                 a.  We should recognize our limitations.

                 b.  Still we think we can size someone up because of their visible personality traits.

           2.  Samuel isn’t psychic, or highly intuitive — that doesn’t make him a prophet or priest.

                 a.  Being a priest or a prophet is a matter of relationship and submission.

                 b.  It’s not about other abilities.

           3.  No one becomes so mature that s/he no longer needs to rely on God’s instruction.

                 a.  How I long to hear “Let me pray about that and get back to you!”

                 b.  Honesty compels us to humility.

     C.  Samuel Listens to God’s direction

           1.  He hears God.

                 a.  His ears were open to God from a young age.

                 b.  He kept them open.

           2.  He obeys God.

                 a.  Hearing and obeying are not the same.

                 b.  Samuel is mature enough to quickly let go of his ideas and follow God’s.

III. Samuel anoints a Boy from Bethlehem

     A.  An Unlikely choice

           1.  Not royalty by any means

                 a.  David wasn’t of pure Israelite stock: his great grandmother was a gentile: Ruth; and great-great-great grandmother was too: Rahab.

                 b.  There doesn’t seem to be anything remarkable about this family.

           2.  A shepherd, not even middle class!

                 a.  Shepherds were not of high standing by any means — among the lowest class.

           3.  The youngest son of eight sons.

                 a.  The youngest would be the least likely choice to become a national leader.

     B.  God’s choice

           1.  God had chosen him long before.

                 a.  Months at least (ch 13).

                 b.  All of us are created to accomplish God’s purpose.

           2.  God wanted us to know that David was His choice, not Samuel’s or anyone else’s.

           3.  As with Gideon, God often chooses the apparently weaker,

     C.  God’s Spirit rests on David

           1.  God not only chose David, he empowered him.

                 a.  God does not call without empowering

                 b.  We too are empowered by God’s Spirit for the purpose of spreading the Gospel

                 c.  When God empowers we are able to do great things for Him (as long as we stay submitted to Him!)

           2.  God empowered him to lead and administer, but also to worship and follow God.

                 a.  David became a Psalmist - a writer of songs to God still sung today.

                 b.  The heart of Christian leadership is a heart devoted to God in worship.

                 c.  No one of us should ever forget that we cannot accomplish the tasks God has for us, unless we also worship him.

The Bottom Line:

God’s ways can Surprise even the most spiritually Mature. His ways are always Better.

Hymn: Blue #276 Not Haughty is My Heart.

(Based on Psalm 131 - of David: A song of ascents)

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