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From Joshua to David

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From Joshua to David


Cycle of Misery

1 Samuel 2:7-19, New International Version

7The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.

11Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.

14In his anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.

16Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. 17Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. Unlike their fathers, they quickly turned from the way in which their fathers had walked, the way of obedience to the LORD’S commands. 18Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD had compassion on them as they groaned under those who oppressed and afflicted them. 19But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

What was the judges’ role and purpose?

      The cycle of misery climaxed with God allowing the Ark of the Covenant to be captured by the Philistines. (1 Samuel 4)  After the Ark returned to Israel, God delivered the Israelites from the Philistines.  Samuel served as judge.  However, Samuel grew old, and “the people wanted a king…”  (Read the Session in Context Part)

1 Samuel 16:1-5

1The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

2But Samuel said, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me.”

The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

4Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

5Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

Why did Samuel think that Eliab might be the man God had chosen?

What mattered to God in choosing the next king for Israel?

1 Samuel 16:6-12

6When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed stands here before the LORD.”

7But 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.”

8Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.” 10Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”

How is David described in his meeting with Samuel?

What physical characteristics tend to attract public attention and inspire respect?

What qualities should we look for in our leaders?

What qualities should we look for in church leaders?

Are we still tempted to look at things that really don’t matter? (Examples: birth place, connections, or beauty)

1 Samuel 16:13

13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.

What was the result of the anointing of David by Samuel?


This story challenges us to look past our own assumptions about leadership (qualified and unqualified) and it challenges us to place our trust in God.

Are you willing to set aside your perceptions, your preferences, and your common wisdom?

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