The Challenge of Choosing

Key Verse: “ The LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
—I Samuel 16:7

Selected Scripture:
I Samuel 16:11-13

SAMUEL WAS THE LAST of Israel’s judges. We witnessed Saul’s selection by God as the nation’s first king and foresaw the danger that the new king and his people faced. He feared that they would neglect the God of Israel who had directed their affairs in the past, and that this change would not solve their problems.

Saul had certain qualifications that suited him well for the task that lay before him. He provided unity among the tribes of Israel as well as good leadership for his people. He had, however, lost God’s favor because of disobedience, and therefore God announced to Samuel that he would choose a new king to replace him.

Samuel was hesitant to carry out God’s will in the matter because of his compassion for Saul, but he was sent to Bethlehem to choose the new king, and to anoint him. “The Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.”—I Sam. 16:1

In fulfillment of God’s direction Samuel went to Bethlehem as directed, and was met by the elders of the city who were fearful for his reason in coming to them. He assured them, however, that he had come in peace and was there to sanctify Jesse and his sons. One by one each of seven of Jesse’s sons, beginning with the eldest, were brought to Samuel for approval, and as each one was brought to him he proclaimed that the Lord had not chosen him. When Jesse was asked if there were any other sons, he said there was one tending the sheep.

David, the youngest son, then appeared before Samuel. “He was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.”—I Sam. 16:12,13

David was God’s choice above each of his seven brothers, a very definite and positive approval, but his anointing gave him no immediate authority of kingship until that authority was removed from King Saul’s hands by Divine providence. This first anointing of David was to indicate to his brethren that he was God’s anointed; his official anointing would not take place until Saul was deposed. Meanwhile, he was fitted and prepared by the mighty hand of God for this position.

David’s reign over Israel prefigured Christ, head and body, selected and prepared during the Gospel Age for a place in that future kingdom. Characteristics God sought in David are also desired in those of the present calling. God does not look at the outward appearance, but seeks those possessing the Holy Spirit, a humble disposition, and a pure heart.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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