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Not What Man Sees
Bible Passage 1 Samuel 16: 1-23
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book 1 Samuel.

Not What Man Sees

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached May 2, 2023

1 The LORD told Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I’ve rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I’m sending you to Jesse from Bethlehem because I’ve chosen for myself one of his sons as king.”

2 Samuel said, “How can I go? Saul will hear about this and kill me!” The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I’ve come to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.’

3 You are to invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I’ll show you what you are to do. You are to anoint for me the one I tell you.”

4 Samuel did what the LORD said and went to Bethlehem. The elders of the town came out to meet him trembling, and said, “May your coming be in peace.”

5 He said, “Peace, I’ve come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Samuel consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab, and said, “Surely he’s the LORD’s anointed.”

7 The LORD told Samuel, “Don’t look at his appearance or his height, for I’ve rejected him. Truly, God does not see what man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD sees the heart.”

8 Then Jesse summoned Abinadab and brought him before Samuel, and he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”

9 Then Jesse brought Shammah, and he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”

10 Jesse brought seven of his sons before Samuel, and Samuel told Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”

11 Then Samuel told Jesse, “Are these all the young men?” He said, “There yet remains the youngest one, and right now he’s tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse, “Send someone to get him, for we won’t do anything else until he arrives here.”

12 So he sent and brought him. He had a dark, healthy complexion, with beautiful eyes, and he was handsome. The LORD said, “Get up and anoint him, for this is the one.”

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed David in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the LORD came on David from that day forward. Then Samuel got up and went to Ramah.

14 The Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

15 Saul’s servants told him, “Look, an evil spirit from God is troubling you.

16 Let our lord order his servants who attend you to look for a man who is skilled in playing the lyre. And then when an evil spirit from God comes on you, he will play and you will be better.”

17 Saul told his servants, “Find a man for me who can play well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the young men answered: “Look, I’ve seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is skilled in playing. The man is a valiant soldier, gifted in speech, and handsome. And the LORD is with him.”

19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.”

20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a container of wine, and one kid, and sent them to Saul along with his son David.

21 David went to Saul and began to serve him. Saul loved him very much, and he became his armor bearer.

22 Saul sent a messenger to Jesse to tell him, “Allow David to serve me, because I’m pleased with him.”

23 Whenever an evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the lyre and play it. Relief would come to Saul and he would be better, because the evil spirit would leave him.

Saul was the first king of Israel. Before then, Israel was theocratic; thus God ruled them directly. But when they came to the promised land, they wanted to copy the chieftaincy system of their neighbours and this required so requested God to give them a king.

God ‘obeyed’ and made Saul their king. Saul became disobedient later, and God rejected him and wanted a replacement for him.

When told by God to go and anoint a king to replace Saul, Samuel feared to, lest Saul kills him. God, therefore, told Samuel to keep the matter secret (verses 1-3).

Reassured by this additional word from God, Samuel went to Bethlehem, where he met the leading men of the important families in that area (verses 4-5).
The outcome of Samuel’s visit was that he anointed David, the youngest son of the family of Jesse.

Anointing was a way of marking out people for other important positions besides kingship, and Samuel gave no indication to the onlookers why he had anointed David. For David’s sake, as well as for Samuel’s, Saul was not to know that Samuel had already anointed David as Saul’s successor. Many years would pass before David actually became king (verses 6-13).

Now that the special power of God’s Spirit came upon David (see v. 13), it departed from Saul. Troubled by his own jealousy and sense of insecurity, Saul became emotionally and mentally unstable. Meanwhile, David matured. He became skilled in speech, writing, and music, and learned to be a brave fighter through having to defend his flocks from wild animals and Philistine raiders (verse 14-18; compare 1 Samuel 17:34-36).

The next step in the preparation of David for kingship was his introduction to Saul as one who could play music to relax the king’s troubled nerves. The outcome of this was that eventually, he became a permanent member of the royal court (verses 19-23).

🔷 Musicians and choristers must value their work and place a premium on it

🔷 God sees from within and not our physical presentation

🔷 No one can take away what belongs to you from you

💥 Ask God to help you redeem your rights and possessions
💥 Pray for wisdom and protection for any assignment God will give you

The plan of God for everyone will surely come to pass. Even if human beings put a blockade on our way, God’s power will locate you, and the world will be restless until you become anointed for greater heights.

In series Bright Morning Reflections