Don Judge by Appearance

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					What this
story shows                Don’t Judge by Appearance
God uses the
unexpected to
accomplish God’s      Read I Samuel 16                      them, too.
                      Samuel anoints                        When they arrived, Samuel took
God can use us                                              one look at Eliab and thought,
                      David as King to
just as we are,
                      Succeed Saul                          “Surely this is the LORD’s anoint-
with the gi s God
has given us.                                               ed!” But the LORD said to Samu-
                      God said to Samuel: “You have         el, “Don’t judge by his appear-
Timeline              mourned long enough for Saul. I       ance or height, for I have reject-
                      have rejected him as king of Is-      ed him. The LORD doesn’t make
Reign of David        rael. Now fill your horn with olive
1010-970 BC                                                 decisions the way you do! People
                      oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a       judge by outward appearance,
Key People            man named Jesse who lives             but the LORD looks at a person’s
                      there, for I have selected one of     thoughts and intentions.”
Samuel:               his sons to be my new king.”
                                                            Then Jesse told his son Abinadab
Samuel was a          But Samuel asked, “How can I do       to step forward and walk in front
prophet and the       that? If Saul hears about it, he
last of Israel’s                                            of Samuel. But Samuel said,
                      will kill me.”                        “This is not the one the LORD
Judges. He grew
up under Eli, who     “Take a heifer with you,” the         has chosen.” Next Jesse sum-
was the priest at     LORD replied, “and say that you       moned Shammah, but Samuel
Shiloh. He served
a variety of roles    have come to make a sacrifice to      said, “Neither is this the one the
in Israel. He was a   the LORD. Invite Jesse to the         LORD has chosen.” In the same
prophet, a judge      sacrifice, and I will show you        way all seven of Jesse’s sons
and a military        which of his sons to anoint for       were presented to Samuel. But
                      me.”                                  Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD
Saul:                                                       has not chosen any of these.”
                      So Samuel did as the LORD in-
                                                            Then Samuel asked, “Are these
                      structed him. When he arrived at
Saul was the first                                           all the sons you have?”
king of Israel,       Bethlehem, the leaders of the
a er                  town became afraid. “What’s           “There is still the youngest,” Jes-
Samuel re red as      wrong?” they asked. “Do you           se replied. “But he’s out in the
the last Judge                                              fields watching the sheep.”
                      come in peace?”
over Israel. He
was anointed by       ”Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have        “Send for him at once,” Samuel
Samuel to             come to sacrifice to the LORD.        said. “We will not sit down to eat
succeed Saul as
king at God’s         Purify yourselves and come with       until he arrives.”
direc on.             me to the sacrifice.” Then Samu-      So Jesse sent for him. He was
                      el performed the purification rite    ruddy and handsome, with pleas-
                      for Jesse and his sons and invited    ant eyes. And the LORD said,
     Don’t Judge by Appearance
“This is the one; anoint him.” So      hem is a talented harp player.
as David stood there among his         Not only that—he is a brave war-
brothers, Samuel took the olive        rior, a man of war, and has good
oil he had brought and poured it       judgment. He is also a fine-
on David’s head. And the Spirit        looking young man, and the
of the LORD came mightily upon         Lord is with him.”
him from that day on. Then Sam-
                                       So Saul sent messengers to Jes-
uel returned to Ramah.
                                       se to say, “Send me your son
David Serves in Saul’s Court           David, the shepherd.” Jesse re-
                                       sponded by sending David to
Now the Spirit of the Lord had
                                       Saul, along with a young goat, a
left Saul, and the Lord sent a tor-
                                       donkey loaded with bread, and a
menting spirit that filled him with
                                       wineskin full of wine.
depression and fear.
                                       So David went to Saul and began
Some of Saul’s servants said to
                                       serving him. Saul loved David
him, “A tormenting spirit from
                                       very much, and David became
God is troubling you. Let us find
                                       his armor bearer.
a good musician to play the harp
whenever the tormenting spirit         Then Saul sent word to Jesse
troubles you. He will play sooth-      asking, “Please let David remain
ing music, and you will soon be        in my service, for I am very
well again.”                           pleased with him.”
“All right,” Saul said. “Find me       And whenever the tormenting
someone who plays well, and            spirit from God troubled Saul,
bring him here.”                       David would play the harp. Then
                                       Saul would feel better, and the
One of the servants said to Saul,
                                       tormenting spirit would go away.
“One of Jesse’s sons from Bethle-

   Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,
   To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
   From The Mourning Bride, Act 1, Scene 1, by William Congreve (1670–1729)
Secret Anoin ng            Summary
Samuel rightly feared      God told Samuel that he was ready to         But the Lord said to Samuel “Do not
that Saul would kill him   appoint a new king. Because Saul diso-       judge by his appearance or his height. He
if the king learned that   beyed God, God no longer wanted him to       is not the one I have chosen. The Lord
he had anointed            be the king of Israel.                       does not look at the things man looks at.
another king to rule                                                    Man looks at the outward appearance,
the Israelites.            God even told Samuel that it would be        but the Lord looks at the heart.”
                           one the sons of Jesse. Samuel was con-
                           cerned. He knew that if Saul realized        Jesse had seven of his sons pass by Samu-
                           what he was                                  el, but God told Samuel that each one
                           doing, he would have Samuel killed. God      was not the chosen king. Samuel asked
                           told him a plan and Samuel traveled to       Jesse if he had any other children.
                           Jesse’s home in Bethlehem.                   Jesse told Samuel that he had a younger
                           When he arrived in the town, he invited      son, but he was taking care of the sheep.
                           Jesse and his sons to a special me to
                           celebrate God. When they arrived, Samu-      Samuel sent for David. God told Samuel,
                           el saw Jesse’s first son Eliab and thought,   “Rise and anoint him. He is the one.”
                           “Surely he is God’s                          Samuel knew that David would one day
                           choice.”                                     be the king of God’s people.
David and Saul
Back in those days, a   harp. Saul asked his       would be the next king.
person that would be    servants to find some-     He knew that Saul
king was anointed       one in the land that       would surely kill if he
with oil. That means    played the harp well.      found out.
they poured olive oil   Believe it or not, David
on the person’s head    was that person. Saul      God allowed David to
to show that God had    sent for David and en-     stay in Saul’s palace,
chosen him for a spe-   joyed his harp playing.    learning what it meant
cial purpose. From      Whenever David             to be the king. He was
then on, God’s Spirit   played the harp, Saul’s    only a teenager at the
was with David.         pain went away. He         time. Even though God
                        liked David so much        chose him as king, he
God’s Spirit was no     that he stayed near        would not become king
longer with Saul and    the palace and carried     until he was 30 years
he was in pain. His     armor for the warriors.    old! David had to wait
only relief was when    David was careful not      patiently for God’s tim-
someone played the      to tell Saul that he       ing because he knew
                                                   God had plans for him.

Seventy-three of the
150 Psalms in the Bi-                 Significant dates
ble are attributed to                 in David’s life
David. The supreme
kingship of Yahweh is                 ♦   Born c. 1040 BC in
the most prominent                        Bethlehem
concept in the book                   ♦   Ruled over Judah
of Psalms, and many
                                          c.1010-1003 BC;
psalms attributed to
David are directed to                     over Judah and
Yahweh by name,                           Israel c.1003-970 BC
whether in praise or                  ♦   Died c. 970 BC
petition, suggesting
                                          in Jerusalem
a close relationship.
David composed Psalm 18 to express his gratitude to God for delivering him
from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul:

             I love you, O LORD, my strength.

             The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
                    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
                    He is my shield and the horn of
                    my salvation, my stronghold.

             I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
                       and I am saved from my enemies.

             The cords of death entangled me;
                     the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

             The cords of the grave coiled around me;
                     the snares of death confronted me.

             In my distress I called to the LORD;
                      I cried to my God for help.
                      From his temple he heard my voice;
                      my cry came before him, into his ears.

             He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
                     great bolts of lightning and routed them...

             He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
                     from my foes, who were too strong for me.

             He is the God who avenges me,
                      who subdues nations under me,

             who saves me from my enemies.
                     You exalted me above my foes;
                     from violent men you rescued me.

             Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD;
                     I will sing praises to your name.

             He gives his king great victories;
                     he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
                     to David and his descendants forever.
         Some things to
          think about
Do you wonder how David felt when Samuel anointed him as the next King
of Israel? How many responses can you imagine for the statement, “You’re the

Did David say, “Oh, OK. I guess”? Or, did David jump for joy? God called Da-
vid for a special job. God didn’t require David to have all the right credentials
— God called David just as he was, a young shepherd boy.

Think about your gifts and your passions. What is God calling you to do?

Have you ever looked at someone and judged them by what they were wear-
ing or how they acted towards others?

Some jobs aren’t glamorous. Some work is downright dirty! David was a shep-
herd. Few people wanted that job and shepherds were often disliked. It wasn’t
pretty work, but God still chose David to be king. Can you think of people
who work behind the scenes in “dirty” jobs? Take time to thank those people
and acknowledge their hard work!

When has God used your ill-
thought-out choices to bring
about good in your life or in
the lives of others?

Is God leading you to new

What is your response?
Yes? No? Are you hesitating?
What’s holding you back?
Page   7

            "And David took a harp and
            played..." ( Samuel 1 16:23)
           David, as a young      rock of inspiration to   soothe Saul's soul
           shepherd, wandered     all of us.               and bring the King
           the fields around                               some measure of
           Bethlehem, playing     Though he was wan-       comfort and healing.
           his harp. Sensing      dering alone, word       The remarkable heal-
           the closeness of       of his special harp      ing effect of the harp
           God, David's music     (Hebrew kinnor)          was known to people
           communicated the       playing became           3000 years ago.
           meditations of his     known far and wide.      Without data from
           heart to the Creator   Eventually, it           scientific research,
           of all.                reached the ears of      they intuitively un-
                                  the servants of King     derstood the rela-
           During his eventful    Saul.                    tionship between the
           lifetime, David com-                            music of the harp,
           posed many             Saul was an ailing       and the healing of
           psalms, singing the    soul ― an evil spirit    the body and mind.
           praises of God. No     came to trouble him
           matter how perilous    day and night. It        Recent medical stud-
           his circumstances,     was then that young      ies have confirmed
           he never lost faith.   David was called to      that the sweet and
           His psalms are a       play the harp to         pure sounds of this
                                                           ancient harp can
                                                           beneficially effect the
                                                           process of healing.

                                                           Harp music in gen-
                                                           eral promotes a res-
                                                           toration of the con-
                                                           nection between the
                                                           body, mind and soul
                                                           ― it is a bridge be-
                                                           tween heaven and
                                                    Bethlehem, the city of David
                                                    Left, Bethlehem in the 8th century BC with the Ju-
                                                    dean Wilderness and the rift valley of the Jordan
                                                    River beyond.

Right, the same view today, with the Church of
the Nativity (white roof, left of center) and the
Evangelical Lutheran Christmas Church (pointed
tower, right of center)

                                                         Left, Evangelical Lutheran Christmas
                                                         Church in central Bethlehem.

Right, Another view of the
modern Palestinian city of

Called Beit Lechem in He-
brew (“House of Bread”)
Beit Lahm in Arabic (“House
of Meat”). The name pre-
dates the Hebrew conquest.
It is actually derived from
Bet Lacham or “House of
Lacham” (a Mesopotamian
fertility god).
For Kids

                                                 Word Search:
                       iscussion                 A   S   R   G   V   N   N   B   B   R   U   D   D   Y   F
                       point:                    D
                                                 F   L   Z   C   I   S   V   B   N   N   M   K   L   U   H
                                                 G   L   K   R   R   H   W   Q   O   O   I   L   P   Y   O
A person’s actions are more important than       H   O   I   T   E   E   Y   U   T   T   S   I   A   S   U
appearance.                                      J   P   N   J   J   E   S   S   E   Y   R   T   T   D   G
                                                 S   U   G   I   Z   P   P   M   I   O   A   Y   U   M   H
                                                 H   O   Y   Y   S   W   O   W   R   T   E   G   E   Y   T
                                                 E   R   V   Q   G   S   A   M   U   E   L   H   S   J   S
Did you know?                                    P   A   B   W   D   U   I   O   L   K   L   G   H   U   J
                                                 H   M   N   N   F   H   J   K   O   H   Q   W   E   D   R
David played a hand-held harp, called a
                                                 E   A   A   R   R   Y   W   A   T   C   H   T   Y   G   U
kinnor in Hebrew.
                                                 R   H   M   J   J   K   L   E   K   H   F   F   H   E   N
David is described as “ruddy” in appearance,     D   Z   S   D   G   H   B   V   D   A   V   I   D   Q   F
which means his skin was a healthy reddish
color, usually resulting from an outdoor life.   DAVID               SAMUEL              THOUGHTS
                                                 BETHLEHEM JESSE                         JUDGE
Questions:                                       ANOINTED            OIL                 HANDSOME

What was David’s occupation before he be-        KING                RAMAH               ISRAEL
came king?                                       SHEPHERD            SPIRIT              RUDDY
Who was David’s father?                          SHEEP               SAUL                WATCH
David was a musician. He composed many
songs called______________?
With what did Samuel anoint David?               Memory Verse:
How many brothers did David have?

                                                     The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I
                                                     need. Psalm 23:1 (composed by David)

Love you enemies.

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