story shows Don’t Judge by Appearance
God uses the
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
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
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
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?
"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
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
iscussion A S R G V N N B B R U D D Y F
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
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.