Devotions on 1 Samuel 16:1-13–Samuel Anoints David
October 16-22, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017–Samuel Anoints David
“The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you grieve over Saul’” (1 Samuel 16:1a)!
Binh had been offered an attractive promotion, by the company for which he worked. It appeared to Binh to be a perfect fit for his skill set and it came with a very significant salary increase. Binh had rushed home to tell his wife, Sally, and their two teenagers. The only problem with the offer was that it involved a move half-way across the country.
After some discussion, the family had decided to accept the offer, but as the moving date drew closer, they increasingly grieved the loss of friends, community and the comfort of “the known.” The gloom cloud over the family grew so dark and large that Binh finally called a family meeting. “We’re making ourselves miserable,” Binh began. “Let’s decide together to stop looking at what we will lose and begin to look at what we will gain.
At first Samuel did not want the Israelites to have a king. The Lord, however, commanded him to anoint Saul—a young man whose only claim to fame was his height—as king of Israel. Samuel obeyed and over the years a relationship had been built between the two men. Now, the Lord decided to reject Saul and to have David ascend to the throne of Israel. Samuel grieved the change which was taking place.
It is easy to become attached to the “samo samo.” It may be a little boring, but it appears safer, more secure and more comfortable than the new paths the Holy Spirit occasionally lead us on. Like Samuel, we grieve over the past rather than anticipate the future. Samuel discovered that King David would lead Israel into its Golden Age. Our past has been filled with God’s blessings—our future is filled with God’s promises.
Forbid it, Lord, that our attachment to the past and present keep us from obediently following your Spirit and boldly stepping into the future. Amen
Tuesday, October 17, 2017–Samuel Anoints David
“Fill your horn and set out” (1 Samuel 16:1b).
The Boy Scout motto is, “Be Prepared.” It’s good advice. Being caught in a rain storm without an umbrella is not fun, neither is making a business presentation without the notes that were left on the desk in the hotel room. Samuel was going on a trip to anoint a new king. He needed to fill up his horn with oil and set out.
As followers of Jesus, we too need to be prepared. Every day, Carolyn fills five lunch bags with sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and a few dollars. She’s prepares to give these to the homeless she meets on the street corners as she drives around town. The Valdez family keeps a bowl on the kitchen counter where they can drop their loose change. On Sundays they bring the money with them to church and give it to one of the missions their congregation is supporting. Kurt prepares for each day with a time of prayer—asking that he may see the needs around them and respond to them in a loving manner.
Each day we set out on a mission to share God’s love and grace with those we meet. It is important for us to be prepared to accomplish the tasks to which the Lord calls us.
Lord, it has been said that you do not call the equipped, but equip the called. Equip us to accomplish the missions to which you call us so, that others may be touched with your love and grace and you may be honored and glorified. Amen.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017–Samuel Anoints David
“‘Samuel said, ‘How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me’” (1 Samuel 16:2).
Brian was faced with a dilemma. He could keep quiet about the bully who constantly terrorized one of his classmates, or he could stand with his classmate and confront the bully. To do so might involve both a physical and social cost to it. As a follower of Jesus, though, Brian knew what he had to do. Abdul felt that he was being led to substantially increase his support of a school for disadvantaged children. To do so would change his lifestyle. He wouldn’t be able to purchase the car that he wanted or go on the vacation that he was planning.
We imagine how nice it would be to have a relationship with the Lord that guaranteed, success, affluence, comfort and security with little or no cost. As followers of Jesus, however, we know that isn’t what a life of faith is all about. Jesus made this very clear when he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” Though the gifts of a new life and a relationship with God are free, there is a cost involved, as we strive to be faithfully obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Whatever we give, though, will never equal God’s steadfast love, overwhelming grace and unconditional forgiveness.
Lord, you paid the price without regrets. Following your example, may the cost of sharing your love and grace never prevent us from giving. Amen.
Thursday, October 19, 2017–Samuel Anoints David
“Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem” (1 Samuel 16:4).
When Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem in order to be enrolled in the census that was ordered by Caesar Augustus, Bethlehem was a back water town whose only claim to fame was that it was the birthplace of King David. At the time that the Lord commanded Samuel to go to Bethlehem, it was only a backwater town with no claim to fame. Samuel might have felt a little odd traveling to such a hick community. After all, Samuel was a priest and a prophet who served in the temple and walked the halls of the King’s palace.
Rarely does the Holy Spirit lead us, as followers of Jesus, to come to the aid of the rich, famous and powerful. Frequently we are called to go to the Bethlehems of life—Habitat for Humanity builds, food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, hospice centers, and the like. We travel boldly knowing that God has sent us and we serve with love and hope, firm in the belief that the Holy Spirit is flowing through us and using us.
Lord, send us where you can best use us to serve you and love others. Amen.
Friday, October 20, 2017–Samuel Anoints David
“When he came he looked on Eliab and thought ‘Surly the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord’” (1 Samuel 16:6).
There are times when the Lord must break out in uproarious laughter when God listens to some of our prayers. We think we have it all figured out. We have just the job that the Lord needs to give us. Of all of the houses on the market, we know the one that would be ideal for us and our families. We know the deals that should go through and the ones that shouldn’t. All the Lord has to do is to follow our advice and everything will turn out for the best.
Samuel fell into the same trap that we do. He thought he had it all figured out. Eliab was a handsome man, obviously Eliab was the one God had chosen to be king over Israel.
There are lessons to be learned from Samuel and from our frequently unanswered prayers. We are invited to let our requests be made know to God. We should, however, always be open to God’s surprises and trust that God’s way is the best way. This is what faith is all about.
Lord, we rest in you, knowing that your way is better than our way. Amen.
Saturday, October 21, 2017–Samuel Anoints David
“For the Lord does not see as mortals see; … but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
If you were to ask any of Conner’s friends and co-workers, they would tell you that Conner was the epitome of health. He was very conscious of what he ate, he exercised frequently, ran marathons and there wasn’t an ounce of fat on him. If you asked Conner’s doctors, they would tell you a different story. They had ultrasounds and angiograms of Conner’s heart and knew that he had several significant blockages. This was probably due to a family history of heart disease.
Similar to Conner’s doctors, God sees inside us. God sees our heart of hearts; God sees who we really are. In the words of the Reformer, Martin Luther, God sees that we are “at the same time sinners and saints.” We are broken people in bondage to sin. We are also people who have been clothed in the righteousness (sinlessness) of Jesus Christ because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. God assures us that our heart condition will not kill us. God also embraces us, tells us we are loved, and reminds us that nothing in all of creation is able to separate us from that love. We are a people whose hearts rejoice and are at ease.
Thank you, Lord, that you know who we are—we can keep no secrets from you—and you still love us. Amen.
Sunday, October 22, 2017–Samuel Anoints David
“And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13).
The Lord was calling David to a Herculean task. David was to be King of Israel. He had to unite the twelve tribes of Israel into one nation, promote prosperity for all, establish a just society and practice mercy. Even though David was an extremely talented individual and a person after God’s own heart, he could not accomplish the tasks that lay before him by himself. The Lord filled David with the Holy Spirit, giving David God’s presence and power—gifts that would enable David to move forward in accomplishing the goals God gave him.
We are people of differing talents and abilities. One of our commonalities, though, is that we have all received the Holy Spirit. God’s presence and power are within us. The needs we face are daunting and the tasks are challenging. If we are to be able to accomplish the tasks, which we have been given, it will be necessary for us to make sacrifices. More importantly we will need to be committed to serve God in the manner to which God has called us. Then, empowered by the Holy Spirit we live each day lovingly, powerfully and purposefully.
Holy Spirit, take us and use us to accomplish that which needs to be done. Amen.