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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Staged Sacrifice

1 Samuel 16:1-11

Verse 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Yesterday we learned that a man named Jesse had a son named David and today we see a prophet of God, Samuel, going to Bethlehem to anoint a new king.

God had been the only King of His people until they made such a fuss about wanting to be like the other nations that God said they could have a king. The prophet, Samuel, had followed the Lord’s direction and had anointed Saul, son of Kish, to be king. But Saul wasn’t doing things God’s way and God didn’t want the throne to be handed down to his son. So He told the prophet to go anoint another to be king.

Saul had stood head and shoulders above everyone and more handsome than any other man in all of Israel (1 Samuel 9:2). Since this had seemingly been the reason that God had chosen Saul, Samuel figured the same would be true with the new king. The people would more readily follow a good looking king, wouldn’t they?

So Samuel makes the journey to find the new king all the while knowing that if King Saul found out what he was doing that he would be killed. So the Lord told Samuel to take a heifer along for sacrifice purposes so that it wasn’t as suspicious. Saul didn’t need to know he hadn’t met the family before and we know Samuel didn’t know the family before because the way he talked with Jesse about his sons.

Notice that when Samuel comes to town he invites not just Jesse’s family to the sacrifice but also the town elders. He was not going to Jesse’s house and hoping for private meeting with his family so that the anointing could be kept as quiet as possible but would play it out like a regular sacrificial moment. But then none of the 7 brothers he had observed looked like king material. But Jesse said he had a eighth son who was tending the sheep. Samuel had one more chance to find the man he had come to find – only to find out the last son, is a boy.

Making It Personal

Have you ever had a time when you were looking for something in life and it looked totally different than you expected? What has God shown you about trusting Him even when it doesn’t make sense to you? What do you need to trust Him with today?

Making It Personal Kids

Do you choose your friends based on what they look like? Who made you to look like you do? Do you think that Jesus loves the way you look?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for the reminder that too often we chose people in our lives because of the way they look. Help us see people as You see them. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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