Yet the Youngest

When Samuel was sent to select a king from among Jesse’s sons, he was told by God not to look on the outward appearance, for God sees the heart.

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Yet the Youngest

1 Samuel 16:1-13

  • God provides for Israel a king in the passage we’ll address today
  • He has chosen that king from among Jesse’s sons
  • Samuel is sent to make the selection
  • But he’s to make God’s selection, not his own
  • This seems too obvious a point to make
  • But many of us are like Samuel, quick to believe our own thinking is correct
  • Not considering the perspective of the Creator
  • Which is totally beyond our own
  • This account is about a lot of things
  • One is that God sees beyond what we can see
  • In this case, He saw the heart of David
  • Who was “Yet the Youngest”
  • And that’s our theme, from 1 Samuel 16:1-13 today
  • There was a lot going on in Israel at this time
  • The Lord gives a tiny summary when He speaks to Samuel
  • Suffice it to say, God had selected a new king
  • He would go on to be the most important king in Israel’s history
  • A household name for us today
  • And someone, if we know his story, who can be an example to us all
  • This is another in the many accounts of this king’s life that helps us
  • Because we see how God looked upon him
  • How he recognized what was in him
  • Though others didn’t see it
  • It’s a well-known story
  • Let’s take a closer look…

1 Samuel 16:1-2

1  And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 

2  And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD. 

  • Israel are God’s people
  • He has allowed them to have a king, Saul
  • But has, at this time, rejected him from reigning over His people
  • This is God’s choice
  • It’s up to Him
  • And the king coming after Saul is up to Him too
  • He has already selected one
  • So, He tells Samuel to prepare
  • To bring oil for anointing this king
  • And that he will be among the sons of Jesse
  • Who is from Bethlehem
  • Saul has some obvious concerns about appointing a new king under the current king’s nose
  • But God says take a heifer to sacrifice
  • This was Israel’s practice for the covering of sin and the worship of God
  • And that’s exactly what Samuel will do on this mission
  • Inviting Jesse to come along
  • Let’s read on…

1 Samuel 16:3

3  And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. 

  • Here we have it
  • Samuel is to anoint the king God names
  • Not to rely upon his own instincts or understanding
  • But to select the one God points out
  • This is, among other things, an exercise in trusting God
  • Going about His mission, in His way
  • Listening to His instructions
  • Acting when He tells Samuel to act
  • Samuel is God’s servant
  • One who follows and obeys the Lord
  • And he did…

1 Samuel 16:4-5

4  And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? 

5  And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. 

  • To this point, Samuel is doing exactly as God asked
  • Jesse and his sons will come along to the sacrifice
  • And Samuel will have an opportunity to look upon these sons
  • Eliab is first…

1 Samuel 16:6-7

6  And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him. 

7  But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 

  • When we’re on a mission for God we can get distracted along the way
  • He is gracious enough to point our attention back to His path
  • To provide a reminder (or new information) that will contribute to our success
  • Samuel is like us
  • He went from reliance upon God’s plan to reliance upon his own understanding in no time
  • Eliab looked good to him
  • Maybe he had the gravitas of a king, in Samuel’s estimation
  • We only have a hint about what he may have seen in him based on God’s response
  • God said do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature
  • There may have been something in both that said “king” to Samuel
  • But God had rejected him
  • Because God doesn’t see as man sees
  • We only have the benefit of seeing the outside of a man
  • He can see the heart
  • All the substance of a man’s character is seen by the Creator
  • He knows what men do
  • What men think
  • What motivates them
  • Just what it would take to turn their heads or persuade them
  • We see the surface
  • He plumbs the depths
  • With this instruction, Samuel goes on…

1 Samuel 16:8-10

8  Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 

9  Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. 

10  Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. 

  • After seven sons have passed Samuel
  • None have been selected
  • Certainly there must be another…

1 Samuel 16:11

11  And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. 

  • The youngest was not even brought to the sacrifice
  • He remained in the field, minding the sheep
  • This young one, David by name, was not even considered
  • No one thought about him
  • But God saw him
  • He knew his heart
  • This is how the text continues…

1 Samuel 16:12-13

12  And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. 

13  Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 

  • This was a handsome young man, verse 12 tells us
  • There was something to look upon regarding his appearance
  • But he was selected for something deeper
  • That wasn’t all
  • And if you know anything of David’s life, you’ll understand how much deeper
  • Listen to what the New Testament said about him in Acts 13

“And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”

  • David was a man after God’s own heart
  • God knew best
  • And He encouraged His servant to rely on His wisdom, not His own
  • When all the sons were seen
  • Yet the youngest, David, remained
  • He was the one God chose
  • Because God looks on the heart
  • There are so many lessons for us here
  • We need to be concerned about our own hearts
  • We need to look beyond the surface
  • We need to listen to God as He guides
  • We need to consider His ways are not our ways

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