Already tried that

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7.

They had already tried that. Saul, being a head taller than many others, certainly had a regal bearing, but the humble facade of hiding in the baggage when called to be king soon gave way to erecting statues in his own honor. So Samuel was sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, and despite being God’s prophet, he saw too much like a man to seek the man who seeks God’s own heart.

David came along, and he was the often-forgotten kid-brother … and young. While such an important figure such as Samuel was visiting his home and all the other brothers were present, David was watching the sheep.

This is the David who would grow up and choose God over his own desires every time (except one, i.e. the Uriah and Bathsheba incident), who would write many of the psalms, and collect money for the building of the temple he knew he would never see because he was a man of blood.

Are you a man after God’s own heart?

Doug Kashorek

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#devotional #appearances #1-Samuel

Yes or no

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

but Hannah did not go up with them. Instead she told her husband, “Once the boy is weaned, I will bring him and appear before the Lord, and he will remain there from then on.” 1 Samuel 1.22

Hannah did not have any children. Each year she would accompany Elkanah, her husband, to Shiloh where he would go to worship and offer sacrifices to the Lord. She was taunted by Peninnah, her husband’s second wife, because she did not have any children, causing Hannah to worry to the point of weeping and not eating. During one of the trips to Shiloh, Hannah prays to God and made a vow to the Lord. If God would give her a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord all the days of his life. God answered her prayer. Hannah fulfilled her vow. She took Samuel to live with Eli. How easy it would have been to later deceive herself into thinking that God would understand if she decided to keep Samuel with her! Samuel grew to be a prophet who led the children of Israel. Jesus teaches in Matthew 5.34 that we should not take oaths, but let our word be yes or no. Philippians 4.6-7 tells us not to worry, but to make our requests known to God. God will give us peace. That brings joy.

#risingjoy #1-Samuel #oaths

I will not go back with you, 1 Samuel 15.26

“Samuel said to Saul, ‘I will not go back with you, for you have rejected the Lord’s orders, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel!'”

1 Samuel 15.26

The Lord’s prophet refuses to support King Saul after his disobedience. He flatly informs the king of God’s rejection. The rupture is complete. Saul has a different spirit.

The Lord treats people as they treat him. When we reject his commandments, he rejects us and will no longer help us.

#votd #1-Samuel #rejection

The one Samuel wanted to choose as king

Samuel was a great prophet who served God for many years.

He served as a judge during pivotal moments, and he also happened to be God’s representative when the people made known their desire for a worldly-structured government in the form of a king.

I don’t believe Samuel enjoyed “politics” but nonetheless he found himself in the midst of overseeing the anointing of two different kings of Israel: Saul and David (1 Samuel 9:27, 10:1, 16:12-13).

In each anointing it was God who did the choosing, but do you remember who Samuel would have chosen had the responsibility belonged to him?

Samuel’s choice would have been Eliab, the brother of the future king, David.

So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” (1 Samuel 16:6-7 NKJV)

Samuel was a good man but he learned that the most difficult thing to judge was not guilt or innocence after something was done, when or when not to attack an external enemy, or even when it was time to encourage or rebuke the most powerful political leader in the land! Samuel learned that the most difficult thing to judge is another person’s heart – which has nothing to do with someone’s outward appearance.

Have we learned the lesson that God personally taught Samuel?

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (John 2:23-25 NKJV)

#1-samuel, #judge-righteously, #judging-others

VOTD: 1 Samuel 3.10

“Speak, for your servant is listening!”

1 Samuel 3.10b

This is what Samuel said to the Lord when he called, as the prophet Eli had instructed him.

When should we respond in this way? Or, how can we hear the voice of the Lord?

#1-samuel, #hear, #votd