My servant Samuel and I were close – very close. Although our relationship was one of master to servant, we knew each other heart to heart in deep friendship. When he hurt, I hurt, and he shared My griefs deeply, too. I had taught him many things during our decades together, but today’s lesson would be the biggest revelation yet.
“Samuel, go to Bethlehem. It’s time to anoint a king, and I have chosen one of Jesse’s sons for the task.”
Samuel plied me with questions. “Will he be tall, like Saul? Will he be handsome and dignified, as he was? I remember when you chose him. Everyone could instantly see that he was every inch a king.”
“Although he looked the part, you know what his heart was,” I sadly replied, and said no more.
We reached Bethlehem, and the town was abuzz. It was not every day that the Lord’s prophet appeared in the village. Samuel carried My Presence, and they all knew it.
“Call together the elders, for I have come to sacrifice! And find me Jesse and his sons. They are to be my particular guests at the feast.” The people glanced at each other in surprise. What had Jesse ever done to be the guest of honor?
We waited until the old man arrived, seven strapping young men in tow. He lined them up, from firstborn to youngest, and eagerly introduced them to the prophet. I watched Samuel’s face as he eyed them carefully, and I inwardly smiled. The concept I was about to teach him always comes hard to the natural man’s mind.
“Lord, we’ve found him! Surely it’s the eldest, Eliab. Look at him! Tall and handsome, just like Saul was.”
I whispered, “Don’t pay attention to his outer attractiveness. I’ve refused him, because his heart is not right. You’ve seen before that My choices can be surprising. Man tends to see only the outward appearance that his natural eye presents to him, but I look right into the heart.” Samuel smiled a little uncertainly, but with a twinkle in his eye. He had caught on to the adventure that was unfolding.
“God wants to place greatness on one of your sons, Jesse … but I’m sorry – it isn’t Eliab.” Samuel turned his attention to the next in line, while both Jesse and Eliab looked crestfallen. He gazed intently at Abinadab, listened for My “No!” in his spirit, and then announced, “God hasn’t chosen him, either.”
On down the line Samuel stalked, shaking his head after examining each of Jesse’s sons. Jesse was getting nervous. His sons were disgruntled. Samuel was the most disturbed of all. “Lord, what’s going on? There aren’t many left to choose from, and even I can see that number seven is not what we’re looking for!”
Samuel reached the end of the line. He attempted to retain a dignified prophet demeanor, but he, too, was confused, and was inwardly telling Me so.
“Just trust Me,” I assured him.
“The Lord God has not chosen any of these,” Samuel announced. “But, are these all your children, Jesse?”
Jesse responded reluctantly, “Well, there is the youngest, David. He’s tending the sheep.”
Samuel heard the awkward embarrassment in his voice, and also noticed the ripple of comments among the brothers. “They’re calling the poet!” “What could they want with the brat?” “Wet-nosed kid! He’ll embarrass us all.”
I watched My friend Samuel, and saw the light dawn on his countenance. “Call the boy! We will not sit down to eat without him!”
David arrived, and I whispered, “This is the one, Samuel. This is My anointed!”
“Lord, I see it now! He’s young, but Your light is in his eyes. This one truly is Your choice!”
Samuel uncapped his oil horn and anointed David the next king of Israel.
On the way home to Ramah, I further explained what had transpired. “Samuel, do you remember what it was like when you were a boy, and I put My hand upon you to be the prophet of Israel?”
He chuckled. “I wasn’t much then, was I, Lord.”
I laughed with him. “No, you weren’t. Nobody would have guessed what I would make of you – a prophet whose words have never failed. I looked past your appearance, and saw your heart, and knew that you would love and obey Me. It will be the same with David. He’ll be a man after My own heart, just like you have been.”
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