Wednesday, September 02, 2020

2020.09.02 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 16:1–13

 Read 1 Samuel 16:1–13

Questions from the Scripture text: For what does Yahweh challenge Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:1? What does He command him to do? To whom does He command him to go? Why? What objection does Samuel raise in 1 Samuel 16:2? What else, then, does Yahweh say for Samuel to do there? Whom is Samuel to invite to the sacrifice (1 Samuel 16:3)? Whom will Samuel anoint? How did the elders of Bethlehem respond to Samuel’s arrival (1 Samuel 16:4)? What do they ask? How does Samuel answer (1 Samuel 16:5)? What does he say he is doing? Whom does he invite? Whom does Samuel notice in 1 Samuel 16:6? What does he say about him? What does Yahweh tell Samuel not to look at (1 Samuel 16:7)? What has Yahweh done to Eliab? Upon what does man look? Upon what does Yahweh look? Whom does Jesse select next (1 Samuel 16:8)? But what does Samuel say? Whom does Jesse select in 1 Samuel 16:9? What does Samuel say? How many more does 1 Samuel 16:10 say Jesse sent before Samuel? But how does Samuel respond to them? What does Samuel ask in 1 Samuel 16:11? How does Jesse answer? What does Samuel then say to do? What does 1 Samuel 16:12 tell us about his outward appearance? And what does He who looks on the heart say for Samuel to do? What did Samuel do in 1 Samuel 16:13? What else comes upon David, besides oil? For how long? Where does Samuel go?  

The Lord alone is the Hero of His people’s story. Samuel had a great start. A godly upbringing, until he was committed to the priestly service for life. The Lord speaking directly to him at a young age, and directly through him throughout his life. He’s the one who can see clearly the wickedness of Saul and speaks on the Lord’s behalf. But, this passage really highlights his shortcomings.

Most of us make the mistake of failing to mourn over sin and over the dangers to God’s people of leadership that caters to the congregation but offends its God. So, we’re almost incapable of making Samuel’s mistake in 1 Samuel 16:1, because we do not imitate God’s heart from 1 Samuel 15:35. But, when God does bring us to mourn over sin (whether ours or others’), let us heed the redirection in verse 1: the Lord isn’t done working yet, and He is the Hero of His story.

Samuel adds blunder to blunder, almost anointing Saul 2.0 (1 Samuel 16:6-7, cf. 1 Samuel 10:23–24). This is even worse because the Yahweh had already said, “you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you” (1 Samuel 16:3). So, he was actually speaking out of turn in 1 Samuel 16:6. It was the Lord Himself who said the new king was the one that He had seen (“provided” in 1 Samuel 16:1, is literally “seen”), and He has to remind Samuel that it isn’t what he sees (1 Samuel 16:6) that matters, but what the Yahweh sees (1 Samuel 16:7).

True to His Word, as soon as “the youngest” is in front of Samuel, Yahweh says, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” (1 Samuel 16:12a). And what Samuel does with the oil, Yahweh does with His Spirit, in 1 Samuel 16:13.

There was a genuine difference between what God did in David’s heart, and the unconverted condition of Saul’s heart—submissiveness of heart to Yahweh’s commandments (cf. 1 Samuel 13:14). David was pretty good looking actually (cf. 1 Samuel 16:12a). But what Yahweh saw (and provided) was that David was His choice, and pleasing to Him.

David’s Son (and Lord!) Jesus Christ would later be anointed with water at the baptism of John. And there, too, the Spirit of the Lord came down upon Him (cf. Matthew 3:16). Though there was nothing visibly attractive about Jesus to us (cf. Isaiah 53:2), the Lord announced from heaven what He saw, “This is my Son! I love Him! I am delighted with Him!” (cf. Matthew 3:17). And, just as with David, the Spirit coming upon the Lord Jesus was the beginning of many troubles for Him (cf. Matthew 4:1–11, and culminating in the crucifixion itself). 

Jesus is our perfectly obedient and victorious King, whom the Lord has provided. And Jesus is the One Whom the Lord sees, when He looks at you, if you belong to Christ by faith. He transforms us to walk in good works from the heart (cf. Ephesians 2:8–10). And it is this heart-transformation (and not good looks, slick presentation, big bank account, or worldly influence) that is the way by which God shows us whom He has chosen to be undershepherds in Christ’s church (cf. 1 Timothy 3:1–7, Titus 1:5–9).

Whom does God see when He looks at you? What changes/condition of heart does He see?

Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH286 “Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder”

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