Term 1 – Week 4
Big Idea – God chose David to be king according to his own heart, not according outward appearance.
1 Samuel 16
- To know that David is God’s king, chosen by God for God.
- To understand that God chose David to be king according to God’s own heart.
- To appreciate that God would bring about his plans and purposes for the world through David.
- Belief (Head / Heart) – Salvation is not about what we look like or about good works, but rather it’s about God’s choosing us according to his own heart through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Obedience flows on from this truth
- Behaviour (Hands) – If God has chosen us through Jesus to be his child, where do we find our identity? In outward appearance or in Christ?
Despite a promising start as king, Saul disobeyed God and rejected God’s word, so God rejected him as king. Israel was under constant threat from the Ammonites and Philistines, and needed a king to deliver them from the hands of their enemies, but the difference this time is that God would anoint a king after his own heart (1 Sam 13:14).
God said to Samuel, ‘Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem for I have chosen one of his sons to be king’ (v.1). So, Samuel goes to Bethlehem to see Jesse and his family. When Samuel saw Jesse’s eldest son Eliab, he thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord’ (v.6), but he was not the one and nor was his six other brothers. In fact, it was revealed to Samuel that it was Jesse’s youngest son David, the shepherd boy, who was to be anointed as king. He seemed an unlikely choice compared with his older and physically stronger brothers, but God gently reminds Samuel that while people look at outward appearances, He looks at the heart (v.7). Thus, David was anointed as king (although this was unknown to Saul) and from then on the Spirit of the Lord was with David and stayed with him throughout the rest of his life (v.13).
1 Samuel 16:7 is key to understanding the story of David, and yet sadly, it’s most often misread and therefore misapplied. Here is a misreading of verse 7: David’s outward appearance and young age may not fit with the cultural standard of a king, but God saw David’s heart. God’s choice was not based on visible characteristics, but rather on the invisible heart-character. But here the thing to note, verse 7 isn’t talking about David’s heart, but rather it’s talking about God’s heart. The difference between Saul and David is not David’s own godliness or heart-character, because we know David was a sinner just like Saul (2 Sam 11-12). No, it’s that God chose David according to his own heart. Saul was the Peoples King, chosen by the people for the people, based on his looks. David was God’s King, chosen by God for God himself, according to God’s own heart. This means God chose David according to his own perfect will. He chose David to be the one through whom God would bring about all his plans and purposes for Israel and the world. This would be fulfilled when, through the House of David, God sent Jesus Christ, the King of kings, to rule and save the world, in order to bring all God’s people, to God’s place under God’ rule.
1 Samuel 16:7b
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
God’s People in God’s Place (Awesome Cutlery) – YouTube
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