Week One – Day 1 – Read I Sam. 16:1 – 12; Ps. 78:70-72 SOAP Ps. 78: 70-72
He Leadeth Me – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJxJuyxgSZc
1 Samuel 16:1-12 (ESV)
16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” 7 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.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.”
Psalm 78:70-72 (ESV)
70 He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from following the nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his inheritance.
72 With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skillful hand.
O – God chose David. Out from among older brothers, whom the father Jesse was proud to present to Samuel, God chose David. As each young man passed before Samuel, he was told by the Lord that “neither has the Lord chosen this one.” God chose David. Even though David, the youngest, was out tending sheep, God chose David. Why did God chose David – instead of his older brothers? Surely, they were wise, and fit. Samuel even thought that “surely the Lord’s anointed is before me….” BUT – and this is a huge but – God said, “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.” (I Sam. 16:7) It’s not what we look like, or what others “see”, but the heart. The inner person. There was something about David that God saw. Was it his faithfulness in tending the flocks? He would be tending the kingdom of Israel. Was it the tender care of the ewes and lambs? He would be caring for the people of his kingdom, God’s chosen ones. Was it his “upright heart?” He would need to be wise, and just, and upright as the ruler of a nation. Was it his leadership qualities, guiding with a “skillful hand?” He would need to lead a nation, deal with other nations, even go to war. It was his heart. God saw his heart – and God chose David.
A – I did a quick search of “heart” on Biblegateway.com. Heart is mentioned in 687 verses in the Bible! If that word is used that many times – it is important! It is the center of our being – what drives us. And – it is where God looks – and knows – to see who we REALLY are. It isn’t what I look like, or even what I do. It isn’t my status, or what I own. It isn’t my talents or abilities. It is my HEART. And it is David’s heart that God looked at – and chose to be the king of Israel.
What does God see when He looks at my heart? Does He see a faithful, upright heart? Or – does He see pride and selfishness? Does He see a heart for the people around me – or does He see self-centeredness? Does he see a heart that is pure – or does He see one tainted by the world around me? I want to be a woman “after God’s heart.”
How has God gone before you and prepared you to be a “David” to the people in your life? In this new season of my life, I see that God has prepared me over the years to be exactly where I am. Years as a single mom, dealing with difficult tragedies (divorce, my dad’s death), serving in a Christian school as a teacher and administrator, teaching in the public school, leading Bible studies, ministering in a local church – all have prepared me to be Paul’s wife, living in Indiana, and being a part of a small, growing church. Even though we are living on one income, God is providing – and giving us opportunities to minister in ways that I never thought would happen. Having a “free-er” schedule allows me to give rides to someone for physical therapy, lead a Bible study, facilitate the online study with LoveGodGreatly, meet with two young women almost-weekly, volunteer at Overseas Council, have “Friday Night Meatballs”, and have time to develop relationships and friendships here. I am able to visit family every few months. I am feeling like I have a “church home” here in Indy, and God is giving us more and more ways that He can use us as a couple. All those experiences earlier in my life have helped to shape and form me – and continue to do so now. But – I also see God’s hand in Paul’s life – doing much the same thing – molding and shaping. This past eleven months has helped us to see what God has prepared in us – to be “us.”
P – Father God, You are the Great Shepherd. You lead and guide us – prepare us – and shepherd us through trials and temptations and joys. You love me beyond measuring, even knowing my heart. Father, today, Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Father, take my heart, and mold and shape it in Your hands. Continue to prepare me to be Your woman – a woman after Your heart. Amen.