DAVID IS CHOSEN KING
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:1-23; 31:1,6; 2 Samuel 2:3-4; 5:1-5, 10, 12
Memory verse: 1 Samuel 16:7
"The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Explain that things are not always as they appear to be. Stress at times makes something look like one thing on the outside, but we may later discover that it’s not what we thought it was at all.
Tell the students that this week’s lesson is about appearances. Encourage them to listen to find out how God sees a person.
Hearing God’s Word
When Saul disobeyed Him, God told Saul he would no longer be king. In fact, Samuel told Saul God had already chosen someone else to be king. Saul had failed God and was a poor example to the Israelites. Though Saul looked good on the outside, on the inside he had turned bad. But God still loved the Israelites and wanted a good king for them.
God Chooses a New King
Samuel was sad when Saul disobeyed. Samuel had probably hoped that Saul would repent, turn back to God, and become obedient to God as he had first been. But this did not happen. Saul only became more disobedient, and Samuel mourned for Saul for a long time.
Finally God spoke to Samuel. “How long are you going to mourn for Saul?” God asked. “I have rejected him. I have other work you must do. Fill your horn with oil. I want you to go to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse. He has a son who will be the next king.”
At first Samuel was afraid to go. Saul still was king at this point. He still had the power to put a person to death if he wanted. Samuel asked, “How can I go? If Saul hears that I have anointed another king, he will kill me.”
But God encouraged Samuel to go. “Take a sacrifice with you. When you get to Bethlehem, invite Jesse to the place where you will offer the sacrifice. Then I’ll tell you what to do.”
Samuel Goes to Bethlehem
When Samuel arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the city met him to find out why he had come. They were worried because God would often send His prophets to warn the people about something terrible. “Do you come in peace?” the elders asked nervously. Samuel said, “I come in peace. I want to make a sacrifice to the Lord.” Samuel then invited Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.
When Jesse and his sons arrived, Samuel looked at the men. He knew one of them was to be the new king of Israel. But which one was it? Samuel noticed Eliab first. Evidently Eliab was tall and handsome. Surely he is the one God has chosen to be king, Samuel thought. Eliab may have reminded Samuel of King Saul, who stood head and shoulders above everyone else. But God said, “Don’t look at this man’s handsome face or how tall he is.” Then God told Samuel the words of our memory verse this week. (Say the verse, then repeat it several times with the students.) God knew what He needed in a new king. Just because someone was tall or handsome did not mean he was a good person at all. The important part of a person is what they are like on the inside - their character and values.
Jesse had two more of his sons pass by. “It’s not Abinadab I want for king either,” God said. “And it isn’t Shammah.”
One by one Jesse had the rest of his sons come before Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen any of these. Are these all your sons, Jesse?”
“No,” Jesse said, “as a matter of fact, my youngest son is not here. He’s out in the fields taking care of the sheep.”
“Send for him,” Samuel told Jesse.
Jesse might have been a little confused. Samuel hadn’t chosen any of his older sons. Now Samuel was asking to see his youngest son. Why, David was just a boy. Still, Jesse didn’t argue with the prophet. He immediately sent for David to be brought in from the fields.
David Is Anointed King
As soon as David arrived, God said to Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” David might have been young; he might not have been tall and muscular like Jesse’s other sons. But God knew David’s heart. He knew David loved Him and wanted to obey Him. So, while David’s family watched, Samuel took his horn of oil and anointed David to be the new king. What David was like on the inside was what was important.
Ask: “What do you think David did after he was anointed king? What would you have done?” (Allow discussion. Encourage the students to imagine what it would be like to know that one day they would be king.)
David Goes Back To The Fields
After David was anointed, he went back to care for his father’s sheep. Several years would pass before he would be officially declared king by all the people.
In the meantime, David patiently and obediently spent his time being a good shepherd. While he was there, David spent many hours playing his harp and singing praises to God. Many of his songs, called psalms, are recorded in the Bible. They are still sung and quoted today as expressions of praise and thanksgiving to God.
David Serves Saul
Then one day King Saul was tormented by an evil spirit. He agreed with his servants to have someone play the harp to soothe him. “I have seen Jesse’s son, David, play the harp well,” one of Saul’s servants said.
King Saul sent men to bring David back to play the harp for him. When David heard the king’s request he could have said, “Why should I go? I’m going to be king myself someday.” Or he might have been afraid to go live at Saul’s house. But David was faithful to God and to others. Playing his harp was one way he could serve God and the current king.
Saul was pleased with David at first and made him his armour bearer. Each day David did what he was asked to do. He may not have realised it, but this was preparing him for the time when he would reign as king over Israel.
David became a popular person in the kingdom. He was trustworthy, kind to everyone, obedient, and faithful to God. He was so popular that Saul soon became very jealous of him. Saul even tried to kill David several times, but he never succeeded. At last David had to run for his life.
David Becomes King
One day Saul and his son Jonathan died during a battle with the Philistines. It was time for David to begin ruling as king. David chose Hebron as his capital. There the men of David’s tribe came to anoint him as king.
For 7 years David ruled over only the tribe of Judah. Then the rest of Israel came to Hebron and asked David to be their king. David chose Jerusalem to be the new capital, since it was closer to the centre of the nation. God’s promise to make David king did not come to pass overnight. It was many years from the time Samuel anointed David to the day he ruled over all of Israel. But David was faithful to God. He did not take matters into his own hands as Saul had done. He was willing to let God work things out in His own way and time.
David Desires God
The Bible says David was “a man after my [God’s] own heart.” (Ask a student to read Acts 13:22.)
Ask: “What do you think this phrase means?” (Allow responses.)
A man after God’s own heart is someone who has a strong desire to obey God in everything. And the reason this is done is out of love for God. David wasn’t perfect, but he always turned to God when he had problems. He didn’t make excuses or blame others. If he was wrong, he admitted it. He truly repented if he sinned, and wholeheartedly turned back to obeying God. He put God first, loving and obeying Him. Because of that, David had good success as king of Israel.
Always remember, God sees past what everyone else sees in our lives. He knows our thoughts and attitudes. He knows if we do the right things because we sincerely want to please Him or because we want to make ourselves look good in the eyes of others.
What does God see when He looks at your heart? Does He see someone who really loves Him and wants to serve and obey Him? Could you be called a person after God’s own heart?
Accepting God’s Word
We now know what God wants to see when He looks at our hearts, but do you know what we would see if we could look at God’s heart? We would see true love. God has so much love for us that He gave His only Son Jesus to die for our sins so we could escape eternal punishment and be with Him forever. We have His faithful love and care right now in our lives if we have made Him our Saviour and Lord. Pray individually with each one who wants to receive Jesus.
Afar Relational Bridges
A young man, living in Djibouti, offered to take me to meet his mother and sister at their home. They live in a crowded slum area. Houses in the area are constructed from tin, plywood and cardboard. My young guide said that 20 to 30 people often live in one room in order to afford the rent. His own home consisted of two rooms with only three people living there. The living room was comfortable, and a large screen TV was showing world news. It was interesting to hear the young man speak intelligently of world news.
My guide's sister is divorced and has five children. They are all enrolled in Arabic–speaking schools rather than French–speaking schools, because the fees are cheaper. The father, who is in the Djibouti military, pays for the children's education.
While strolling through the market area, we stopped at a shop where I bought sugar and rice for my guide's mother. The tour concluded and I said "good-bye" to my new Afar friend.
Before departing from Djibouti, my guide called and asked to see me. He presented me with a gift of eyeliner in a handmade beaded bag for my wife. It was an expression of thanksgiving from his mother for the sugar and rice I had given her. The family’s kindness reminded me that Afar life is built on relationships whether among the poor or affluent. Building relational bridges opens the door to the Afar heart.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Afar School Teachers
1. Christian teachers to be placed in Afar government schools.
2. Bible studies to be conducted in the teachers' homes.
3. Wisdom for the teachers as they advise new Afar believers concerning how best to declare their faith in Jesus Christ.
"Ask...seek...knock...receives...finds...and the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7).
Study 4 | God's Character/O.T. Kings | africaatts.org/go-teach