Thoughts: One of Jesse’s sons is God’s choice for the second king of Israel. The prophet Samuel is directed to go to Jesse’s home in Bethlehem to anoint the new king. Samuel is not told which son God has chosen.
The Bible gives us the names of the first three sons – Eliab, Abindab, and Shammah – and the youngest son – David. We have invented names for the four unnamed sons and have endowed the first seven sons with distinctive characteristics.
The oldest son Eliab is tall and handsome.
Samuel: Surely this fine-looking first born is the son you have chosen to be king.
God: Do not look upon his appearance or the height of his stature, because…I do not see as mortals see; they look upon the outward appearance, but I look upon the heart.
The second son Abinadab is the father of twelve children.
Samuel: Abinadab is a kind and patient father – the very qualities a good king should have.
God: Samuel, never confuse the ability to sire children with the ability to govern a kingdom.
The third son Shammah is a dedicated scholar of the Jewish scriptures.
Samuel: this son must be the one you have chosen to be king – a man who knows the scriptures.
God: A good memory does not qualify a man to be king, Samuel. Move on.
The fourth son Lamech is an ardent politician – but his wife Adah wants equal power. Lamech and Adah scream at each other and rush off stage.
Samuel: I take it he’s not the one.
God: We have not seen the future king of Israel yet, Samuel.
The fifth son Zelophehad is a professional basketball player for the Bethlehem Bobcats.
Samuel: Everyone admires an athlete. This young man is energetic – popular –
God: A king needs to do more than bring the ball down the floor and set picks, Samuel.
The sixth son Nahum is a reporter for the Bethlehem Banner.
Samuel: How about Nahum, God? He concentrates – he has great command of the language – he could communicate well with the people.
God: We’re not looking for by-lines, Samuel. See the next son.
The seventh son Hadrach is an officer in Israel’s navy.
Samuel: A military man is organized, efficient, accustomed to giving orders – an excellent background for a king.
God: But Hadrach is not my choice.
So the youngest son David is called in from the field where he has been watching his father’s sheep.
God: Samuel, I have chosen David to be the next king of Israel. Rise and anoint him.
Discussion: What were Samuel’s thoughts when God told him to anoint David as the next king?
Activity: Reconsider your first opinion of a young person. Could he/she be chosen by God?
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