After coming out of Egypt, God's people wandered in the desert for 40 years because of their disobedience. When Moses died, Joshua led the people in fighting many battles and eventually they entered into the promised land of Canaan.
God wanted His people to live as a holy and obedient nation for the world to see. However, none of the people could live up to God's standards. They kept disobeying God and breaking His commandments. But God was still faithful and merciful whenever His people cried out to Him for help.
'We want a king!'
After hundreds of years, the people saw other nations had kings to rule over them. They wanted to have a king too! They demanded God to give them one even though they already had God who had guided and delivered them out of slavery. God was not pleased but He allowed.
The first king that was anointed King was Saul. On the outside, he seemed to be the right choice: handsome, tall and strong! But in reality, he was more interested in his own power than in God.
So it seemed the people had the king they wanted. But God had another kind of king in mind, one whose heart was fully dedicated to God.
The calling of David
God sent prophet Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint a king to replace Saul. Jesse had eight sons. He let Samuel meet the oldest seven sons. But Samuel said they were not the one God had chosen. Finally, Jesse sent his yongest son, David, to meet Samuel.
David was perhaps the last person you would expect to become king. He was the youngest son in his family, just a shepherd working in the field for his family. Even his father Jesse forgot about him!
God does not see things the way humans do! God chose David because he was a man after God’s heart.
The LORD said, “The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
So Samuel took the oil and anointed David in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.
David was a man who worshipped God both in his successes and his failures, in suffering and in joy. He wrote many famous songs and prayers to God which are called the Psalms or the Zabur. Some of them were written when David was experienced the worst time of his life: loneliness, fear, confusion, and constantly fleeing from his enemies and from death
Listen to God and Pray
1. We want to listen to the voice of God, but so often we just listen to other voices around us. Why is this so?
2. What does God mean when He says, "I look at the heart"? How does it affect the way you look at yourself, other people, and God?
3. After reading this story, how do I obey God? What do I need to change?
4. Who will you share this story with?