God Chooses a King

Theme: God doesn't judge us on our looks - Proper 6(11)
Object: A baseball bat or some other sports equipment
Scripture: But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

I really enjoy playing sports. Do you? Some of the best memories of my childhood are of gathering at the city park on Saturday morning with a group of my friends and playing a game of baseball. (Substitute the sport of your choosing.) The first thing we did was to choose teams. Two players would be chosen as the team captains and they each took turns choosing players for their team.

How did the captains choose the players for their team? Did they choose the players who were the best looking? Did they choose the ones who had the coolest clothes? Did they choose the ones who were most popular with other kids in their class at school? No way! They chose players with speed and skill. They chose players who could think quickly and make good decisions. They chose players that could get the job done when the game was on the line. It didn't matter how popular they were or what they looked like.

I have other memories of those Saturday mornings that are not quite so happy. I remember standing there and being afraid that I would be the last to be chosen -- or that I would not be chosen at all. You see, I wasn't the tallest, I wasn't the strongest, and I wasn't the fastest. But I had a lot of heart, and I knew I could do the job if someone would just choose me.

In our Bible story today, God has decided to choose a new King for Israel. He told the Prophet Samuel to go to Bethlehem to the house of Jesse, because He had chosen one of Jesse's sons to be the next king of Israel. When Samuel arrived in Jerusalem, he went to Jesse's house and told him to bring his sons so that God could tell him which one He had chosen. As each of Jesse's sons passed by, God told Samuel that he was not the one. Samuel could not understand it. They were all such handsome men and very strong. Surely one of them must be the one. But God said to Samuel, "Don't consider his looks. I have rejected him. Man looks at outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

After seven of Jesse's sons had passed before him, there were no more sons in the house. Samuel turned to Jesse and asked him, "Are these all of the sons you have?"

"Well, there is David, my youngest son," Jesse replied, "but he is just a boy. He is out taking care of the sheep." Samuel told Jesse to send for David. In a little while, David came in and stood before Samuel.

"He is the one," God said. "He will be the next king of Israel. Rise and anoint him with oil."

He wasn't the oldest, he wasn't the tallest, and he wasn't the strongest. He was only a shepherd boy. But when God looked at David, He saw a king. Why? Because God does not look on outward appearances, God looks at the heart.

Sometimes boys and girls may think that they are too young to do anything important for God. If those thoughts ever come to your mind, remember the story of David. When others looked at David, they saw a shepherd boy. When God looked at David, He saw a king.

Dear Father, help us to remember that you don't judge people by how big they are or what they look like. You judge a person by what is in their heart. Amen.

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