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God Looks into the Heart
1God addressed Samuel: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul? You know I’ve rejected him as king over Israel. Fill your flask with anointing oil and get going. I’m sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I’ve spotted the very king I want among his sons.”
2-3“I can’t do that,” said Samuel. “Saul will hear about it and kill me.”
God said, “Take a heifer with you and announce, ‘I’ve come to lead you in worship of God, with this heifer as a sacrifice.’ Make sure Jesse gets invited. I’ll let you know what to do next. I’ll point out the one you are to anoint.”
4Samuel did what God told him. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the town fathers greeted him, but apprehensively. “Is there something wrong?”
5“Nothing’s wrong. I’ve come to sacrifice this heifer and lead you in the worship of God. Prepare yourselves, be consecrated, and join me in worship.” He made sure Jesse and his sons were also consecrated and called to worship.
6When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Here he is! God’s anointed!”
7But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”
8Jesse then called up Abinadab and presented him to Samuel. Samuel said, “This man isn’t God’s choice either.”
9Next Jesse presented Shammah. Samuel said, “No, this man isn’t either.”
10Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel. Samuel was blunt with Jesse, “God hasn’t chosen any of these.”
11Then he asked Jesse, “Is this it? Are there no more sons?”
“Well, yes, there’s the runt. But he’s out tending the sheep.”
Samuel ordered Jesse, “Go get him. We’re not moving from this spot until he’s here.”
12Jesse sent for him. He was brought in, the very picture of health—bright-eyed, good-looking.
God said, “Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one.”
13Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life.
Samuel left and went home to Ramah.
David—An Excellent Musician
14At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.
15-16Saul’s advisors said, “This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable. O Master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he’ll play his music and you’ll feel better.”
17Saul told his servants, “Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.”
18One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And God is with him.”
19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.”
20-21Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul. David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man.
22Saul sent word back to Jesse: “Thank you. David will stay here. He’s just the one I was looking for. I’m very impressed by him.”
23After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted.
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CHAPTER 16.
1And the Lord said to Samuel. How It long wilt thou mourn for Saul, whom I have rejected from reigning over Israel? fill thy horn with oil, and come, that I may send thee to Isai the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
2And Samuel said: How shall I go? for Saul will hear of it, and he will kill me. And the Lord said: Thou shalt take with thee a calf of the herd, and thou shalt say: I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.
3And thou shalt call Isai to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou art to do, and thou shalt anoint him whom I shall shew to thee.
4Then Samuel did as the Lord had said to him. And he came to Bethlehem, and the ancients of the city wondered, and meeting him, they said: Is thy coming hither peaceable?
5And he said: It is peaceable: I am come to offer sacrifice to the Lord, be ye sanctified, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Isai and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
6And when they were come in, he saw Eliab, and said: Is the Lord's anointed before him?
7And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart.
8And Isai called Abinadab, and brought him before Samuel. And he said: Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
9And Isai brought Samma, and he said of him: Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
10Isai therefore brought his seven sons before Samuel: and Samuel said to Isai: The Lord hath not chosen any one of these.
11And Samuel said to Isai: Are here all thy sons? He answered: There remaineth yet a young one, who keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said to Isai: Send, and fetch him, for we will not sit down till he come hither.
12He sent therefore and brought him Now he was ruddy and beautiful to behold, and of a comely face. And the Lord said: Arise, and anoint him, for this is he.
13Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward: and Samuel rose up, and went to Ramatha.
14But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.
15And the servants of Saul said to him: Behold now an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.
16Let our lord give orders, and thy servants who are before thee will seek out a man skilful in playing on the harp, that when the evil spirit from the Lord is upon thee, he may play with his hand, and thou mayest bear it more easily.
17And Saul said to his servants: Provide me then some man that can play well, and bring him to me.
18And one of the servants answering, said: Behold I have seen a son of Isai the Bethlehemite, a skilful player, and one of great strength, and a man fit for war, and prudent in his words, and a comely person: and the Lord is with him.
19Then Saul sent messengers to Isai, saying: Send me David thy son, who is in the pastures.
20And Isai took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid of the flock, and sent them by the hand of David his son to Saul.
21And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him exceedingly, and made him his armourbearer.
22And Saul sent to Isai, saying: Let David stand before me: for he hath found favour in my sight.
23So whensoever the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul, David took his harp, and played with his hand, and Saul was refreshed, and was better, for the evil spirit departed from him.