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The Power Of Choice     1 Sam. 13:8-14; 1 Sam. 16:6-10, 16:11-13     July 04, 2010


All of us have made good choices. All of us have made bad choices. Did you ever vote for a man or woman who turned out to be a very bad choice? The people in our text learned something about choices.


1.    The Power Of . . Personal Choices. 1 Sam. 13:8-14

8 Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

9 So Saul said, "Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me." And he offered the burnt offering.

10 Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him.

11 And Samuel said, "What have you done?" Saul said, "When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash,

12 then I said, 'The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord .' Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering."

13 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever.

14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you." NKJV

(Ryrie Study Bible.)

13:8-9 Saul was disobedient to God's spokesman. Rather than waiting on Samuel (10:8), he offered a burnt offering to unite the people and prepare for war. He resorted to situation ethics rather than biblical ethics, and then offered excuses for his conduct but no valid reasons (13:10-12).

13:11-12 Saul tried to justify himself instead of confessing his sin.

13:13-14 Disobedience may eliminate opportunities for service by disqualifying one from a position of leadership.

(Ryrie Study Bible.)

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)

Verse 8

a [seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal] Saul and Samuel had made arrangements to meet at Gilgal in seven days; but Samuel was a little late. Saul then intruded into the priest's office and sacrificed a burnt offering. When he had finished Samuel appeared and rebuked him for his folly (1 Sam 13:10-15). If men could only learn to obey God and be patient until He sends help in times of need, it would be a great lesson learned.

Verse 11

a [What hast thou done?] Question 50. Next, 1 Sam 14:30.

b [Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash] Saul's excuse was that the people were scattered from him, Samuel had not come as promised, and the Philistines might come down to Gilgal upon him before he could make supplication (1 Sam 13:11-12).

Verse 12

a [I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering] Saul's excuses of self-sufficiency, failure of others, justification of self, and seeming necessity are the pleas of many who force themselves and their efforts in religion without being divinely called, purged, and prepared for the work. Saul was clearly backslidden — cold to God, lukewarm in zeal, impatient in spirit, self-sufficient in mind, carnal in conduct, and fearful of the future.

Verse 13

Fivefold indictment of Saul by Samuel:

1.    You have done foolishly

2.    You have not kept the commandment of the Lord (1 Sam 13:13-14)

3.    Your kingdom will not continue

4.    God has sought Him a man after His own heart (1 Sam 13:14)

5.    He has commanded him to be captain over His people

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)


(Life Application Study Bible.)

3:9 Rather than waiting for a priest, Saul offered the sacrifice himself. This was against God's laws (Deut 12:5-14) and against the specific instructions of Samuel (10:8). Under pressure from the approaching Philistines, he took matters into his own hands and disobeyed God. He was doing a good thing (offering a sacrifice to God before a crucial battle), but he did it in the wrong way. Like Saul, our true spiritual character is revealed under pressure. The methods we use to accomplish our goals are as important as the attainment of those goals.

13:11, 12 It is difficult to trust God when you feel your resources slipping away. When Saul felt that time was running out, he became impatient with God's timing. In thinking that the ritual was all he needed, he substituted the ritual for faith in God.

When faced with a difficult decision, don't allow impatience to drive you to disobey God. When you know what God wants, follow his plan regardless of the consequences. God often uses delays to test our obedience and patience.

13:12, 13 Saul had plenty of excuses for his disobedience. But Samuel zeroed in on the real issue: "You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you." Like Saul, we often gloss over our mistakes and sins, trying to justify our actions because of our "special" circumstances. Our excuses, however, are nothing more than disobedience. God knows our true motives. He forgives, restores, and blesses only when we are honest about our sins. By trying to hide his sins behind excuses, Saul lost his kingship (13:14).

(Life Application Study Bible.)


2.    The Power Of . . People’s Choices. 1 Sam 16:6-10

6 So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, "Surely the Lord 's anointed is before Him!"

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees;* for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

8 So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one."

9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one."

10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen these." NKJV


(Ryrie Study Bible.)

16:7 Note the contrast between the divine and human perspectives.

(Ryrie Study Bible.)

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)

Verse 6

a [he looked on] Samuel, like normal men, was prone to judge by outward appearance instead of the heart, as God does (1 Sam 16:6-7).

b [Eliab]


God's Choice of David (1 Sam 16:10)

God had evidently directed Samuel to have each of Jesse's sons pass before him, speaking in his ear in each case to say this was not the right one (1 Sam 16:7-10; 9:15). When none were chosen Samuel knew something was wrong, because he had been directed to anoint one of Jesse's family as king. Upon inquiring he learned of another son who had been too busy to come to the feast. He was young and perhaps smaller than the others, but he was chosen by God who was looking on the heart and not the outward appearance. The Lord saw in him a man after His own heart (1 Sam 13:14; 16:7). David was the youngest of Jesse's eight sons. He became a mighty man of valor (1 Sam 16:18). He is referred to many times as a mighty warrior and able to do more than many others in combat. He killed a lion and a bear even as a youth (1 Sam 17:34-36). His own mighty men acknowledged that he was worth 10,000 of them in war (2 Sam 18:3). As to physical appearance, in youth he is described as ruddy, of a beautiful countenance, and good to look at (1 Sam 16:13). He had the true qualities of a king, but compared to his grown-up brothers he was not even counted important enough to be urged to attend the feast (1 Sam 16:7-11).

Five Facts About David (1 Sam 16:11)

1.    The youngest of Jesse's eight sons

2.    Keeper of the sheep — the only one of the sons busy except for displaying their admirable physical


3.    Ruddy. Hebrew: admoniy, reddish; red; ruddy. From adam, flush; rosy; red; ruddy; to show blood in the

       face. David no doubt had rosy cheeks and red, auburn, or golden hair.

4.    Of a beautiful countenance. Hebrew: yapheh, beautiful; fair; pleasant; goodly (1 Sam 16:12; 25:3; Song 6:4;

       Ezek 16:13)

5.    Pleasant to look at

Different versions express these traits vividly: Septuagint, "ruddy complexion, with beautiful eyes, and comely in appearance"; Peshitta, "ruddy, with beautiful eyes, and very handsome"; Berkeley, "ruddy complexion, sparkling eyes, and a handsome appearance"; Rotherham, "ruddy, a stripling with handsome eyes, and noble mien."

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)


(Life Application Study Bible.)

16:7 Saul was tall and handsome; he was an impressive-looking man. Samuel may have been trying to find someone who looked like Saul to be Israel's next king, but God warned him against judging by appearance alone. When people judge by outward appearance, they may overlook quality individuals who lack the particular physical qualities society currently admires. Appearance doesn't reveal what people are really like or what their true value is.

Fortunately, God judges by faith and character, not appearances. And because only God can see on the inside, only he can accurately judge people. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance; they should do even more to develop their inner character. While everyone can see your face, only you and God know what your heart really looks like. What steps are you taking to improve your heart's attitude?

(Life Application Study Bible.)


3.    The Power Of . . God’s Choices. 1 Sam. 16:11-13

11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all the young men here?" Then he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him. For we will not sit down* till he comes here." 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!" 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah. NKJV

(Ryrie Study Bible.)

16:12 ruddy. I.e., reddish. A reference to the color of his hair and complexion, regarded as beautiful in areas where hair and complexion are usually dark.

16:13 This private anointing was the first of three anointings for David. His second came as king of Judah (2 Sam 2:4) and his third as king over all Israel (2 Sam 5:3).

(Ryrie Study Bible.)

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)

Verse 13

a [anointed him in the midst of his brethren] Three anointings of David:

1.    By Samuel (1 Sam 16:13)

2.    By the men of Judah (2 Sam 2:4)

3.    By the men of Israel (2 Sam 5:3)

b [came upon David] See note a, Judg 3:10.

c [from that day forward] It is clear in Scripture that the Holy Spirit has come upon, in, unto, and moved and anointed men at specific times, giving them experiences which they did not have previously. From that day forward — from the day of his anointing as king — the Holy Spirit was upon David to fill him with power to do the work he was called to do. See Old Testament Spiritual Experiences .

Verse 14

Evil Spirit From God (1 Sam 16:14)

Evil spirits come from God only in the sense of being permitted by Him to trouble those who are backslidden and persist in sin and rebellion (1 Sam 16:14; 1 Kings 22:21-24; 2 Chron 18:20-23). The idea is that God does not protect such a person from spirits as He otherwise would if he yielded to Him. God gave Saul over to an evil spirit as punishment for his sins and self-will. Naturally, when the Holy Spirit left him he was open to an evil spirit of torment from Satan.

(Dake Annotated Reference Bible.)



(Life Application Study Bible.)

16:13 David was anointed king, but it was done in secret; he was not publicly anointed until much later (2 Sam 2:4; 5:3). Saul was still legally the king, but God was preparing David for his future responsibilities. The anointing oil poured over David's head stood for holiness. It was used to set people or objects apart for God's service. Each king and high priest of Israel was anointed with oil. This commissioned him as God's representative to the nation. Although God rejected Saul's kingship by not allowing any of his descendants to sit on Israel's throne, Saul himself remained in his position until his death.

(Life Application Study Bible.)