Read the full story here (1 Samuel chapters 8 and 16)

After coming out of Egypt, God's people finally entered into the land of Canaan as promised by God.

God wanted His people to live as a holy nation for the world to see as a blessing for all other nations. However, none of the people could live up to God's standards. They kept disobeying God and breaking His commandments.

But whenever His people cried out to Him for help, God was still faithful and merciful.

'We want a king!'

After hundreds of years, the people saw other nations had kings to rule over them. They wanted to have an earthly king too like everybody else.

"No! We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." (1 Samuel 8: 19-20)

They demanded God to give them an earthly king even though they already experienced God rescuing them with miracles many times. They did not trust God to be their guide, and they also felt insecure if they didn’t imitate other people. Aren’t we all the same today?

God was not pleased but He allowed it.

The first king that was anointed King was Saul. On the outside, he seemed to be the right choice: handsome, tall and physically strong!

But in reality, Saul’s heart was not right. 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 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 was a descendant of Abraham and had eight sons. He let Samuel meet the oldest seven sons. But after meeting each one of them, Samuel said none of them was the one God had chosen.

Finally, Jesse sent his youngest 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 boy 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 experiencing the worst time of his life: loneliness, fear, injustice, betrayal, and constantly fleeing from his enemies and from death.

Your Response: Listen to God and Pray...

1. Are we secure in God’s hands? Or do we need to imitate other people’s ways to find security?

2. We want to listen to the voice of God, but often we just listen to other voices around us. Why is this so?

3. What does God mean when He says, "I look at the heart"? How does it affect the way we look at ourselves, other people, and God?

4. After reading this story, how do I obey God? What do I need to change?

5. Who can I share this story with?