There was a wealthy man of the tribe of Benjamin who had a handsome young son named Saul. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. And none of the people of Israel stood as tall as his shoulders. He looked the part of a great king and God told the prophet Samuel to anoint this Saul to be the king of Israel. People even wondered if Saul was among the prophets because the Spirit of God rushed upon him and he prophesied among the prophets of Israel. Later this man was crowned king and his reign began well but a couple years later he disobeyed God. The prophet Samuel had told him to wait for seven days and when the time came Samuel was not in sight and the people of Israel were beginning to scatter from Saul and the Philistines were preparing for their attack. So Saul went ahead without the prophet and did what he wasn’t allowed to do. And as soon as he did Samuel appeared and he told Saul that he would not continue to be king and that the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart who will be the new king because Saul had disobeyed God. Again later God spoke through the prophet Samuel and told Saul to do something else, but Saul disobeyed God and didn’t do it. So God told Samuel that He wished He had never made Saul the king. But Samuel was upset about Saul.
Then God asked Samuel, “How long will you be upset over Saul since I have rejected him as the king of Israel?” And God told the prophet to go to Jesse in Bethlehem because God was going to make one of Jesse’s sons the new king. Samuel was afraid that if Saul found out about it that Saul would kill him. So God told him to say that he had come to sacrifice to the Lord and to invite Jesse to the sacrifice. God said that he would show Samuel what to do and that he would anoint the one that God would say to anoint. Samuel obeyed God and went to Bethlehem. The elders of Bethlehem were afraid when they saw Samuel and asked him if he came in peace. And he said that he had and that he came to sacrifice to the Lord and that they should come to the sacrifice after they went through the necessary preparations for it. So Samuel got Jesse and his sons ready and invited them to the sacrifice.
When they came he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely this one in front of me is the one the Lord wants me to anoint.” He thought, “Surely God will choose him.” Eliab was impressive. He looked the part of a king. He was tall and handsome like Saul. Is this the one to be anointed king and why or why not? I’ll let you know next Sunday.