Life of David

A Heart for God (Part 1)

A Heart for God (Part 1)
Today’s Text: 1 Samuel 16:13


David was in the field caring for his father’s sheep. But, nothing about the day’s routine prepared him for the remarkable event that would powerfully impact his future.

He may have known that Samuel was in town. His brothers had been instructed to consecrate themselves at the invitation of Israel’s judge for a sacrificial offering (1 Sam. 16:5). David had not been included. However, when he saw his father’s servant running across the field calling him home, everything changed.

Samuel’s purpose in Bethlehem went beyond offering a special sacrifice. He was on a mission to anoint the next king of Israel. God specifically directed him to the household of Jesse with instructions that one of his sons was the next king.

Jesse presented each son to Samuel as requested. Samuel was in a hurry; he was in danger just for being in Bethlehem. If Saul heard he was anointing a new king, Samuel’s life would be in jeopardy (16:2). Without taking time to evaluate their qualifications, Samuel was ready to anoint the eldest son Eliab on sight.

God had to remind Samuel that He looks into the heart to see the true measure of a man (v. 7). And, while his stature and good looks were obvious, Eliab didn’t have what God wanted (17:28). Neither did Abinadab, Shammah or the four other sons Jesse paraded before Samuel.

After a moment of confusion, Samuel realized not all sons were present. When questioned, Jesse dissed David. Surely, David was too young, too small. When pressed, Jesse admitted his youngest was tending the sheep and then looking across the fields, pointed to the lone figure.

Samuel immediately ordered that David be summoned.

David Anointed King by Samuel. Dura-Europos Synagogue.

David Anointed King by Samuel. Dura-Europos Synagogue.

Samuel may have been surprised by his first real look at Jesse’s youngest son. David wasn’t just young, he had a ruddy complexion and red hair indicated by the Hebrew adjective admoni. David’s cheerful demeanor and physique may have impressed Samuel. Ultimately, these external qualities were irrelevant.

God advised Samuel, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” (v. 12).


1 SAMUEL 16:13
“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.”


Samuel obeyed God’s leading. From all outward appearances, David’s brothers looked more qualified—were older—more experienced—even served in Saul’s army, but God overlooked them. Instead, God chose the youngest—the brother they thought would never be anything more than a shepherd (17:28). His brothers were right.

David was destined to serve the Lord as the shepherd-king of Israel. He had developed strengths and positive character traits in the shepherd’s fields that set him apart from his own brothers and elevated him above King Saul.

Samuel’s words to Saul announcing that his kingdom would end were straightforward:

“The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). 

The apostle Paul confirms God’s choice of David saying,

“He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will'” (Acts 13:22).

God had rejected Saul. It was imperative that the right man lead the nation of Israel. David was that man. What did David possess that his brothers did not?

David had a heart for God and was willing to do all that God required of him.

Others may not notice or expect great things from you, but God does and desires to work through you! Developing a heart for God is the first step to becoming usable in His service. Then, when He sets a task before you, you’ll be ready!


Rev. Charles E. McCracken. Biblically Authentic - Standing with Israel.

Connect with Charles via the Contact Form under ABOUT!

Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Known for authentically communicating biblical truth, Rev. McCracken’s presentations are relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.

© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)

1) David anointed king by Samuel, Dura-Europos Synagogue, Syria, panel WC3 : [PD-US, PD-Art], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios.