1 Samuel 15:31 – 16:13

Screenshot 2015-01-29 21.46.16 (2)


    After Saul tells Samuel that even though he disobeyed God he wants to be honored rather than repent of his sin. Samuel goes with him, and after Saul bows before God Samuel asks for Agag to come. Samuel then “hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal” (v. 33). and then he and Saul separate until Saul’s death. Samuel returns to Ramah and grieves for Saul. God rouses him from his grieving to send him to anoint the next king, which, of course, is David. Samuel goes and sees all the sons of Jesse, and God chooses the youngest, who was watching the sheep, David. He anoints David and “the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward” (v. 13b). Once again Samuel returns to Ramah.


    Samuel, Saul, the Lord, Agag the king of the Amalekites, Jesse the Bethlehemite and all eight of his sons: Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah, and others progressing to the youngest: David, and the Spirit of the Lord

Key Verse

Verse 7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.””

Cross References

Psalm 147:10-11 “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”

1 Kings 8:38- “whatever prayer, whatever plea is made by any man or by all your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart and stretching out his hands toward this house, then hear in heaven your dwelling place and forgive and act and render to each whose heart you know, according to all his ways (for you, you only, know the hearts of all the children of mankind), that they may fear you all the days that they lie in the land that you gave to our fathers.”

1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, Solomon, my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if your forsake him, he will cast you off forever.”

Psalm 7:9 “Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!”

Jeremiah 11:20 “But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.”

Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.””

Jeremiah 20:12 “O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.”

Acts 1:24 “And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen”


The fear of the Lord is so tightly knit with God’s pleasure. He does not take delight in us making up what he wants, like Saul tried to do, because that comes from a heart of greed and selfishness. He does not take delight in the feats of man or tools we use. He is delighted with us fearing Him, seeking Him. I want to please the Lord, so I want to seek that fear of the Lord, and I want my heart and mind to come up clean and pure when tested by Him.

Jesus in the Old Testament

“Who is the Lord’s king? Not the tall and impressive (1 Sam. 16:7), but the smallest of Jesse’s sons (v.11; “smallest” and “youngest” render the same word in Hebrew). For “the “Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (v. 7). The opening frame of 1 Samuel included Hannah’s declaration that it is not by human might that one prevails (2:9). Rather, where true faith and trust are, God’s “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9; cf. note on 1 Sam. 14:1-14). David may seem insignificant—the youngest, left to tend the sheep—but God sees in him something special. As his story unfolds, we will encounter sin and failure—David, unlike the Son of David to come, was not sinless. But David had a heart for God. Of equal, or greater, importance, he had the “Spirit of the Lord” powerfully working within him “from that day forward” (16:13).”*

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”


*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 16:14-23

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Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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