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Get Over It!

1 Samuel 16:1-13 

 

"Now the Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.' [2] But Samuel said, 'How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.' And the Lord said, 'Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. [3] And you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you.' [4] So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, 'Do you come in peace?' [5] And he said, 'In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.' He also consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. 

[6] Then it came about when they entered, that he looked at Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him.' [7] But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.' [8] Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, 'Neither has the Lord chosen this one.' [9] Next 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. But Samuel said to Jesse, 'The Lord has not chosen these.' [11] And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Are these all the children?' And he said, 'There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.' Then Samuel said to Jesse, 'Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.' [12] So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the Lord said, 'Arise, anoint him; for this is he.' [13] Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah."
 

Samuel learns an important lesson during the transition from Saul's reign to David's, he learned he needed to get over it before he could get on with it. Specifically, he learned he had to get over his grief that things are not the way they were, before he embraced the way God wants them to be. Verse 1 says, "Now the Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.'" Change is unsettling to most of us, even if it is a change we like. I don't know if it is a byproduct of growing older, but the breakneck speed of the change in my life is becoming increasingly bothersome to me. I've always considered myself a change agent and championed positive change, yet lately I've longed for stability. I don't have a clue if that is because I'm growing older (a change itself) or because the only constant in my life is change. Beyond the changes in my personal life lately, our church is constantly changing. New people are always coming in and we are constantly saying goodbye to those who are relocating to their next duty station. Lately I feel like just about the time we get our church organized and hitting on all eight cylinders, people move on and we have to start all over. It is easy for me to forget that a huge part of our ministry is to provide stability for others even if it means we have to endure instability to do it. We know that one way we will be used by God to change the world is to help people take the next step in their relationship with the Lord and gain a passion for ministry. If we did not have our turnover, we could not accomplish our mission. So we endure the instability change brings to enjoy the byproducts it leaves in its wake. Samuel was unsettled at the change that was happening in the kingdom. I suppose it is natural for us to grieve the loss of our friends and co-laborers in the Lord just as it was for Samuel to grieve the impending loss of King Saul, but the word of the Lord to Samuel, and to us is clear-Get over it and get on it.

He also learned that he had to get over his fear that doing God's will is more dangerous than not doing God's will. Verse 2 says, "But Samuel said, 'How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.' And the Lord said, 'Take a heifer with you, and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord." Jonah thought it was safer out of the will of God than in it and he had a whale of time running from God. He learned that the safest place in the world is in the center of God's will. Just like God told Abraham to get up and go to the land he would show him, he told Samuel to go to Jesse's house and that he would then show him who to anoint. Which leads us to the third thing Samuel had to get over before he could get on with God's will. 

He had to get over his belief that God had to check with him before He decided to do something. Verses 3-5 say, "And you shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you.' [4] So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, 'Do you come in peace?' [5] And he said, 'In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.' He also consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice." God did not have to reveal his total plan to Samuel to see if he concurred with him. Samuel walked in partial darkness on the way to Jesse's house. He had general directions, but not specific instructions. God doesn't always check with us before he decides to do something. He gave Samuel general directions, but did not tell him who to anoint as king, just to go to Jesse's house and get prepared. Why does God do that to us? Why doesn't He consult with us before He moves. I think it is easy for us to get the roles reversed. We see ourselves as the architects and God as the builder. We lay out our plans for what we want God to do in our lives, our careers and our church-then we expect God to do the work. We've got it in reverse. God is the master designer, our task is to discover and do His will. He makes the plans-we do the work. Over the years I've been a part of planning groups on the local church and denominational level. I am quite amazed at the role prayer plays in those meetings. Most of the time it is ceremonial, not functional. Most of the time we are not seeking God's will, we are imposing our will on Him, then expect Him to do the work. God made the plan. Samuel followed it. He had to get over it, before he could get on with it-he had to get over his belief that God had to check with him before He decided to do something.

One last thing Samuel had to get over before he could get on with God's will, he had to get over his natural hesitancy to do what doesn't make any sense. Verses 6-7 say, "Then it came about when they entered, that he looked at Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him.' [7] But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" In the end, Samuel did not anoint the person Jesse thought he should, or even who he thought he should anoint-God had chosen someone that Jesse hadn't even considered, he chose his youngest, least significant son-he chose David a man after God's own heart. For the next couple of months we're going to study the life of that remarkable man, the man with a godly heart. We'll see his ups and downs, we celebrate his victories and commensurate his failures. As we do, we will learn something about the way God moves and the kind of person He uses. But as we begin this journey, remember that Israel would never have had its greatest king if Samuel hadn't been willing to get over it so he could get on with it. He had to get over his grief that things are not the way they were, before he embraced the way God wants them to be. Second, he had to get over his fear that doing God's will is more dangerous than not doing God's will. Third, he had to get over his belief that God had to check with him before He decided to do something. And fourth, he had to get over his natural hesitancy to do want doesn't make any sense. Think about the impact of these four statements, together, they pretty well define a single word: "faith." Hebrews 11:6 says, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." We can substitute grief, fear, control or intellect for faith, but when we do, we don't please God. 

Get over it, so you can get on with it.
 

Sunday Evening
 

How to have a Heart that pleases God
 

Pass out construction paper and ask participants to tear a heart out of it. When they've finished, have them tell their small group why they picked the color they picked and to share something that is on their heart.
 

What should we do with our hearts?
 

We should believe God with them--Romans 10:10 NASB "for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
 

We should serve God with them--Deut. 11:13 NASB "And it shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul,"
 

Trust in God with them--Proverbs 3:5 NASB "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding."
 

Songs
 

Have them to exchange hearts with someone else and pray for them to pray for each other in the following manner:
 

Pray for a cleansed Heart--Psalm 51:10 NSSB "Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me."
 

Pray for an open Heart--Psalm 119:36 NASB "Incline my heart to Thy testimonies, And not to dishonest gain."
 

Pray for a reverent heart--Psalm 86:11 NASB "Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth; Unite my heart to fear Thy name."
 

Pray for a loving, steadfast heart--2 Thes. 3:5 "And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ."
 

Songs-
 

You can have a new heart--Ezekiel 36:26 NASB "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

 

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