The men of Bethlehem watched as the prophet Samuel walked into their village. Jehovah had sent Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the new king of Israel.
Samuel invited Jesse and his sons to watch him offer a sacrifice to Jehovah. He wanted to learn which son was to be the new king.
First, Samuel saw the oldest son, Eliab, who was handsome and tall. Samuel thought Eliab must be the one Jehovah wanted to be king. But Jehovah told Samuel that Eliab was not the one.
Jehovah told Samuel, “The Lord looketh on the heart.” Jehovah meant that He doesn’t see people only as they look on the outside. He sees the goodness that is inside each person.
Next Samuel saw the second son, Abinadab, and the third son, Shammah. Then he saw four other sons. But Jehovah had not chosen any of them to be king.
“Are these all of your children?” Samuel asked. Jesse sent for his youngest son, David, who was out tending the sheep. When Samuel saw David, Jehovah told the prophet that David was the one to be king.
Samuel anointed David to become the next king of Israel after King Saul. From that day on, the Spirit of the Lord was with David.
David showed that his heart was full of faith and courage. David became the armor carrier for King Saul. Israel was at war with the Philistines. One Philistine soldier named Goliath was so tall and so strong that he was called a giant. Day after day, Goliath threatened the Israelites and shouted for someone to come fight him. No one dared fight Goliath, so David decided he would fight the giant. He had already killed a lion and a bear that threatened his father’s sheep. He had faith Jehovah would protect him again.
King Saul wanted young David to wear armor and a helmet and use a sword. Instead, David gathered five smooth stones from the brook and put them into his shepherd’s bag. He took his sling and went to face Goliath.
Goliath looked at David and mocked him.
David told Goliath, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts. … This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand.”
As Goliath came toward him, David took a stone from his bag and put it into his sling. With a single throw, the stone flew hard and fast and hit Goliath’s forehead. Goliath fell. David had killed Goliath. The other Philistine soldiers ran away in fear. The men of Israel cheered.
When King Saul died, David became the king of Israel. His people loved him, and Israel became a great nation.
In Old Testament times, the priest or prophet burned an animal or crops on an altar as a sacrifice to show devotion and gratitude to Jehovah or to ask for forgiveness.
To anoint means to put special oil on someone’s head and give him or her a priesthood blessing.
Jehovah is another name for Jesus Christ. He is Heavenly Father’s oldest son. Heavenly Father asked Him to create the world and to help people return to Heavenly Father’s presence. When Jehovah speaks to people, He is usually representing Heavenly Father. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is usually referred to as Lord. After He was born in Bethlehem, He was known as Jesus Christ.
God, our Heavenly Father, is the father of our spirits. He loves and watches over us always. We worship Him and pray to Him.
Illustrations by Sam Lawlor; altar © Dilleen Marsh; Christ Holding Sacrament Bread © Del Parson