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Monday, March 24, 2014

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When Jesus was put to death, his earliest followers had little to read or study in order to learn about faith in Jesus. Some had heard him, of course. His stories were repeated and his miraculous deeds were remembered. Some followers even believed that Jesus was raised from death, although many were skeptical.

One thing that took place among Jesus' Jewish followers—the great majority at first—is that they turned to their Bible—the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible—and used it to guide them. Today we hear from 1 Samuel 16:1-13. Its words speak about the first Hebrew King, Saul, whom God had rejected and the second Hebrew King, David, who would become the greatest king until Jesus. Suddenly, in these words the early Christians (Jew and Gentile) were given roots in the past, God's commandments in the present and hope in Jesus for the future.

Lord God, as your Spirit came mightily upon David 3,000 years ago, send your Spirit upon us, for we pray in the name of Jesus, our eternal king. Amen.

Marc Kolden
Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology

1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NRSV)

1 The Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons."
2 Samuel said, "How can I go? If 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 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you."
4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, "Do you come peaceably?"
5 He said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice." And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is now before the Lord."
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 does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one."
9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one."
10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen any of these."
11 Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here."
12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, "Rise and anoint him; for this is the one."
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.