Pastor Carolyn Poteet

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October 6


Carolyn Poteet


"The King and Covenant "


Psalm 89:19-29
1 Samuel 16:1-13

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October 3, 2019

"I have found David my servant;
with my sacred oil I have anointed him." 
       Psalm 89:20

Greetings in the Name of the Lord, Jesus Christ!
Welcome to SummerFall! Or maybe Autumner? This has been the strangest October weather! As I am writing this, it is 85 degrees, but by the time you get this, hopefully, we can finally break out the sweaters.

Many thanks to Jennifer Stampfel, our pastoral intern, for preaching last Sunday! She used a great metaphor for what has happened with the Israelites and their search for a king. It's like they were using a GPS and took a wrong turn. They demanded a king when God told them He should be their king. They still persisted in their demands even with stern warnings from Samuel. They took a wrong turn and ended up in trouble with the rebellious, disobedient Saul.

Thankfully we serve a merciful God who does not abandon us when we stubbornly go our own way. The Lord has a way of rerouting us, no matter how crazy a detour we take.

This week, as we study 1 Samuel 16, we see the Lord begin to work His plan to bring Israel back around. He wants to anoint a new king, one who will always know that the Lord Almighty is the One True King above him. God instructs Samuel to fill up a flask with oil and head south to a little town in Judah called Bethlehem. One of the sons of Jesse will be the new king.

When Samuel first arrives, the people are terrified, thinking Samuel is there to bring some sort of prophecy against them. But he reassures them that he is there to offer a sacrifice. He invites them to purify themselves and come for a feast, with a special invitation to Jesse.

Jesse dutifully brings (almost) all his sons to the feast and then presents them to Samuel. Samuel sees the tall strapping young men and thinks the next king has to be among them. But one by one, the Lord dismisses them. He scolds Samuel, "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:20).

Discouraged at not finding the right son, Samuel asks Jesse if he has any other sons. You can tell by Jesse's response that the youngest is not even valued. He was not invited to this grand event-he had to stay home and tend the sheep. Immediately Samuel instructed him to be brought, and the Lord confirmed that David was the one. Samuel anointed him in the presence of all his seven brothers. It must have been a shock for them all to see their baby brother honored in this way.

What did the Lord see in David's heart? David would have been a young teenager, with little to show for his leadership skills or military prowess. But the one thing he did have was the heart of a shepherd. He knew how to lead, provide for, and protect his sheep. In his humble, tender heart, the Lord found the person he could mold into the greatest king in Israel's history.

What does the Lord see in your heart? Not the surface accomplishments or the masks you show others, but what is deep inside that only a few people ever see? It can be scary to be that vulnerable in front of anyone, but even more so when we think that God knows all of it already.
As scary as that is, the amazing thing is that it is not what is in our hearts that matters as much as what is in God's heart. HE is the one who has the heart of a shepherd. He is the one who knows all our wandering ways and loves us anyway. He is the one who finds us when we are lost and brings us home. He is the one who leads us and protects us and provides for us.

God looks at our hearts and sees His precious, dearly beloved children. And because of that, we can trust Him whether we are in green pastures or dark valleys. May the Good Shepherd walk closely with you, giving you rest and restoring your soul.

Pastor Carolyn
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