This story is featured in a collection of Bible stories for kids called Pray without Ceasing: Bible Stories for Kids about Prayer.
1 Samuel 16:1–13
God does not look on us as we see each other. We might think that God blesses those who are strong, but the Lord blesses those whom he will strengthen and who will accept his help.
As you read this story, pay attention to the reasons that the Lord withheld his blessing from the older sons of Jesse.
God was disappointed in Saul, the king of Israel. He told the prophet Samuel to anoint another person as king.
The Lord said to the prophet, “Fill your horn with oil. Go to Bethlehem, where you will find a man named Jesse. I have provided for myself a king from among his sons.”
So Samuel traveled to Bethlehem and invited Jesse and his sons to a blessing ceremony. The father and his boys joined Samuel as he requested.
First, Jesse brought forth his oldest son, Eliab.
Samuel saw the young man and thought to himself, “Surely this is the one the Lord wants me to anoint as king.”
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on his height, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as humans see. Humans look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Jesse called another son up to bring before Samuel, but the Lord said to him, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”
Jesse brought seven of his sons before Samuel, but the Lord said that none of them were his chosen one.
Finally, Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?”
Jesse said, “No, there is one more, my youngest son, David. He is out in the fields, keeping the sheep.”
“Send for him and bring him to me,” the prophet instructed.
Jesse sent for David, who arrived soon afterward. He had rosy cheeks and beautiful eyes. He was very handsome.
Suddenly, the Lord said to Samuel, “Rise, and anoint him; for this is the one.”
The prophet Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed the youngest son in the presence of all of his older brothers. The spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.
- Why did the Lord wish to bless and anoint David and not his older brothers?
- Why do you think it is so difficult to look on the heart of other people rather than their outward appearance?
- In what ways can you become humble so that God can bless you?
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