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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, December 11, 2014
Working on your character, what is on the inside is much more important to God than your appearance. What good is outward appearance if you don’t have character?
Samuel “purified” Jesse and his sons to prepare them to come before God in worship or to offer a sacrifice. For more on this ceremony, see Genesis 35:21; Exodus 19:10, 142; and Joshua 3:53.
Saul was tall and handsome; he was an impressive-looking man. Samuel may have been trying to find someone who looked like Saul to be Israel’s next king, but God warned him against judging by appearance alone. When people judge by outward appearance, they may overlook quality individuals who lack the particular physical qualities society currently admires. Appearance doesn’t reveal what people are really like or what their true value is.
Fortunately, God judges by faith and character, not appearances. And because only God can see on the inside, only he can accurately judge people. Most people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance; they should do even more to develop their inner character. While everyone can see your face, only you and God know what your heart really looks like. What steps are you taking to improve your heart’s attitude? (NLT)
1 Samuel 16:1-13 – Finally, the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel. Now fill your horn with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there, for I have selected one of his sons to be my new king.”
But Samuel asked, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”
“Take a heifer with you,” the Lord replied, “and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you which of his sons to anoint for me.”
So Samuel did as the Lord instructed him. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the leaders of the town became afraid. “What’s wrong?” they asked. “Do you come in peace?”
“Yes,” Samuel replied. “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Purify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them, too.
When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.”
Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” Next Jesse summoned Shammah, but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep.”
“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down until he arrives.”
So Jesse sent for him. He was ruddy and handsome, with pleasant eyes. And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.”
So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the olive oil he had brought and poured it on David’s head. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
VALUE, VALUABLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/value-valuable/
JUDGING, JUDGE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/judging-judge/
HYPOCRISY, HYPOCRITES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hypocrisy-hypocrites/
1 Why did the people have these idols? Idols were sometimes seen more as good luck charms than as gods. Some Israelites, even though they worshiped God, had idols in their homes, just as some Christians today own good luck trinkets. Jacob believed that idols should have no place in his household. He wanted nothing to divert his family’s spiritual focus.
Jacob ordered his household to get rid of their idols. Unless we remove idols from our lives, they can ruin our faith. What idols do we have? An idol is anything we put before God. Idols don’t have to be physical objects; they can be thoughts or desires. Like Jacob, we should get rid of anything that could stand between us and God. (NLT)
Genesis 35:2 – So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Destroy your idols, wash yourselves, and put on clean clothing. . .”
2 Moses was told to purify the people. This meant getting them physically and spiritually ready to meet God. The people were to set themselves apart from sin and even ordinary daily routine in order to dedicate themselves to God. The act of washing and preparing served to get their minds and hearts ready. When we meet God for worship, we should set aside the cares and preoccupations of everyday life. Use your time of physical preparation to get your mind ready to meet God. (NLT)
Exodus 19:10, 14 – Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my visit. Purify them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. . .”
So Moses went down to the people. He purified them for worship and had them wash their clothing.
3 Before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites were to perform a purification ceremony. This was often done before making a sacrifice or as in this case, before witnessing a great act of God. God’s law stated that a person could become unclean for many reasons—eating certain foods, childbirth, disease, touching a dead person. God used these various outward signs of uncleanness to illustrate man’s inward uncleanness that comes as a result of sin. The purification ceremony pictured the importance of approaching God with a pure heart. Like the Israelites, we need God’s forgiveness before we approach him. (NLT)
Joshua 3:5 – Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”
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