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1 Samuel 16:1-13 - Sunday Scripture Reflection

Updated: Mar 21, 2023


On this Fourth Sunday in Lent we hear the story of the prophet Samuel, sent on a mission by God to identify and anoint the one who would someday serve as the leader of the Jewish people. The story presents the thoughts and actions of Samuel, but the focus of the story centers on human understanding of those called to positions of leadership. What makes a person a good leader and why is it that God often seems to have a different criteria than we do? As we reflect on our own opportunities for service to God's mission in the world, we will consider the human side of saying "Yes" to God and why we might often feel unworthy to serve.


Our Scripture passage is found in the First Book of Samuel. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (1 Samuel 16:1-13).


For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • Read the Scripture lesson for the week and reflect on the conversation between Samuel and God. As you imagine each son of Jesse passing before Samuel and hearing Samuel's reaction, what do you believe are among Samuel's criteria for being selected as the next king of Israel? How do these criteria differ from God's list?

  • Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below and reflect on the selection of David as the next king. Is God's choice of the youngest, smallest son of Jesse surprising? How will David be both an ideal king, and a very broken, human king (if you know something about David in Scripture)?

  • Read the "WHERE..." paragraph in the guide below and reflect on the idea that God can discern each human's heart and know it better than the person knows themselves. Is this idea comforting (that God knows and loves you) or is this idea unsettling (you don't really know yourself...you're living with a stranger?!)

  • Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the idea that author presents that leaders must always be thinking about the next and new thing and recovenanting with the people of their community.

  • Read the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the idea that people's previous emotional injuries and trauma stay with them for a very long time and will impact future behavior and trust of leaders, even if those leaders were not part of the previous experiences.


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