The Greatest Text Message | 1 Samuel 16:1-13 | Devotional
1 Samuel 16:1-13
The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king." But Samuel said, "How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me." The LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.' Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate." Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, "Do you come in peace?" Samuel replied, "Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me." Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD." But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, "The LORD has not chosen this one either." Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, "Nor has the LORD chosen this one." Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, "The LORD has not chosen these." So he asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" "There is still the youngest," Jesse answered, "but he is tending the sheep." Samuel said, "Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives." So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah.
Does God speak directly to people today? I hear that question a lot. The answer is “Yes” and “No.”
God does not speak to people today like he spoke to Samuel and the rest of the prophets. Samuel had an unmistakable conversation with God. And when Samuel writes, “The LORD said,” he does not mean he felt an urging from God or heard a faint hint of God’s voice. He meant “The LORD said.” What follows then is the inerrant, infallible, unmistakable, undeniable word of the living God. Today, no one possesses that same gift of prophecy. Some do claim that gift and many of these cultish leaders lead their followers into tragic endings.
God does speak to us through His word. Scripture is living and active. The Spirit, living within us, speaks to our spirit as we read and study these love letters from God—the greatest text message ever. Now, here’s the question—can a believer hear from God directly? The answer is “Yes.” But what we hear cannot contradict the standard of Scripture or it is not from God. In fact, most of what we hear will be guidance in an application of Scripture.
I have never heard God speak to me in an audible voice. But I have often sensed and heard in my soul His voice of comfort, conviction, correction, teaching, and training as I have read the word and spent time in prayer.
God will speak to you through His powerful word. Read it and hear His voice.