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The Upper Room Devotion for Monday, November 27, 2023 was written by Grant Patterson of Indiana.



1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord's anointed is now before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

1 Samuel 16:1-13 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

The student dining hall has shelves full of fruit. Usually I grab a few apples on my way to my next class. But I find it difficult to choose the best apples. Many that are spotless and bright red are actually flavorless or bitter. I prefer the yellow apples. They are bruised, dirty, and look unappetizing. But despite their inferior appearance, they are the sweetest apples I've ever tasted. Likewise, God looks beyond appearances when viewing us. God doesn't care about our bodies or how we appear; God looks at our hearts and sees our true worth.

David's brothers were taller, better looking, and more heroic than he was. Any of them would have been an obvious choice to be the next king of Israel. But God saw their appearances and their hearts - and at God's direction Samuel chose David. Though he was not as impressive outwardly, David was someone after God's own heart. If we want to be like Christ, then we should learn to see people God's way - not for their outward presentation but for their hearts. May we learn to see how God sees and to love how God loves.


Thought For The Day

I will follow Christ's example and look at the hearts of others.


Author's Prayer

Dear God, give us eyes to see people's true worth and the conviction to ignore worldly standards. Help us to see as you see and love as you love. Amen.

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