The Children\'s Chapel

God Chooses a New King
By Brian Carlisle

Samuel hears from God

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian

Grace Christian Church was having their yearly church picnic at the county park and everyone was having a wonderful time. But as the last and longest race was about to begin, a disagreement had arisen in the junior class over who should represent the class in the race.

people at a picnic

“Don't let Michael run in this race!” Mary pleaded. “He's got worn out jeans and his shoes flop when he runs. He'll embarrass us! Besides Michael is so skinny and short.” Mary frowned. “Let me run. I'm faster and besides I'm wearing a brand new pair of running shoes. I can win this race for our team easily.”

Miss Summers smiled politely at her students. “Class, I know you all want to win this race and so do I. But you are wrong to judge how fast Michael can run by the type of clothes he wears or how strong and handsome he might or might not be.”


Miss Summers allowed this statement to sink into the minds of her class before she continued. “So far we have allowed everyone in our class except Michael to compete in at least one of the events. Not only is it fair and Christian-like to let Michael run, but it is also Christian for us to support and cheer Michael to do his best in the race.” At this point, Miss Summers called her class together for a word of prayer.

“Dear Lord, help Michael to do well in this race and to put forth his best effort. But more importantly than that, help my class to not judge a person's abilities by their appearance. Let us learn, like the prophet Samuel learned in the Bible, that God looks on the inside of a person and not on the outside. Amen.”

There was still time before the race, so Miss Summers pulled her class away from the crowd and sat them down under a tree.

“Class, let me tell you quickly about when God chose a new king.” As the children listened in awe, Miss Summers began the story.

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Who will be the next King Samuel asked “Samuel!” God called to his prophet. “I have rejected Saul as the king of Israel. He has sinned against me, and my Spirit is no longer upon him to help him.”

“Who will be the next king?” Samuel asked.

“I will show you when it is time,” God replied. “Now get down to the town of Bethlehem to anoint a new king.”

“But, Lord, what if Saul finds out that I am going down to anoint a new king?”

“Take a heifer (another name for a female cow) with you to Bethlehem and tell the elders of the city that you are come to sacrifice to the Lord,” God instructed his prophet. “Invite Jesse of Bethlehem to attend the sacrifice, because I have picked from among his sons the new king of Israel.”


Samuel asked Jesse to bring his sons to him to see Quickly Samuel obeyed, and headed to Bethlehem, and made his sacrifice unto the Lord. While he was at the sacrifice, Samuel sanctified Jesse and his sons. In other words, Samuel set Jesse and his sons aside from the others to worship the Lord. After this had been done, Samuel asked Jesse to bring his sons to him to see. Excitedly Jesse brought his sons to Samuel.

The Bible states that when Samuel saw Eliab, the oldest son of Jesse, he said, “Surely the Lord's anointing is on this one.”

But God spoke to Samuel, “Don't look on his face or at how tall he is, because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

No not this one either The next one to pass before Samuel was Abinadab, but again God said, “No, not this one either.”

Following Abinadab was Shammah. Again God said, “Sorry, not him.”

The Bible said that Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. After the last one passed in front of Samuel, Samuel shook his head and asked Jesse if these were all his sons.

Jesse replied, “Well, there is one more, but he's the youngest. I left him home to watch the sheep.”

“Get him. We will not sit down until your youngest arrives,” Samuel replied determinedly.

When Jesse's youngest son arrived, Samuel saw that he was good-looking, but he was smaller and skinnier than the others.

God said anoint him    The Spirit of the Lord descended upon the boy named David

But God said, “Anoint him. He is to be the next King!”

Immediately Samuel took the oil and anointed the boy in the middle of his brothers. From that point on, the Spirit of the Lord descended upon the boy named David.

“David?” the class gasped. “You don't mean the one who defeated Goliath do you?”

“Yes,” Miss Summers smiled. “David, the same one who later killed the giant.”

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“Michael is gone!” someone in the class shouted.

“So is Mary!” another noticed.

Miss Summers just smiled. She had seen the two slip away right after she had begun telling the story.

“Hurry!” Mary called from the edge of the field. “The race is going to start in just a minute!”

Rapidly the class followed Miss Summers to the field and began cheering for Michael.

“On your mark! Get set! Go!” the pastor of the church shouted.


As the ten runners headed across the field, only one trailed the rest, Michael. Michael didn't even seem to be trying.

“Keep cheering,” Miss Summers encouraged the class. “Don't give up on Michael.”

Obediently the class kept rooting for Michael, but their spirits were quickly dropping. “Maybe Michael would try harder if Mary hadn't said all those terrible things about him,” someone snapped.

“Stop it!” Miss Summers ordered. “I didn't hear any of you standing up for him.”

The runners had reached the large building at the end of the long field and had disappeared around the back. The race wouldn't be over until the runners had rounded the building and had raced all the way back across the field to the finish line where they had started.

boys running

“Look!” Miss Summers shouted. “Michael is taking the lead.”

The runners had finally rounded the building and were racing across the field and Michael was in the lead. Wisely Michael had reserved his strength until now he was leading the other runners by almost twenty feet.

As Michael raced past Miss Summers and the rest of the class, they all shouted and cheered for their classmate. Michael had made them all proud, and as soon as he had crossed the finished line, Michael's entire class ran to congratulate him on his victory, all except Mary and Miss Summers who remained in the same spot where they had watched the race.

“Why don't you run and join the others?” Miss Summers placed her arm around Mary.

“I'll congratulate him later,” Mary lowered her head as she shuffled her feet.

“You know,” Miss Summers lifted Mary's chin and looked kindly into her eyes, “I think that new pair of running shoes he was wearing is what helped Michael win the race.”

Mary grinned with tears in her eyes and hugged her teacher. “No, Michael is just fast.”

“Come on,” Miss Summers nudged Mary. “Let's join the others.”

A slapping sound could be heard as Mary and Miss Summers walked to join the class. It seemed that Mary's shoes flopped with each step she took.

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1. Who was the king God rejected?
2. Who did God tell to anoint a new king?
3. Who did Samuel anoint to be the new king?
4. What did Samuel pour over David's head?


Don't judge a person by how they look, how tall or short they may be, or what kind of clothes they wear. Everyone has special qualities that cannot be determined by their outward appearance.


“…for man looketh on the outward appearance,
but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).


“Judge not according to the appearance,
but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24).

“The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him,
in those that hope in his mercy” (Psalm 147:11).

“…God is no respecter of persons: but in every
nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness,
is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34b-35).


Think of your classmates, friends or family. Look
for something good in each of them. How do their
lives show Jesus to others?

What you do think did God saw in David that caused
Him to choose him as king of Israel?

[After discussion:] When you see something good in
another person, don't keep it to yourself. Go and
tell them. You could make their day.

David loved God. He honored God and trusted Him
alone to lead and save him. Even when he made
mistakes and sinned, he would ask God, with a
sincere heart, to forgive him and God forgave him.
You, too, can be a person after God's own heart.


Dog and boy praying

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for your amazing
love. Help us to love one another like You love us
and help us to remember that what is inside a person
is much more important that what we see on the outside.
In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

1 Samuel 16:1-13

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Samuel Anoints David as King coloring page (online)
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Last updated May 23, 2023
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