In 1 Samuel 16, the Lord commands Samuel to go to Jesse to find a new king for Israel. Each one of Jesse’s sons pass before Samuel, but the Lord has not chosen any of them. The amazing thing with what happens here is the name given to each one of the sons, and the lessons we can learn in looking for those who be leaders over God’s people. The names can also be found in 1 Chronicles 2:13-15.
The first was Eliab – meaning God of his father. The Eliab’s are those who come from a history of serving God, and often from generations of those who serve God. They have been brought up well, and know the word of God and the ways of the church. It was of Eliab that Samuel said ‘Surely this is the Lord’s anointed’. Yet the Lord reminded Samuel that he was not looking at the outward appearance, but at the boys heart.
The second was Abinadab – meaning generosity of his father. The Abinadab’s are those who have given money, time, energy to the church, and also can come from generations of those who have given much to serve God. But the Lord did not place him in the kings position either.
The third was Shammah – meaning ‘astonishment’. The Shammah’s are those who have had their lives turned around in astonishing and astounding ways. They are living testimonies to the goodness of God.
The fourth was Nethanel – meaning ‘given of God’. These people are those who are in and of themselves pure gifts to the church.
The fifth was Raddai which means ‘domineering’. Raddai’s are bossy and brash, and aim for leadership positions so they can tell others what to do.
The sixth was Ozem – meaning ‘strong’. Ozem’s hold strength and give strength to others. But the Lord was not looking for human strength in his leader
The seventh, was David. The one who was chosen. David’s name means ‘love’. A leader may possess all the other qualities, but if he has not love, he is nothing.