So much goes on in these three chapters that it's impossible to address it all in a short entry. Instead, I want to focus on the instructions that God gives to Samuel as he is selecting the new king. Samuel obviously needed a reminder from God, otherwise God would not have told him these words: "For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
The temptation, in the church today is to look at the outward appearance of people as a way of judging their insides. Unfortunately, that is a faulty way of looking at things. Saul looked like he would be a good king. He was a giant, of sorts, and he commanded the attention of people. But his heart was sick. Israel couldn't have another leader who looked to his own interest. That's why God chose David. To the naked eye, David was nothing more than the runt of the litter, but in God's eyes his heart was in such a place that God wanted him to be anointed as the next king. And just when we think God may have made a mistake by selecting a teenager for a man's job, David proves that the Lord's hand is with him by killing Goliath. What a story!
Next time you're tempted to look at a person's outward appearance to make a judgment, just remember that outward appearances don't matter to God. In His economy, it's the inside that counts. It seems to me that we should view things that way, too.