1 Samuel 16
-The LORD has to ask an important question to his despondent and grieving prophet after the whole ordeal with the disobedient King Saul, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel?” Then the LORD gives a command, “Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.” Samuel actually resisted the call initially as he feared for his life in this new climate of distrust in Saul. But, God worked out a plan for him to take a heifer with him to Bethlehem to have a sacrifice as a front, thereby protecting the prophet from any perceived harm. Samuel was instructed by the Almighty to invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and then He would show the prophet what to do next. Samuel was told that indeed he would anoint for the LORD a new king, which would be designated. “So Samuel did what the LORD said,” and obediently went to the Judean city of Bethlehem, just south of Jerusalem. When he arrived, the elders of the city came to him trembling in fear because of his renown, and asked him if he had come to them in peace. He assured them that he had come in peace and to offer a sacrifice before the LORD God. He beckoned them to consecrate themselves for this occasion and included Jesse in the ceremonial festivities along with his sons. When Jesse’s boys entered, Eliab, the oldest, caught Samuel’s attention as he thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him.” However, Yahweh had other plans as He subtly spoke to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:1-7).” In fact, seven of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel with not one of them getting the call for kingship. Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the children?” Jesse let him know that there was one more, the youngest of them all, who was out tending the sheep. Samuel sent for this one claiming that they would not sit down until he presented himself. So David was sent for and brought in. Upon their first meeting, Samuel found him to be “ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance,” but he was the kid of the group. Nonetheless, God spoke, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” Samuel immediately took the horn of oil, symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit, and anointed him in the midst of all his brothers. Then, the Holy Spirit came mightily upon young David and stayed on him from that day forward. Seeing that his mission was complete, Samuel went back home to Ramah (1 Samuel 16:8-13). No fanfare or celebration mentioned in Scripture. Just a simple passing of the mantle of leadership in the kingdom of Israel. Saul was not dethroned, nor did he abdicate his authority at the time, but a serious transition was occurring.
-“Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.” It was so debilitating that his servants took notice of it. They wanted to seek out a man who was skillful in the harp that could play soothing music to mellow the troubled king when this evil spirit persisted in his being. They figured that all would be well if they could pacify his soul with these placid sounds. One of the young men had knowledge of David’s, son of Jesse, abilities in this area. Not only was David acknowledged as a skillful musician, but he was reputed as a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, handsome, and who had the LORD with him. So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and beckoned the young man, David, to his come to his palace from the flock that he was tending. Therefore, Jesse sent his youngest son to the king’s service along with a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat. David attended to the king, and immediately gained the admiration and favor of the troubled of Saul. “Saul loved him greatly.” David became his armor bearer and stood before the king. “So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul. David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him (1 Samuel 16:14-23).”
-*Application* The presence of God transcends our understanding and exalts the most common of people from their places of perceived mediocrity and simplicity. This has always been how He has operated. He makes wise the humble who toil in ordinary circumstances (1 Corinthians 2-4). He chooses the shepherd boy tending his flock and raises him to be a great shepherd of His people and ancestor of the King of kings. God always looks at the heart, not the outward appearances. So, let us take care of our heart and abide in Him for true peace and soothing. Those who resist His Spirit’s presence will find the void taken over by an evil spirit that only gravitates to physical means of coping, which is always just a temporary solution.
Verse to Memorize: 1 Samuel 16:7