1 SAMUEL CHAPTER 16
David Chosen King.
DAVID ANOINTED BY SAMUEL. ó V. 1. And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Samuel had yielded to excessive grief over the condition of affairs, for his anxiety concerning the welfare of Israel and his worry over Saulís hardness of heart had put him out of sympathy with Godís hidden ways; hence the reproof. Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse, the Bethlehemite; for I have provided me a king among his sons, Jehovah had looked them over and chosen one of them. v. 2. And Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hear it, he will kill me, since he would consider the act as treachery and revolt, believing himself still to be the rightful king of Israel. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord, for apparently it was nothing unusual for the prophet to hold divine services in various parts of Israel, especially now that Shiloh was desecrated. V. 3. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, inviting him to take part in the sacrificial meal as his own special guest, and I will show thee what thou shalt do, give him immediate directions, reveal His will at the time; and thou shalt anoint unto Me him whom I name unto thee. This involved no falsehood, but its chief object was to conceal the main reason of Samuelís coming from such as had no authority to know of it. V. 4. And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? Samuel had evidently held visitations from time to time and earnestly rebuked any wrongs and evil conditions which he found. V. 5. And he said, Peaceably, he had no special occasion to rebuke them; I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord; sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice, the celebration being intended to strengthen the peopleís fellowship with Jehovah. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, addressing this admonition to them in particular, so they would be sure to wash themselves and put on clean garments, and called them to the sacrifice, as his own special guests. V. 6. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, the first-born, and, being impressed by his appearance and bearing, said, Surely the Lordís anointed is before Him, this thought immediately arose in his heart. V. 7. But the Lord said unto Samuel, giving an answer to his spirit, Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature, on the fact that he was a handsome, stalwart young man; because I have refused him; for the Lord seeth not as man seeth, He has different standards of judgment; for man looketh on the outward appearance, judging from what he can see, but the Lord looketh on the heart, judging by the disposition of the soul, proving the heart and the reins. This is a general truth which applies to the relation of God to men at all times. God, knowing the inward thoughts of men, is unfailing in His judgment. V. 8. Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel, for the purpose of careful inspection. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. V. 9. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. V. 10. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel, that is, a total of seven, including the three oldest. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. V. 11. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. As the youngest he had to stand back and take charge of the chores, while his older brothers made ready to go to the sacrificial feast. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him; for we will not sit down, literally, ďsurround,Ē namely, the table, to partake of the meal, till he come hither. V. 12. And he sent and brought him in. Now, he was ruddy, said of the red color of his hair, which is unusual in the Orient, and withal of a beautiful countenance, with bright eyes and a clear look, and goodly to look to, handsome and stalwart of body as well. And the Lord said, announcing His decision to the thoughts of Samuel, Arise, anoint him; for this is he, chosen by the Lord in spite of his youth. V. 13. Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren, they were witnesses of the solemn act; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward, he received a special endowment with gifts and powers for his royal calling, so that he was gradually led forward to full development, to complete fitness for his lifeís work. So Samuel rose up and went to Ramah, back to his home. It is probable that the significance of the ceremony was not made known to the other sons of Jesse, who may have been under the impression that David was simply to be regarded as a pupil of the great prophet. But the Lordís will went forward in due time. It happens quite often that the Lord chooses men for His work who are without honor before men. But just such instruments He fills with His Spirit, making them fit to perform the work of their high calling.
DAVID PLAYS FOR SAUL. ó V. 14. But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, now that his rejection was an established fact, and an evil spirit from the Lord, having been given permission to that effect by the Lord, troubled him, fell upon him and terrified him, filled him with anxious worry and a nameless dread. It was a wicked power, which had a strange control over him. V. 15. And Saulís servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God, sent as a punishment from God, troubleth thee. V. 16. Let our lord now command thy servants which are before thee to seek out a man who is a cunning player on an harp, a skilful harpist; and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well, for the soothing influence of music was known even at that time. V. 17. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me, for he was glad to try this method of alleviating his trouble. V. 18. Then answered one of the servants and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, a skilful harpist, and a mighty, valiant man, full of bravery and of a warlike spirit, and a man of war, apparently fit to be a good soldier, and prudent in matters, eloquent of speech, and a comely person, strong and handsome, and the Lord is with him. The recommendation shows all the characteristics which later appeared in the history of David. V. 19. Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse and said, Send me David, thy son, which is with the sheep, Saul thus making use of his kingly prerogative in pressing men into his personal service. V. 20. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle, a skin, of wine, and a kid, as presents to the king, and sent them by David, his son, unto Saul, presents of this kind being a sign of obedience and subjection. V. 21. And David came to Saul and stood before him, as his servant; and he, Saul, loved him greatly; and he became his armorbearer, being trained for military service. V. 22. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me, continue in the kingís service; for he hath found favor in my sight. V. 23. And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, when he had special attacks of his affliction, when the gloomy moods were upon him, that David took an harp and played with his hand; so Saul was refreshed and was well, he found relief, and the evil spirit departed from him. Davidís story shows that the Lord leads His children in marvelous ways. Those who are intended for servants in His kingdom are so guided by Him that all they see, hear, learn, and experience is of value to them for their future calling.