I Samuel 16

Whom God appoints,
He anoints,
and whom He anoints is truly qualified for service.

1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.

4 And Samuel did that which the LORD spake, and came to Beth-lehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?

5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

6 ¶ And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.

7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this.

10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these.

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. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

14 ¶ But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

15 And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

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: 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.

17 And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me.

18 Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Beth-lehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.

19 ¶ Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.

21 And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer.

22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight.

23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1 Samuel 16:1-13 – God’s Choice of His Anointed

   The anointing of the young shepherd, with his ruddy cheeks and deep, poetic eyes, is a beautiful episode, in very marked contrast to the events preceding. He had already given proof of his indomitable courage, I Samuel 17:34. They had to fetch him from his sheep, which he was pasturing beside the still waters and on the hillside. God had found him beforehand, Psalm 89:20. “He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds… to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance” (Psalm 78:70-71).
   The procession of David’s brethren before Samuel was very impressive. They probably remembered that Saul had been chosen for his splendid physique, and each held himself high and proud. “Surely,” said Jesse to himself, “one of them will captivate the prophet’s eye.” But no! God chooses by the inward temper and disposition. He knew that David was a man after His own heart. The lad had been faithful in a few things and was now to be made ruler over many. The anointing oil reminds us of the anointing for service which was communicated to our Lord at His baptism. In David’s case it was accompanied by a glorious Pentecost, I Samuel 16:13.

I Samuel 16:13—The Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.

   What may not a day bring forth! Here was a shepherd lad, summoned hastily from his sheep, and anointed king. But an even greater blessing came into his life that day: for he was mightily endued with the Holy Spirit. Without doubt, during his early years the Spirit of God had dwelt within him, molding his character, inditing his songs; but, henceforth, the Spirit was to abide upon him, as a Divine unction.
   Why should not this day witness a similar transformation for you; not in the change of earthly position, but in your reception of the “power from on high” through a renewed enduement (Luke 24:49)? Why should not the Spirit of the Lord come mightily upon you from this holy hour, even as your eyes glance down this page? Though it is quite possible that you have been empowered once, there is no finality in God’s bestowals; the apostles were filled and filled again (Acts 2 and 4).
   The age of Pentecost in which we live is distinctly one of divine anointing. It awaits all who will separate themselves to God, and receive it for his glory. The characteristic preposition of this age is upon. If you have not received power, seek it; he that seeketh findeth; nay, receive it to ask is to get. If the Master, though begotten of the Holy Spirit, forbore to preach the Gospel, and bind up broken hearts, till He had been anointed as the Christ by the Spirit, who descended on Him at his baptism; how foolish it is for us, who were born in sin, to attempt similar work, apart from similar enduement! The promise to each child of God is: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8).

1 Samuel 16:14-23 – The Young Harper before the Dejected King

   In one sentence we are told of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon David, I Samuel 16:13, and in the next of the departure of the Spirit from Saul. This does not necessarily imply that all religious sensibility had become extinct, but that the special enduement which had fitted him for his kingly office had been withdrawn. An evil spirit “from the LORD” troubled him; that is, God permitted this spirit to enter. The garrison of peace and love had, been willfully dismissed by Saul, and by the inevitable operation of the divine law, as He had banished the light, he was necessarily left in darkness. God gave him up to a reprobate mind, Romans 1:24, 26, 28.
   The king’s depression demanded an antidote, which was provided by music. Philip V of Spain was helped in the same fashion. The minstrel was none other than the young shepherd so recently anointed. A directing Providence superintends every incident in life. That a servant of Saul’s had seen David in some country contest was only a link in the chain, I Samuel 16:18. God has a plan for each life. “All things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).