1 Samuel 16
1 Samuel 16
Shawn Bumpers / General
1 Samuel / Calling; Obedience; Grace; Courage
David is Anointed King
Looking back a few chapters, you may remember that Israel had rejected Samuel’s leadership because he was too old and they didn’t want his sons to succeed him.
His sons, you will remember, abused their positions as priests by taking bribes and perverting justice.
But Saul was guilty of disobeying God’s clear commands and of lying about what he had done.
1 Samuel 15:26 NKJV
But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.”
Now, …. Saul was still in office, but he was unfit to lead the nation, and his old friend, the prophet Samuel has broken fellowship with him.
In fact, in the very first verse of our chapter, it speaks of Samuel mourning for Saul.
According to Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time to mourn, but as the LORD said to Joshua in chapter 7, there is also a time to act.
As much as Saul desired to have a people pleasing image, David’s kingship would be marked by a desire to please the Lord, though he would, as did Saul, stumble a few times.
While it is true that David sinned.
Unlike Saul, David confessed his sins and sought to restore his fellowship with God. We see in these chapters three scenes in David’s early life.
Proverbs 28:13 NKJV
He who covers his sins will not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
When it comes to our sin, God wants full disclosure, and He grants full forgiveness.
Isaiah 1:18 NKJV
“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.
Daniel 2:47 NKJV
The king answered Daniel, and said, “Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret.”
Psalm 90:8 NKJV
You have set our iniquities before You,
Our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.
Luke 8:17 NKJV
For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.
1 John 1:9 NKJV
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If an election had been held in Israel to choose a replacement for Saul, the people would not have chosen David.
But David was God’s choice.
David was not “kingly” according to what the world thinks … in fact, even Samuel was convinced it had to be one of David’s taller, bigger, brothers that he was sent by God to anoint.
Psalm 78:70–71 NKJV
He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
God will not allow His work to die with the death or failure of a man.
If it is God’s work, it goes beyond any man.
But the greatest question we may have is, “Did God tell Samuel to lie?”
This was strictly true.
Samuel did offer a sacrifice.
Notice the closing phrase of verse 1, “For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”
The implication of this phrase is that there is a great difference between this new king and the last one.
The setting for this anointing of the new (to be) king was Bethlehem.
Bethlehem was a small town in Judah … but it was also well-known to the Jewish people.
When Jacob and his family were on their way to Bethel, his wife Rachel died near Bethlehem while giving birth to Benjamin (Genesis 35).
As Israel’s judge and prophet, Samuel had the right to travel where he pleased.
But Saul was a suspicious man and his spies might report what Samuel was doing.
But the Elders of Israel new of the strained relationship of Saul and Samuel and so they were alarmed that Samuel had come to them.
But Samuel did something more … he selected (קדשׁ qdš (kee-DASH) consecrated) Jesse and his sons out of all the people of Bethlehem and invited them to the sacrifice.
I would imagine that Jesse was quite surprised by Samuel’s invitation to him and his family out of all the people of Bethlehem.
The idea was not that Jesse and his sons were to just watch Samuel sacrifice this heifer.
Before the guests sat down to enjoy the fellowship feast, Samuel looked over 7 of Jesse’s sons, thinking that the whole family was there.
But he was operating by sight rather than by faith.
1 Samuel 10:24 NKJV
And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?”
So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!”
The LORD looks at the heart.
This was both a statement of fact, and an exhortation to godly thinking.
He also saw Abinadab and Shammah whom were not God’s chosen.
You see, as far as the flesh is concerned, Eliab and the seven oldest sons of Jesse were perfect potential kings.
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Dying to self is part of being born again.
The old self dies and the new self comes to life.
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 NKJV
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Anyways … can you imagine Samuel’s dismay at going through all of Jesse’s sons and none of them is the LORD’s choice?
Samuel was a prophet, and knew how to trust the word of the LORD given to him.
So insignificant was David in the family of Jesse that he wasn’t even called in from the flocks to attend this special feast.
This is often how God chooses.
1 Corinthians 1:26 NKJV
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
And what a contrast with Saul!
David, on the other hand, was busy caring for his father’s sheep.
• Keeping the sheep was a servant’s job.
• AND … Keeping the sheep meant you had time to think.
Psalm 19:1 NKJV
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Psalm 8:1 NKJV
O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
Psalm 23:1–2 NKJV
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
• Keeping the sheep took a special heart, a special care.
• Keeping the sheep meant you had to trust God in the midst of danger.
And there is perhaps a bit of encouragement for ourselves that we can receive from this.
This isn’t waiting time, this is training time.
While the physical appearance wasn’t the most important thing for a king, David seems to have been striking in appearance.
Saul was different from most people of that day because he was exceptionally tall.
But David was of fair skin and light haired … perhaps even red-headed.
Saul, on the other hand, was a “Choice and handsome man … more so than anyone in Israel” is what 1 Samuel 9 said.
1 Samuel 15:28 NKJV
So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.
As unlikely as he appeared, David was better than Saul in the eyes of God.
1 Samuel 13:14 NKJV
But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
Where did David get this heart?
Obviously, from time spent with the LORD.
So, after looking at Jesse’s 7 sons, Samuel finally found the man God had chosen … a man after God’s own heart.
It’s interesting that David was son number 8 because in scripture 8 is often the number of a new beginning.
In scripture, only prophets, priests and kings were anointed.
And the anointings had to be performed by a person authorized by the Lord.
John 15:5 NKJV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
From the actions of David, Jesse, and David’s brothers from this point on, we can gather that only God and Samuel knew exactly what was happening here.
Everyone else probably thought that Samuel was just honoring David for some reason.
When David and Jonathan became friends and covenanted to be faithful to each other, it is likely that David told Jonathan that he was anointed by Samuel according to the instructions of God to be king.
It doesn’t seem likely that Jonathan told his paranoid father, but somehow Saul found out, and then he tried all the harder to kill David.
I find it interesting that Samuel went to Ramah.
He didn’t try to start a campaign to have David placed on the throne.
In fact, David will become one of the greatest men of the Bible.
What a tragic contrast: the Spirit came upon David, but departed from Saul!
An evil spirit was permitted by God to afflict Saul and he became, at times, like a madman.
James 1:17 NKJV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
Romans 8:9–11 NKJV
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NKJV
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Saul began to act strangely, and his behavior prompted his servants to suggest that he call a skilled musician to soothe him.
It’s too bad that Saul’s servants dealt with the symptoms and not with the causes, for music could never change Saul’s sinful heart.
The servants should have prayed for Saul to get right with God!
Already we can see David’s abilities being recognized, yet David was not promoting himself: God was doing it.
1 Peter 5:6 NKJV
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
Too many people today try to push themselves into prominent places without first proving themselves in the small matters.