16 David Chosen

<< 1 Samuel 16: David Anointed King >>

SAUL was to be no longer king. The old prophet Samuel who had anointed Saul was now sent by the Lord to anoint a more faithful king. He would find him in Bethlehem, a son of Jesse.

We see the old man journeying from his home in Ramah, wilh the horn of oil and a heifer, to the little town of Bethlehem. The name means “house of bread,” for there were rich valleys about the hill on which Bethlehem stood, and other hills near by were green with olives and vines.

Samuel made a sacrifice and called Jesse and his family to come. Seven of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel, but though they were tall and handsome the Lord had not chosen them. Saul had been chosen, who was tall and handsome, but the new king must have a faithful heart. The youngest son was keeping the sheep. His name was David, which means “beloved” or “darling.” He was “ruddy,” with reddish hair and light skin, which were considered marks of beauty in a country where people were usually dark and with black hair.

Can you tell me about the shepherd boys in the land of Canaan? They led the sheep about where there was good pasture, and in the dry weather found the springs where they could drink. They protected them from wild animals. We learn how David saved the flock from a lion and a bear. He had a sling as a weapon and also to attract the attention of sheep that strayed from the flock. He had a staff, too, and a shepherd’s bag to carry what he needed to eat. The shepherd did not drive the sheep, but went before them, and they knew his voice and each one knew its name. When the sheep were tired or feeble the shepherd led them gently, and often carried the little lambs in his arms and in the folds of his loose coat. Often the shepherds abode in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. David spent many nights in the field and looked up at the stars so many and so bright, and thought “What is man, that thou art mindful of him!”

David was called from the flock in the Lord told Samuel what to do.

When Saul was anointed king the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. But now it was with David, and an evil spirit was with Saul. So they brought David, and when he played upon the harp, perhaps singing at the same time, Saul was refreshed and well. David afterwards sang many songs. He was called “the sweet psalmist of Israel,” and he himself said, “the Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.” Many of the Psalms that we love are songs that David sang from the Spirit of the Lord. Often when wrong thoughts and feelings trouble us and we are unhappy, if we remember one of these Psalms and say it to ourselves or read it, it will help us. It is like sending for David to sing for us.

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 Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. 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. 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. 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? 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. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him. 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. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the LORD chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. 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. 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.

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. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee. 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. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, 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. Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. 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. And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 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 XVI.

Author: William L. Worcester 1904

Spiritual Correspondences

David Anointed >> The coming into power of spiritual understanding of the Lord’s Truth

David, a shepherd >> Love and good uses

Bethlehem >> Spiritual of the Celestial >> Truth of Good >> Affection of Truth from Good

Music of David’s harp >> Confession, intelligent from spiritual understanding

David’s Psalms >> The Lord’s states of trial and glorification