Saturday, February 19, 2011

1 Samuel 16: King David Anointed

David anointed by SamuelImage via Wikipedia
Intrigue and subterfuge, choreographed by God,  surrounded  Samuel's anointing of David as the new King of Israel.

In this episode God demonstrated a complete understanding of the emotional trauma and political difficulties that Samuel was experiencing.  While Samuel was still mourning the loss of Saul as a colleague in the Lord,  God presented him with directions to anoint a new king, a son of Jesse of Bethlehem.  When Samuel expressed his fear of being assassinated for such a treasonous act, God gave him a plan to work outside of Saul's suspicions.

Since Samuel commonly traveled to various towns to offer a sacrifice to the Lord, God directed him to travel to Bethlehem where he was to invite  Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice.  It seems that Samuel took Jesse into his confidence, because Jesse called his sons to come before Samuel individually.   However, the inexplicable happened.  Samuel understood that God had not chosen any of the seven young men who were presented to him.  So, he asked if there were any other sons.

Almost apologetically, Jesse said that he had another son, David, the youngest, the smallest, and the least significant of the brothers, who was assigned to tending the sheep.  Apparently, Jesse didn't think him important enough to invite to the sacrifice.  However, Samuel did not allow anyone to sit down to the sacrifice until David arrived.

As soon as Samuel saw David, the Lord directed him to anoint David in the presence of his brothers. From that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David with power and he could no longer be considered insignificant.

David became the King of Israel when only God knew his heart, when only God thought him significant, when only his immediate family was present at the anointing.  David had neither army nor following.  Though God anointed him King, David remained in his father's house serving him as a shepherd and entertaining him as a harpist.  It seems that David simply trusted in God to bring about what He declared to be true.  I think that as David waited for God's direction, he also grew deeper in his knowledge of God.  Through the Spirit of God he came to appreciate God's Sovereignty and God's timing, being fully assured that God's plans never fail.

Eventually, God brought David into Saul's presence by introducing him as a harpist whose playing relieved Saul of the evil spirits which tormented him.  God arranged that David was invited into Saul's throne room to effectively cast out demons which plagued Saul.  Even though he knew that he was the new King, David arrived humbly and willing to serve King Saul.  David did not insist on his own superiority before God but rather extended mercy and grace to a man who rejected God even though he was anointed by God.   By serving where God placed him, David demonstrated his love for God and his desire to obey Him, no matter how little sense he could find in God's directions.

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