David Anointed as King — God’s chooses David & says not to judge by appearance.
Reading 1: 1 Samuel 16
Reading 2: Psalm 78:70-72
Reading 3: John 7:24
In the midst of the self-important corruption of Saul’s reign, even Samuel is afraid of what the king might do to him, but God is still at work. Samuel is sent to Jesse’s house to select and anoint the next king. Yes, the first king is still very much alive, but this episode will foreshadow what will happen later when the True King (Jesus) will defeat the usurper king (satan) but the victory will not be fully enforced until God’s timing is met.
It is notable that Jesse doesn’t even count David among his sons at first: verse 5 of 1 Samuel 16 tells us “Then Samuel performed the purification rite for Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice, too.” But when they go through the process of learning to look at the heart, not the external appearance, they find that none of Jesse’s handsome sons is to be king. Then Jesse sends for David – the youngest and the one who is in charge of the sheep – the least important job in the family.
Do not despise insignificance – it prepares you for greatness in God’s timing. Being left out does not mean you are not in God’s plan – you may well be surprised!
Some time after David’s anointing, Saul’s condition deteriorates (more about that in a moment) and David is called to become his music therapist. His heart for worship was a channel for God’s Spirit to be released into the situation.
The reason for Saul’s distress was a demonic spirit, which God had allowed to trouble Saul after Saul persistently turned away from God to go his own way and depend on his own wisdom, power, and authority. The passage calls the demon “A tormenting spirit from God” but this should not be taken to mean God sends evil spirits to trouble us. That would be totally inconsistent with God’s holiness, His heart of love, and His purity. However, there are plenty of places in scripture where God allows people to experience the consequences of their sin and rebellion which include torment by evil spirits. That is what is happening here. It is rather like a loving parent who refuses to bail their child out of jail after a series of crimes. The imprisonment is caused by the parent (from the child’s point of view) but it is a consequence of the wrong choices made repeatedly. You can read more about this challenging passage at these two websites.
Psalm 78 says of David “He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.” What a contrast with Saul, who used them with a selfish heart and threatened them with harsh, authoritative and judgmental hands. Too many ‘Christians’ today resemble Saul more than David, which is a tragic open door to the diminishing of godly influence in our culture.
But David’s discovery, promotion, and anointing give us hope that God will also use us for His glory if we prove faithful in obscurity and focus more on keeping a true heart than exerting our rights, opinions, and distorted representations of God.
Have a great day!