1 Samuel 16

Time To Move On

Samuel is consumed with grief and depressed by the failure of Saul. The Lord confronts Samuel about the posture of his heart. It was sad to see Saul rejected, but it was inappropriate for Samuel to remain in a state of grief and despair. God called Samuel to make preparations for a new king who would be found among the sons of Jesse in Bethlehem. Grief, despair, and depression can have a profound on people. Samuel, the fiery old prophet who confronted the people over their disobedience, rebuked the king of Israel and slew a foreign king is afraid of Saul. He believes that Saul will see it as an act of treason and react violently. God instructs Samuel to offer a sacrifice and invite Jesse. Samuel may have still been in the habit of visiting various cities. Samuel obeys the Lord and travels to Bethlehem to visit a descendant of Ruth and Boaz. As Samuel nears the city, the elders of the town came to inquire about Samuel's intentions out of fear. Samuel eases their fears and explains that he has come to worship. He directs the men to consecrate themselves and prepare for the service. It would seem that Samuel does not know how God would reveal the new king, but he is eager to meet him. Jesse introduces his sons to Samuel, and when Eliab is presented, Samuel believes that he must be the new king because of his appearance and his stature. The Lord cautions Samuel about looking at the outward appearance because God had not chosen this handsome son. God explains that he does not judge one by their external appearance, he looks on the heart. Jesse continues to present his sons one by one until Samuel was forced to ask if Jesse had any more sons. Jesse explains that the youngest is keeping the sheep. Samuel asks Jesse to send for him declaring that they would not share the fellowship meal together until David arrived. The family waits as David is asked to join them and when he comes in he is described as having beautiful eyes as well as being handsome. The Lord told Samuel to arise and anoint the new king of Israel. Samuel anoints David in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David. Samuel finished the meal and returned to Ramah. 

A Man Who Can Play Well

The Spirit had left Saul, and his mental health deteriorated. The Lord allowed an evil spirit to torment Saul. Saul’s servants suggested that music might bring relief from the evil spirit. Saul agreed and authorized his servants to seek out a skilled player and one of the servants suggested David who had a reputation for being a skilled musician. David was also described as prudent in speech, handsome, a warrior, a man of valor, and people recognized that the Lord was with him. Saul dispatched messengers to Jesse and asked him to send David for royal service. Jesse sent gifts with David to present to King Saul. David entered into service for the king and quickly gained his favor. Saul loved David and made him his armor-bearer. Saul sent word to Jesse that David was to remain in his royal position and play for Saul whenever he was troubled by an evil spirit. This practice brought Saul temporary relief from the tormenting spirits. 

Things To Consider: 

  • Why do you think Samuel continued to grieve over Saul after his failure?
  • How does serving the Lord help us cope with our circumstances?
  • Do you think Samuel has changed? Why or why not?
  • Was it ethical for God to send Samuel as he did? Why or why not?
  • How does God see us? Is that frightening or comforting? Why? 
  • Do you think it mattered that David was the youngest or that he came from obscurity? Why?
  • Why is important to know that the Spirit rushed upon David?
  • Why did the Spirit depart from Saul?
  • Why do you think the servants suggested music to Saul?
  • How does one receive a reputation like David?
  • What can we learn from David's service to Saul?