1 Samuel
Introduction 1 Samuel Must Go to Anoint David 2-3 Samuel Has Objections 4 Samuel Comes to Bethlehem 5-10 The Sons of Jesse 11-13 David Anointed 14-17 An Evil Spirit of God on Saul 18 A Servant Describes David 19-23 David with Saul
Introduction

Here begins the history of David, a man who, with his sword and his pen, served the honor of God and the interests of Israel. It is the man who has been previously described as “the man after God’s heart” (1Sam 13:1414But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”; Acts 13:2222After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all My will.’) and who as Saul’s neighbor is “better” than he (1Sam 15:2828So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.). David means ‘loved’, ‘beloved’. He is not so for his brothers; but he is it of the LORD. The LORD, that is the Lord Jesus, is the root of David (Rev 22:1616“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”; 5:55and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”). David is rooted in Him and comes forth from Him. David came forth from the heart of God.

There are a few statements that shows God’s choice of David in a special way. Thus he is “the man” who is “sought” by the LORD (1Sam 13:14a14But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”). He is “found” by the LORD as “My servant” (Psa 89:2121With whom My hand will be established;
My arm also will strengthen him.
), he is “selected” by the LORD as “king” (1Sam 16:11Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.”) and “has appointed him as ruler over His people” (1Sam 13:14b14But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”). David is in many ways a wonderful type of the Lord Jesus. Time and again we will be reminded of Him in His history.

David is the third protagonist of this Bible book. Of the two other main characters, Samuel and Saul, a lot has already become known to us. Samuel and Saul are both prayed of the LORD, they are asked for. For Samuel is asked of the LORD by a God-fearing mother (1Sam 1:11,2011She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”20It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, [saying], “Because I have asked him of the LORD.”). Saul has also been asked for and this by a whole people, although a people who deviated from God (1Sam 8:55and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.”). The name Saul means ‘asked’ or ‘coveted’.

Saul is the man after the heart of the people. By giving him God has given the people what they have asked for. The desire to have a king was not wrong, for God had it in His heart to give them a king. However, they do not ask about God’s time and motives, nor about God’s man. They want a king because they want to be like the nations. However, God uses their question to show the contrast between their taste and His taste. He first meets their desires and then shows them who meets His desires. Here we see the principle: “The spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual” (1Cor 15:4646However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.).

David forms a great contrast with both Samuel and Saul. No one asked for David. He is even forgotten. Nobody thinks of him (cf. Ecc 9:14-1514There was a small city with few men in it and a great king came to it, surrounded it and constructed large siegeworks against it.15But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man.). Only God thinks of him (1Sam 13:1414But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”). He is therefore God’s sovereign gift according to the wishes of His heart. The LORD says that He has chosen David (1Sam 16:11Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.”), David is his choice. This is in contrast to the way in which Saul became king. He is the choice of the people. Saul responds to their search for their own honor. David will answer to the honor of God.


Samuel Must Go to Anoint David

1Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.”

Samuel has a hard time saying goodbye to Saul. He knows God’s thoughts about Saul. However, that does not make him happy, but sad. His grief is not superficial. God’s rejection of Saul makes a deep impression on him and he grieves over it. He is aware of how much Saul has deviated. How is has to go with the people? God sees his grieve. He doesn’t tell him not to grieve, but reprimands him for having grieved long enough.

God tells Samuel why he can stop grieving. It is the decision of God. All his prayers and tears cannot incite God to revoke it (cf. 2Sam 12:22-2322He said, “While the child was [still] alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’23But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”). The fact that God had to reject Saul has to do with his acts with him because of his behavior. God could not go on with him. He had to reject him and could not keep him as king over His people. Now God wants David to be anointed as the substitute for Saul. This must be done in secret and must also be kept secret. It is not God’s intention to make David an insurgent who, after his anointing, forcibly scares Saul and takes his place.

God shares His thoughts so that we may see things as He sees them and feel them as He feels them. If grief prevails, God cannot continue. When He says it’s enough, He offers a new perspective at the same time. Samuel is ordered to fill his horn with oil. He must go to anoint someone.

The horn speaks of strength (cf. Lk 1:6969And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—
). For what Samuel has to do, spiritual strength is needed. The horn comes from a sacrificial animal. It reminds us that the kingship of David is based on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus, to which every sacrifice in the Old Testament refers. The whole basis of David’s anointing is very different from that of Saul. Saul is anointed from a flask (1Sam 10:11Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?), which represents fragility.

For the anointing Samuel has to go to Bethlehem. He must go to Jesse, because one of his sons has been chosen by God to be king. The name of David is not mentioned by God. “Jesse” means “Yahweh exists”. In Bethlehem the foundation of the generation is laid. Boaz dwelt there (Rth 2:44Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, “May the LORD be with you.” And they said to him, “May the LORD bless you.”). Jesse is the son of Obed and Obed is the son of Boaz and Ruth (Rth 4:21-2221and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed,22and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.). David is the great-grandson of Boaz and Ruth.

Bethlehem is located in the area of the tribe of Judah. After the prophecy of Jacob the Messiah comes forth from this tribe (Gen 49:1010“The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him [shall be] the obedience of the peoples.
; Mic 5:1a1“Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops;
They have laid siege against us;
With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek.
) . Bethlehem means ‘bread house’. That is the place where blessing comes from. The Lord Jesus is “the living bread” (Jn 6:5151I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”). The house of the Father is the true ‘bread house’. The Lord Jesus came to earth to open its storerooms and to respond to the spiritual hunger on earth with the Father’s abundance.


Samuel Has Objections

2But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears [of it], he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you.”

Samuel has objections. He has sorrow and soul pain because of Saul’s rejection, and at the same time he is afraid of Saul. He became an enemy for Saul, but Saul did not become an enemy for him. With Samuel there are no feelings of enmity against Saul.

Samuel has not shown the slightest fear in previous meetings with Saul. He fearlessly told Saul that God is taking the kingship from him and giving it to his neighbor. Perhaps Samuel has already had to deal with a tantrum of Saul, as we see such later in this chapter. If it turns out that he anointed another king, Saul’s rage is predictable.

The LORD does not blame Samuel for his fear, but comes to meet him. He gives him protection: a sacrificial animal as a peace offering. The sacrificial animal that Samuel has to take with him is not only for himself. It also serves to have a sacrificial meal with it, for which he must invite Jesse. During that meal God will tell who should anoint Samuel. With His indications about the sacrificial animal God – in picture – brings His Son to Samuel and Jesse and his family to show what the basis is on which He deals with him and them.


Samuel Comes to Bethlehem

4So Samuel did what the LORD said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel follows the LORD’s command and goes to Bethlehem. When he appears there so unexpectedly, the elders become afraid. This indicates that the people did not expect his coming (cf. Mt 2:33When Herod the king heard [this], he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.). Their reaction seems to indicate that things are not right. Why else should they be so afraid at the coming of the man of God?

We naturally love the government of the flesh – of which Saul is the type – because it gives us a deceptive rest. As soon as something of God’s Spirit comes, it becomes restless and we become afraid. It is with it as with the appearance of Paul in Corinth, through his letter. His letter also reveals that many things are not right. He even threatens to come with the rod (1Cor 4:2121What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?).


The Sons of Jesse

5He said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him.” 7But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God [sees] not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 10Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”

The coming of Samuel is peace, for he comes with a peace offering, and his goal is to anoint David. The offering is for the LORD, and the meal is for Jesse and his sons. To be able to participate in it, consecration is necessary. They need to clean their clothes and themselves. That is what Samuel commands. He takes up the consecration himself. By this act he sets them apart from all the other people of Bethlehem to keep the sacrificial meal with them.

Jesse lets his sons come in one by one. He starts with the oldest and tallest. When Samuel sees him, he is clearly impressed by this appearance (cf. 1Sam 10:2424Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? Surely there is no one like him among all the people.” So all the people shouted and said, “[Long] live the king!”). We see here that even prophets who speak under Divine guidance are as subject to mistakes as other people. We see that also with Nathan (2Sam 7:2-52that the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains.”3Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the LORD is with you.”4But in the same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying,5“Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in?). Here we see that Samuel is in fact looking for a second Saul.

Eliab’s tall stature is reminiscent of Saul. Our natural hearts are quickly impressed by what we see. We must learn that God has never chosen the first born after the flesh. On the contrary, it is precisely they who are under the judgment of death. He chose not Cain, but Abel, not Ishmael, but Isaac, not Esau, but Jacob.

God tells Samuel how He looks at people. It is not about the appearance, but about the heart. This lesson is difficult for us to learn, but it is necessary. The Lord sees the heart that He also knows completely (Jer 17:1010“I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.
; 1Chr 28:99“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.; Psa 7:1010My shield is with God,
Who saves the upright in heart.
; Jer 11:2020But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously,
Who tries the feelings and the heart,
Let me see Your vengeance on them,
For to You have I committed my cause.
; 20:1212Yet, O LORD of hosts, You who test the righteous,
Who see the mind and the heart;
Let me see Your vengeance on them;
For to You I have set forth my cause.
).

After teaching about how God looks at people, the next sons of Jesse pass Samuel by. Every time the LORD says that He has not chosen him. Samuel can happily intercept the voice of the LORD of his own preference. The first Saul has failed. Every next Saul will also fail. We need a man after a completely different model. Even Samuel has yet to learn that. God sees the heart. He knows the heart of David, which is a heart like His own.

So seven sons pass by. In the number seven we see how the complete glory of what man is passes by to make way for the eighth. The number eight speaks of a new beginning. [Here we read that Jesse has eight sons, however in the genealogy in 1 Chronicles 2 only seven are mentioned (1Chr 2:13-1513and Jesse became the father of Eliab his firstborn, then Abinadab the second, Shimea the third,14Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth,15Ozem the sixth, David the seventh;). ]


David Anointed

11And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

When all the sons have passed by Samuel, he must say that the LORD has not chosen any of them. Then he asks Jesse if he has shown all his sons. Jesse answers that there is another son, the youngest. He did not think of him. None of the seven brothers has thought of him either. They all forgot him. Jesse does not even mention the name of his son, David, but speaks of him as “the youngest”. It is clear that David is not the choice of men. Thus the Lord Jesus was passed by, people forgot Him, and did not pay attention to Him. “For not even His brothers were believing in Him” (Jn 7:55For not even His brothers were believing in Him.).

Jesse says what David is doing at that moment: “behold, he is tending the sheep.” In faithfulness he takes care of the few sheep of his father. Samuel gives the order to get David. The way in which Samuel’s first meeting with David takes place is very different from Samuel’s first meeting with Saul. David is with the sheep, while Saul was looking for lost asses that he also did not yet find. David is literally taken from behind the sheep to become king (Psa 78:7070He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
).

Jesse obeys and sends for David. That indeed must be, because without David there will be no meal. He is the main character. When he enters, he comes as it were from nowhere. His name is not even mentioned. However, his beauty is being described. The beauty of David is different from that of Saul. He resembles the Lord Jesus (Song 5:10a10“My beloved is dazzling and ruddy,
Outstanding among ten thousand.
). He is ruddy, reddish, something special in Israel. He also has beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. This is where his moral characteristics come to expression. His eyes point to his insight which is shaped through his relationship with God. His appearance relates to his behavior, his actions, in which he is also led by God. Samuel must anoint him.

David is anointed in the midst of his brothers. Saul is anointed when he is all alone. David is anointed twice more after this: in the midst of his tribe, Judah (2Sam 2:44Then the men of Judah came and there anointed David king over the house of Judah. And they told David, saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.”), and over all Israel (2Sam 5:33So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them before the LORD at Hebron; then they anointed David king over Israel.). Here, as the Lord Jesus is anointed at His baptism, he takes His place in the midst of the remnant. In Psalm 89 (Psa 89:20-2120“I have found David My servant;
With My holy oil I have anointed him,
21With whom My hand will be established;
My arm also will strengthen him.
) we see the connection between election and anointing in words that apply to the Lord Jesus in their fullness (cf. Isa 61:11The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
Because the LORD has anointed me
To bring good news to the afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
; Lk 4:18-2118“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
20And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him.21And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
; Psa 45:7-87You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
8All Your garments are [fragrant with] myrrh and aloes [and] cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
; Heb 1:8-98But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.9“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions.”).

We too are anointed with the Holy Spirit (2Cor 1:2121Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,; 1Jn 2:2020But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.) We have not only received the Holy Spirit in us by faith, but there is also talk of the Holy Spirit Who is upon us. This is especially the case when it comes to do a service for God. There is a direct link between anointing and service. In this context, the Lord Jesus speaks of being “clothed with power from on high” (Lk 24:4949And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”).

At the anointing of Saul Samuel spoke a few words (1Sam 10:11Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on his head, kissed him and said, “Has not the LORD anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?). At the anointing of David he says nothing, at least not something that is recorded. That is not to say that David did not know the meaning of his anointing. The emphasis is on the fact of anointing.

The true king is anointed now. But it pleases God that the way of climbing the throne will be as special as his election as king. Who has ever made such a journey to the throne after being anointed, except the Lord Jesus, of whom David is an example in so many ways? David is made fit for government, while at the same time the people become public in their anger. God uses that anger to prepare His chosen vessel for the throne. He teaches David by trusting him alone. David is probably around twenty years old here. He is thirty when Saul dies. So he suffered from Saul during about ten years.

When Samuel has anointed David, he returns to Ramah. After this we read of him only twice (1Sam 19:1818Now David fled and escaped and came to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth.; 25:11Then Samuel died; and all Israel gathered together and mourned for him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.). He retreats to Ramah to die there in peace, as it were. To have seen his eyes, so to speak, in David, the salvation (cf. Lk 2:27b-3027And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law,28then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
30For my eyes have seen Your salvation,
), in whom the scepter came into the tribe of Judah (Gen 49:1010“The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes,
And to him [shall be] the obedience of the peoples.
).


An Evil Spirit of God on Saul

14Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him. 15Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you. 16Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play [the harp] with his hand, and you will be well.” 17So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring [him] to me.”

While the Spirit rests upon David from the anointing, He departs from Saul. When the Spirit of the LORD departs from Saul and an evil spirit of the LORD terrorizes him, it does not mean that Saul is a believer first and then no longer. Saul has not been a believer. Nor is it about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Saul is the anointed king, and as such God has been with him. Because Saul rejected God, God withdraws from him.

In the empty place comes an evil spirit, for what God does not fill, the devil fills. In agreement with His spirit, God sends an evil spirit which, like all evil spirits, is also subject only to God and is used by Him to achieve His purpose. Satan is always limited in his actions and can only act within the limits set by God (Job 1:1212Then the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him.” So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.; 2:66So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”).

It goes with Saul just like once with Pharaoh. Saul has so often rejected God that now is the moment when God cannot help him. No doubt the evil spirit will have given him the feeling that he has been abandoned by God and no longer has His approval. An evil spirit processes spiritual suffering and brings extreme despair and finally suicide. He makes a person incapable to perform his normal activities because he only makes him busy with himself.

Saul’s servants see that it is an evil spirit coming from God. They have compassion with him and propose a solution. The means that his servants recommend to him for enlightenment is music. It would have been much better if they had advised him to go to God with sincere repentance. They could also have suggested asking Samuel to come and pray for him and plead with God for him. Then he would not only have had enlightenment for the moment, but the good spirit of God would have returned to him.

But their goal is to make him happy and thus heal him. Through such gods many, whose conscience is convinced and startled of sin, are led to destruction. Their proposal is a method whereby all the worries of the soul are smothered in the pleasures of the senses. The servants of Saul would not have been wrong to present music as an aid to cheer up his spirit, if they had sent it to the prophet to give Saul good advice.

What is positive is that they have not proposed to ask a sorceress or soothsayer to cast out the evil spirit by incantations. Such an ungodly practice we find with those who adorn themselves with the name Christian, but in their distress have consulted the devil, with whom they have resorted to hell. It will be nothing less than a miracle of divine grace if those who surrender in this way to Satan are ever delivered from his power.


A Servant Describes David

18Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him.”

The servants have known David for a long time. They know his music. He has sung and played about God. Music can have a soothing effect (2Kgs 3:1515But now bring me a minstrel.” And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.). However, it only brings a natural peace. There must be played by a man of God, because it is about scaring an evil spirit. It is not a therapy, but a spiritual struggle. That’s why more about David is being told than just that he can play and sing. Besides being able to, he is also known as a hero and warrior. The servant who knows David’s musical qualities has also heard David speak, and he also testifies of this before Saul (cf. Jn 7:4646The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”). As the servant before Saul speaks of David, his brothers know him not, for they have no eye for it.

The servant knows all this of David, without David having been in the army. These are all characteristics that only stand out when they are used. With Saul it is only the appearance, his tall stature. The appearance of David is also beautiful, but different than with Saul. It is only beautiful for those who have an eye for it. It is not for the natural eye, but for the spiritual eye. For that beauty we have to look deeper than the surface, deeper than the directly perceptible.

The last thing the servant says about David is that the LORD is with him. The servant has also noticed that. This testimony is given several times of Joseph (Gen 39:2-3,21,232The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.3Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and [how] the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.21But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.23The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper.). It is also given from the Lord Jesus (Acts 10:3838[You know of] Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and [how] He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.). Everything is reminiscent of the Lord Jesus. That the servant notices it as a special thing, says everything of the people of God, for it is something that should have been said of the whole people.


David with Saul

19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David who is with the flock.” 20Jesse took a donkey [loaded with] bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent [them] to Saul by David his son. 21Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer. 22Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23So it came about whenever the [evil] spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play [it] with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.

Saul listens to his servant’s proposal and sends for David. He mentions the name of David, so there is no doubt about who he means. Furthermore, he notes as a peculiarity that it is about him “who is with the flock”. David is not at home, but at work with the animals he has to take care of and protect.

Jesse acknowledges the honor that Saul has given him in this way. He sends David to Saul with a gift. Thus David comes to Saul. That God sends an evil spirit to Saul is the reason why David comes to Saul’s court. Thus David comes to the court of Saul through God sovereignty. He must get to know Saul, and vice versa. By God’s providence David comes to Saul, just as Joseph and Moses previously had come into the opposition of the rulers of their days.

Also at Saul’s court David is faithful in his service. His service was much appreciated by Saul, so much so that he started to love David. Saul is the first person we read that he loves David. The hatred of Saul he later shows is not directed at David’s person, but at what he does and will be. He hates him not because of his attributes, but because of his calling. He sees in David a competitor for the throne he does not want to give up.

Later he will make him his armor bearer, a special function of trust in the king’s immediate surroundings. The Spirit is already pointing this out here. The question to Jesse to always have David with him is also asked later. Saul initially only met David as a player during his angry moods. Later he gets to know him better.

It must have given a good feeling to Jesse as a father that Saul gives such a testimony of his son. David has behaved as a good citizen and met the expectations. In the same way, employers should also be able to talk about our children as employees.

Saul benefits from the service of David, but it does not change his attitude toward the LORD. Just as the evil spirit of Saul departs from him by the music of David, so too the service of the Lord Jesus during His walk on earth enlightened many who were possessed by evil spirits. Even in the days of the Lord Jesus, many profited from the blessings He spread, but also without conversion to God.

Harps are sometimes linked to prophecy service (1Sam 10:55Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying.; 1Chr 25:1a1Moreover, David and the commanders of the army set apart for the service [some] of the sons of Asaph and of Heman and of Jeduthun, who [were] to prophesy with lyres, harps and cymbals; and the number of those who performed their service was:). The application is to make that the Word of God that is spoken in a meeting can have a calming effect. The service of New Testament prophets – a service that is open to every brother in the congregation (1Cor 14:25-3325the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.26What is [the outcome] then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.27If anyone speaks in a tongue, [it should be] by two or at the most three, and [each] in turn, and one must interpret;28but if there is no interpreter, he must keep silent in the church; and let him speak to himself and to God.29Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.30But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent.31For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted;32and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets;33for God is not [a God] of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.) – is about the upbuilding of the church. “But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation” (1Cor 14:33But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation.). When such words are spoken, it will be a pleasant experience for any attendee who expects something from the Lord that is useful to his or her spiritual life.


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