Enduring Word Bible Commentary 1 Samuel chapter 16 (2023)

Audio for 1 Samuel 16:

1 Samuel 16:1-13—God's kind of king

1 Samuel 16:14-23—God's worship leader

A. Samuel anoints David king.

Psalms that might fit this time: 8, 19, 23, and 29.

1. (1-3) God commands Samuel to go and anoint a new king over Israel.

Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him from ruling over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I'm sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have made myself a king among his sons." And Samuel said, "How can I go? When Saul hears itEs, He will kill me." But the Lord said: "Take a cow with you and say: 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' Then invite Jesse to sacrifice and I will show you what you should do ; you shall anoint the one I name for you."

A.How long will you mourn for Saul: There is a time to mourn, but there is also a time to move on.Fill your horn with oilMust have upset Samuel because he knew God wanted him to anoint someone else king over Israel.

I. God will never allow His work to die in human death or failure. If yesgodWork, it transcends every human being. Perhaps Samuel was paralyzed with grief over Saul's tragic rebellion, but God was not paralyzed.

B.I'm sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite: Israel's next king would be foundamong his sons, the sons of Jesse. Jesse was the grandson of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 4:17, 22).

C.how can i go If Saul hears it, he will kill me: We certainly canunderstandSamuel's fear. There is no doubt that Saul would consider this betrayal. At the same time, it shows a tinge of fear in Samuel that we almost see with surprise. Perhaps Samuel's excessive grief for Saul brought an element of fear and unbelief to his heart. Samuel didn't have to worry because God had promisedI'll show you what to do.

I. Did God tell Samuel to lie? Not at all. "It was strictTRUE; Samuelmade a sacrifice; and it does not seem that he could have done the work which God had planned unless he had offered this sacrifice and called together the elders of the people, and this would have gathered Jesse's sons. But he did not tell the main plan of his coming; had he done so, would have produced itdevilishAndnot good.“ (Clark)

D.For I have made myself a king among his sons: Years before, Israel rejected the Lord as their king and they wanted a human king instead. God gave them a human king of their own volition (Saul), but God still sat on the throne and crowned whom He willed, as He willed.

I. The simple fact was that Godtatrule Israel. They could acknowledge his rule, submit to it, and enjoy the benefits. Or they could oppose his rule over Israel and suffer because of it. It doesn't matter what my attitude towards God is as far as it affects His eventual victory. The LORD is God and King and will always triumph. But my attitude countsmuchas it affects my ultimate destiny.

ii. We need not fear for the future when we know that God has provided leaders for Himself. In some unlikely places, God is raising up leaders for His people. He will keep them in darkness and hidden until the right time, when He will raise them up.

e.You shall anoint for me the one I name: The first king of Israel was anointedfor the people. He was the "King of the Central Cast", the kind king of thePeoplesought. Now the “popular election” has failed and has disqualified itself. “Now,” said the Lord, “it is time for a kingFor me.” God wanted to show IsraelBeKönig.

2. (4-5) Samuel comes to Bethlehem for sacrifice.

So Samuel did what the Lord said and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city trembled at his arrival, saying, "Do you come in peace?" And he said: “Peacefully; I came to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves and come to sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to sacrifice.

A.So Samuel did what the Lord said and went to Bethlehem: Bethlehem was a small town not far from Jerusalem. It was the home of Ruth and Boaz, from whom Jesse's family descended. It was a hilly corn-growing region with many small cornfields carved into the hillsides.

B.And the elders of the city trembled at his arrival, saying, "Do you come in peace?"Considering what Samuel had just done to the Amalekite king Agag (1 Samuel 15:33), it is no wonder the elders of Bethlehem were afraid.

C.come with me to sacrifice: The idea wasn't that Jesse and his sons should just watch as Samuel sacrificed that heifer. They observed the sacrifice and then participated in a large ceremonial meal, eating the meat that came from the sacrificed animal.

I. When an animal was sacrificed to atone for sins, none of it was eaten and all was burned before the LORD. But when an animal was sacrificed as a peace offering, fellowship offering, or consecration offering, part of the animal was burned before the Lord and part of it was eaten in a special ceremonial meal.

3. (6-10) God does not choose any of Jesse's older sons.

When they came, he looked at Eliab and said, "Truly, the anointed of the LORDIsbefore him." But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or his physical stature, for I have cast him out. Forthe Lord doesnotseehow man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” So Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass in front of Samuel. And he said: The Lord did not choose this one either. Then Jesse let Shammah pass. And he said: The Lord did not choose this one either. So Jesse let seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, The LORD did not choose these.

A.Verily, the anointed of the LORD is before him: When Samuel looked at the eldest sonEliabhe thought, "This man really does look like a king. That must be the one that God will tell me to anoint. That's a good choice, God!” Samuel saw a tall, handsome young man walkingsahas if he were a great king and leader.

B.Don't look at his looks or his physical build, because I rejected him: Samuel made the mistake of judging Eliab by hisLook. That was the same mistake Israel made with their first king. Saulsahthe part, but he didn't have thatHerzshould have a king of God's people. It didn't matter how good Eliab wassahbecause God said"I turned him down."

C.For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart: This was both aestablishment of factsand aAdmonition to Divine Thought.

I. First it was aestablishment of facts.Man looks at the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart.Even the best men will lookin external appearance. At that moment, Samuel was guilty. We must understand that we cannot read the secrets of another's heart and we often only judge by the outside. "The world is full of idolatry, but I wonder if any idolatry has been practiced more extensively than the idolatry of outward appearances." (Blaikie)

ii. It was also aAdmonition to Divine Thought. God said to Samuel, “Your natural tendency is to judge by appearances alone. But I can judge the heart that you can't see. So look at me and don't be so quick to judge a person by theirs aloneouter appearance.” Samuel needed to know his natural tendency to judgeouter appearance, but he didn't have to give in. He could seek the Lord and seek God's heart and mind when he looked at people.

D.The Lord did not choose these: God told Samuel that he had not chosen any of Jesse's seven sons to participate in the feast. It wasn't that these sons of Jesse were bad people, but they weren't God's choice. God had in mind a man different from what Samuel or Jesse expected.

I. Eliab and the seven eldest sons of Jesse were perfect potential kings as far as the flesh is concerned. But God did not want a king after the flesh. Israel already had such a king.

4. (11) Samuel asks about an absent son.

And Samuel said to Jesse: “Are all the young men here?” Then he said: “The youngest stays there and he tends the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse: “Send and bring him here. Because we won't sit down until he comes here."

A.Are all the young men here?Samuel had a problem. God told him about JesseI have made myself a king among his sons(1 Samuel 16:1). But here were the seven sons of Jesse, and God chose none of them. Knowing that God's Word was true, Samuel knew there must be another son of Jesse who wasn't at the Feast of Sacrifice.

B.The youngest remains: This shows the low esteem David had in his own family. First, his father didn't even mention him by name. Second, he wasn't even invited to the Festival of Sacrifice. Third, he was called only because Samuel insisted.

I. "So small was David in the esteem of his father that when the prophet of God called them to sacrifice it was not deemed necessary to take him into the family." (red path)

ii. When we consider that David was the youngest of eight sons, we are not surprised at the low regard he was held in his own family. It wasn't that David's character or behavior was unworthy; it was simply because he was the youngest of eight sons.

iii. God often chooses unlikely people to do His work so that everyone knows that God's work is God's work, not man's work. He wants people to look at his servants as they looked at Samson: they marveled at the mystery of his strength (Judges 16:5).

IV. “You may not be intellectual or respectable in your family circle; You may be despised by others because of your faith in Christ. Perhaps, like David, you had only a small part in your parents' love. But remember that those rejected by men are often loved by the Lord.” (Red Path)

C.And there he keeps the sheep: David was called to this great anointing while he was outsidekeeping sheep. David just did his job and was faithful to small things and what his father told him.

I.keeping sheepwas the work of a servant. The fact that David was outkeeping sheepshowed that the family of Jesse was not particularly wealthy because if they were wealthy there would be a servantkeeping sheep. But they were not wealthy enough to have servants.

ii.keeping sheepmeant you had time to think. David spent much of his time looking over the sheep and contemplating the glory of God's creation. God built a heart in him to sing of his glory in all creation (Psalm 19:1-4 and Psalm 8 are good examples).

iii.keeping sheeptook a special heart, a special care. It meant you knew that sheep needed the care and help of a good shepherd. You have learned that you are a sheep and God is your shepherd. During those years God was building in David the heart that would sing of the Lord as his Shepherd (as in Psalm 23).

iv.keeping sheepmeant trusting God in the midst of danger. David had to contend with lions, bears, and wolves, and the sheep had to be protected. "The land around Bethlehem was not a peaceful paradise, and being a shepherd was not the easy life of lovesick boys that poets dream of." (Blaikie)

v. David's yearskeeping sheepwere notwaitTime; They areTrainingTime. David was a great man and a great king over Israel because henever lost his pastoral heart. Psalm 78:70-72 speaks of the connection between David the king and David the shepherd:He also chose David his servant and took him out of the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young, which he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance. So he guarded them according to the purity of his heart and guided them by the skill of his hands.

5. (12-13) David is chosen and anointed.

So he sent him and brought him in. now himWarreddish, light-eyed and handsome. And the LORD said: Arise, anoint him; for thisIsOne!" So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came on David from that day. So Samuel arose and went to Rama.

A.Now he was red, bright-eyed, and handsome: David's physical description tells us that he was fair complexioned (this is probably the meaning ofreddish, and fair complexion was considered attractive in this culture). He hadshining eyeswho speak of vitality and intelligence. So was Davidgood looking.

I. David had a pleasant appearance, but he didn't look like Saul, who looked like a leader and king (1 Samuel 9:2). David looked nice, but you didn't look at him and say, "There's a born leader. There is a king.” That's what the people said as they looked at Saul. When they looked at David they said, "That's a nice looking boy."

ii. We do not know how old David was then. The ancient Jewish historian Josephus says that David was ten years old. Others estimate that he was around fifteen years old. It's safe to say he was in that area.

B.And the LORD said: Arise, anoint him; because that's it!"From all outward appearances, David's seven brothers seemed like better material for kings. Unlikely as he was, David wasthe one.

I. David was a shepherd, but there were many shepherds. David was handsome, but so were many young men. David was young, but there were many young men that God could have chosen. God described what made David special in 1 Samuel 13:14:The Lord has chosen a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over his people.What did David dothe onehe wasa man after God's own heart.

ii. God's choice of David shows that we don't have to quit our jobs and enter the full-time ministry to be after God's own heart. We don't have to be famous or prominent to be people after God's own heart. We don't have to be respected or even liked by others to be after God's own heart. We don't need status, influence, power, the respect or approval of people, or great responsibilities to be people after God's own heart.

iii. Where did David get this heart from? Obviously from the time we spent with the Lord. But someone put him on this path. David says nothing about his father, but twice in Psalms he refers to his mother as aservantof the Lord (Psalm 86:16 and 116:16). It was probably David's godly mother who poured her heart and love and devotion for the Lord into him and gave him a foundation on which to build in his own walk with the Lord. Like Timothy, God used a mother to instill in him divine faith (2 Timothy 1:5).

C.So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers: From the actions of David, Jesse, and David's brothers, we can then assume that only God and Samuel knew exactly what happened here.

I. Everyone else probably thought that Samuel only honored David for some unknown reason. Probably nobody dared to believe that this was a divine royal anointing. But God knew because He had been working in David's heart for a long time. "The public anointing was the result of what had long before taken place privately between David and God." (Redpath)

D.And the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day: The real anointing happened when the Holy Spirit came upon David. The oil on the head was just a sign of that inner reality.

e.So Samuel got up and went to Rama: Samuel did not found a "Let's Inthrone David" political party and he did not begin to undermine Saul's throne by seeking a way to establish David as king. Samuel glanced at David and responded exactly as God wanted: “Lord, I don't know why You chose this child. But you must put him on the throne. I can not."

I. God did it. 1 Samuel 16:13 is the first mention of the name "David' in the book of 1 Samuel. He has been mentioned prophetically before (as at 1 Samuel 13:14 and 15:28). But this is the first mention of himName, meaning "beloved" or "beloved".

ii. David will become one of the greatest men in the Bible, mentioned more than 1,000 times in the pages of Scripture - more than Abraham, more than Moses, more than any other person in the New Testament. It is no coincidence that Jesus was not known as "Son of Abraham" or "Follower of Moses" but as theson of David(Matthew 9:27 and at least a dozen other passages).

iii. “From whichever angle we look at David's life, it is remarkable. Perhaps Abraham surpassed him in faith, Moses in the power of concentrated communion with God, and Elijah in the fiery power of his enthusiasm. But none of them was as versatile as the richly gifted son of Jesse." (Meier)

B. Saul's tormenting spirit.

1. (14) Saultormenting spiritworries him.

But the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a terrifying spirit of the LORD troubled him.

A.The Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul: In 1. Samuel 16:13,the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day. When the Holy Spirit came upon David, atormenting spiritcame to Saul andworried him.

B.A terrifying spirit of the Lord troubled him: If God is all-good, why did he atormenting spiriton Saul? There are two senses in which God cansendsomething. He can send something in an active sense or he can send something in a passive sense. God never actively initiates or carries out evil; He isthe Father of Lights, in whom there is no change or shadow of twist(James 1:17). Passively, God can withdraw his hand of protection and thus allow evil to come without being the source of evil himself.

I. This is indicated by what happened to Saul. First,the spirit of the LORD departed from Saul. This meant that Saul lost his spiritual "protection" and covering. So Satan was more than willing to send atormenting spiritto fill the void in Saul.

ii. That is why the constant presence of the Holy Spirit is such a comfort to all Christians. We need not fear that God will take away the Holy Spirit from us (Romans 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

C.From the LORD: Perhaps this was to judge Saul's past wickedness and rebellion against the leading of the Holy Spirit. This could be an example of how God consigned Saul to his sin.

I. Saul clearly had the Spirit of the Lord upon him at one time (1 Samuel 10:10). Being proud and rebellious against God, Saul resisted the Holy Spirit. He said “No” and “Go away” to the Holy Spirit so many times that God finally gave Saul what he wanted. But Saul never knew what price he would have to pay and whenthe Spirit of the LORD departed from him. Saul thought he would be freer to do sohis thingwithout thatSpirit of the LORD"annoys" him. Little did he know he would be in more bondagea tormenting spiritTheworried him.

ii. Even in this state, Saul could repent. He was not past the place of repentance and restoration. It was up to him to accept God's correction and to respond before the Lord with a tender, repentant heart.

D.A terrifying spirit of the Lord troubled him: Today, Saul would likely be diagnosed as mentally ill. But his problem was spiritual, not mental or psychological.

I. There are many people in psychiatric hospitals today who are really suffering from spiritual problems. It is certainly wrong to assume that every instance of psychic suffering is spiritual in nature, since chemical imbalances and physiological problems are real in this fallen world as well. Even so, there are certainly some who need to be freed from atormenting spiritand can never find it in our modern mental health system.

2. (15-17) A suggested solution.

And Saul's servants said to him, "Truly, a terrifying spirit from God troubles you. Now let our Lord command your servants,who arebefore you to seek out a manwho isa skillful player on the harp; and it will be that when the terrifying spirit of God comes upon you, he will play it with his hand, and you will be well." Then Saul said to his servants: "Now give me a man who plays well can, and bring him with youhimmir."

A.Saul's servants said to him, "Verily, a terrifying spirit from God troubles you.": That was obviousservant of Saul, but it does not seem clear to Saul. Often our spiritual state is much more obvious to others than it is to ourselves.

B.Find a man who is a skilled gambler: Saul's servants essentially advise him to find a "worship leader." you will belooking for a manwho can bring the love, peace and power of God to Saul through music. It had to be King SaulLEDinto worship, so it was importantlooking for a manget the job done.

I. God created music and gave it the ability to touch people with great power. Music can be used for great good or great evil because it communicates so powerfully with our inner being.

C.You should be healthy: In the past, Saul received the Spirit of the Lord in the presence of music (1 Samuel 10:10). Perhaps this is an attempt to recreate that experience.

3. (18) A man is nominated.

Then one of the servants answered and said, "Behold, I saw a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite,who isskillful in gambling, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, clever in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORDIswith him."

A.Look, I saw a son of Jesse's: Saul's servants suggested a quest; Saul ordered the search, and then one of Saul's servants found thisson of Jessenamed David.

B.Skilled in the game: David needed skill to lead Saul in worship and to minister to him musically. The technical quality of his music was important. The heart counts, but also the technical ability.

I. This does not mean that a person has to be a virtuoso before God can use them. But it means they can't tolerate an overly easygoing, easygoing, lazy, "we don't really need to practice" attitude.Skilled in the gamereflects inattitudeas much as it reflectsCapability.

C.A mighty man of valor, a man of war: David needed the character of a warrior to effectively lead Saul in worship and minister to him musically. Worship ministry is a constant battlefield. There are often conflicts and arguments surrounding worship, and unless one is equipped and ready for spiritual warfare, they are likely to be mentally and emotionally "hurt" in worship and others are likely to be "wounded."

I. So much of what makes a person goodMusicianor a goodArtistcontradicts true worship ministry. The need for ego gratification and the desire for limelight, celebrity, and attention each work against effective worship.

D.Careful in speaking: David had to speak wisely to effectively lead Saul in worship or minister to him musically. Good worship takes a lot of diplomacy. Everyone has an opinion on music and a suggestion. Effective ministers know when to speak and when to be quiet on the platform, in the team, and in the congregation.

e.A handsome person: David was a handsome young man (1 Samuel 16:12). An effective preacher doesn't have to be a model, but looks do matter. You have to present yourself in order to beinvisible. If they're dressed up or dressed up in a way that their looks draw attention, that needs to change.

F.The Lord is with him: This is the most important attribute. The other measures will grow and develop, but it must be said of every worship leader,the Lord is with him. This means that they are called of God, submit to God, and submit to the direction that the Lord has placed over them.

4. (19-23) David enters Saul's court.

So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, saying, "Send me your son David, whoIswith the sheep.” And Jesse took a donkeyloaded withbread, a wineskin, and a young goat, and sentthemfrom his son David to Saul. Then David came to Saul and stood before him. And he loved him very much, and he became his armor bearer. Then Saul sent to Jesse and said, "Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight." And so it was, whenever the Spirit of God was upon Saul, David would take a harp and playEswith his hand. Then Saul would be refreshed and healed, and the tormenting spirit would leave him.

A.Send me your son David, who is with the sheep: Since this happened after Samuel anointed David, it means he simply returnedthe sheepafter his anointing. Perhaps David did not yet understand the significance of what Samuel was doing. Or if he did, he understood that it was soGod's jobto bring him to the throne. In the meantime, David would just go backthe sheep.

B.Then Saul sent to Jesse and said, "Please let David stand before me, for he has found favor in my eyes.": David did not have to manipulate his way into the palace or in Saul's favor. He allowed the Lord to open the doors for him. David didn't have to ask himself, "Is this from the Lord or is this from me?" because he let the Lord open the doors for him.

I. “Do not marvel that David has so suddenly risen from being a poor, contemptible shepherd to such great authority; for these were the effects of that Spirit of the Lord which he received when he was anointed." (Poole)

C.And he loved him very much, and he became his armor bearer: David was an outstanding young man worthy of his name (“beloved” or “beloved”). Saul immediately accepted him and gave him the important and trusted position ofgun carrier, his main assistant in battle. A soldier's life often depended on his courage and loyaltygun carrier, and Saul knew that David was worthy of that position.

I. This was an important time in David's life and training in God's purpose for him. Living in a royal court for the first time, he began to learn the customs and manners he needed to know in order to be a good king later in life.

D.David would take a harp and play it: Aharpis a lyre, the old version of the guitar. This is not one of the large harps you might find in an orchestra.

e.Then Saul would be refreshed and healed: God used David to serve Saul. David was happy to be used. What seemed like a great arrangement wouldn't stay great for very long.

I. God was at work in a way that no one could see. From our distant perspective it seems clear to us, but at the time perhaps only Samuel knew what was going on. "Unwittingly, Saul became dependent on his successor." (Baldwin)

© 2022 Diepermanent wordBible Commentary by David Guzik –ewm@enduringword.com


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