Last week, we saw how the people of Israel longed for a king, “like the other nations.” (See Saul the King) Saul was chosen but proved to be disappointing.
The Lord told Samuel the prophet,
“Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” I Samuel 16:1
Samuel meets Jesse (grandson of Boaz and Ruth) along with seven of Jesse’s sons. Of course, Samuel is eyeing these young men as potential candidates for the next king. He particularly notices Eliab, the oldest. Samuel thinks,
“Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” I Samuel 16:6
But the Lord says,
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
Thoughts of Saul no doubt enter Samuel’s mind.
Eliab, the oldest son, doesn’t pass the test. (But don’t forget Eliab’s name. We will encounter him again much later.)
Jesse parades son number two, Abinadab in front of Samuel. He shakes his head.
“The Lord has not chosen this one either.” I Samuel 16:8
Samuel checks out son three, Shammah. Then son four, five, six, and seven, but it is still a no go. So Samuel asks if there are other sons.
“There is still the youngest, but he is tending sheep.” I Samuel 16:11
In other words, “Just David.” Samuel says they won’t sit down until he is brought in. Now this is one of those times when, while the story moves right on in the next verse, we have to remember that a good bit of time passes while someone runs out to the field, finds David, and sends him running back a considerable distance.
When David finally arrives, he is described as ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. In Hebrew, this can also mean”goodly” features, that is, quality as well as moral goodness.
Now maybe he was “ruddy” all the time, but he sure would be reddish after that big run! The most important thing about this whole scene is that the Lord speaks to Samuel’s spirit and says,
“Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. I Samuel 16:12-13
What a high point this must have been in David’s life. An indelible memory to call up from time to time.
I think about my own call to profess my faith as an eight-year-old. Or the moment in my bedroom after my freshman year in college when the Lord revealed Himself in a powerful way to me, or the many times He spoke to me in sermons, Scripture, through others, or during prayer. Or the moment that became the summit of God’s call to write.
Ponder some times when you have felt the “power of the Lord.”
~ Joyce ~