Sermon : Samuel Anoints David 1 Samuel 16:1-23
1. A Rejected King v 1.
1 Samuel 16:1 “Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” Saul the first King of Israel was the people’s choice, Israel the Old Testament people of God no longer wanted God to be their sovereign they wanted an earthly King like all the other nations around about them. 1 Samuel 8:6-7 “But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” So they rejected God’s rule, and God gave them what they wanted a human King. Samuel anointed and the people appointed their choice King Saul it all started so well he was all that the people thought a King should be 1 Samuel 10:23-24 “…and when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that there is no one like him among all the people?” So all the people shouted and said, “Long live the king!” But ultimately a disobedient people got a disobedient king 1 Samuel 15:10-11 “Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments…” And so God rejected Saul as King Of Israel 1Samuel 15:26&28 “But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you.” The reign of Saul in Israel would be a lesson in “be careful what you wish for” the people wanted an earthly king and in the end God gave the people what they wanted, till they were sick of what they wanted for God had warned them what having such a king would mean 1 Samuel 8:11-17 and that the day would come that they would be sick of their choice 1 Samuel 8:18 “And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” This ought to be a warning to us all about the disaster and anguish that awaits us when we reject God’s rule and go our own way Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” And so as Chapter 16 commences Samuel the Prophet and Judge Of Israel is commanded by God to cease his mourning for the rejected king and go appoint the next King, God’s King.
2. A Fearful Prophet v 2.
1 Samuel 16:2 “And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” Samuel was terrified it wasn’t God’s command to appoint a new King that terrified him though it was Saul that terrified him or rather how Saul might react if he found out terrified him. Where were Samuel’s eyes? Well, they certainly weren’t on the Lord they were on Saul. Of course humanly speaking Samuel had every right to be scared King Saul was and would become ever more paranoid, jealous, murderous and wicked. But Samuel was forgetting God was in control and was completely aware of the situation, God knew all about Saul, men and women are threatened and intimidated by men like Saul but God is not. Daniel 2:21 “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings…” Saul would not harm one hair on Samuel’s head and would thwart nothing of God’s plan. But with Samuel here we see with all his qualities as a prophet and God’s Judge in Israel, Samuel was but a man, subject to the weaknesses and failings of men, as someone has so eloquently and succinctly put it “The best of men are men at best” Here we see what an honest book the Bible is! its greatest heroes come down so often to our level and show the same weaknesses as ourselves that we might learn and be helped by them. Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare,” it paralyses but praise God there is an antidote to the fear of man Proverbs 29:25 “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” Instead of fearing men have faith in God and obey Him… But God, who bares with human weakness Psalm 103:14 “For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.” condescends to the weakness of Samuel, and provides him with a reason for his journey, which would not arouse the suspicion or jealous temper of king Saul. “But the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.” Samuel is to announce that his coming to Bethlehem is for the purpose of a sacrifice, and the anointing of a successor to Saul is to be gone about so quietly and vaguely that the great reason for his visit will hardly be so much as guessed at by anyone.
A Simple Plan v 3.
1 Samuel 16:3 “Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” You don’t have to be smart to be obedient, all you have to do is obey. God basically says to Samuel I know your situation now I’m telling you exactly what to do, now go do it. Take a heifer, go to Jesse, offer the sacrifice, and look around. I’ll tell you the man I’ve chosen for the job.” Isn’t that simple? Don’t make the carrying out of God’s will complicated, It isn’t. Listen to God’s voice and obey it, SIMPLES!!! Meanwhile behind the scenes young David has no clue what’s about to unfold, what’s he doing taking care of the sheep that’s His job. For David the day began like any other but by the end of the day life would never be the same again. God has some extremely exciting things in mind for His children, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” For some it could be today or tomorrow, it could be next month or 10 years down the line we don’t know when. But the wonderful thing about this adventure called faith is that as Swindoll says “He knows exactly where He’s taking us, our job is to obey, to live in close fellowship with God as we walk our earthly path. In the process of that simple arrangement, God engages us in His eternal plan.”
A Very Human Focus v 6 – 10.
So Jesse and his sons are invited to the sacrifice 1 Samuel 16:6-10 “So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him!” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” First came the handsome and stately Eliab. And astoundingly even with the fate of the handsome and stately King Saul still no doubt full in Samuel’s memory, Samuel lept to the conclusion that this was the Lord’s anointed. Could he wonder at God’s emphatic No, surely Samuel himself had seen enough of outward appearance coupled with inward unfitness. But sadly it‘s not merely in the choice of kings that men and women are content with outward appearance and show. How often do we see it in the worship of God? Let everything be outwardly correct, the church beautiful, the music lively and excellent, the sermon eloquent and able, the congregation numerous, enthused, engaged and responsive – How highly such churches are often regarded! No matter how little pleasing that church might be to God. In fact the Bible tells us about one such Church Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” The eye of God that searches and knows us, penetrates to the heart of our worship, to see if it is truly alive or dead. And if it can be true in the church it is most definitely true in the world outside, the world is obsessed with the outward appearance, see how obsessed we are with appearance. The beauty industry is a multi billion dollar industry. The Economist tells us the beauty industry is a $160 billion-dollar-a-year global industry, encompassing make-up, skin and hair care, fragrances, cosmetic surgery, health clubs and diet pills. Listen to this, Americans spend more each year on beauty than they do on education. As women and a growing number of men attempt “to keep up appearances.” It was Tony Blair who once said the countries priority ought to be Education, education, education. But the real priority it seems is appearance, appearance, appearance! The world is full of idolatry, but I question if any idolatry has been more extensively practiced than the idolatry of the outward appearance. The world is impressed and obsessed with façade and idolises the appearance but God looks on the heart. The world asks does He or she have the face for the job, God asks does he or she have the heart for the job! Eliab and 6 of his brothers failed to impress God for as Hebrews 4:13 reminds us “…there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” God saw right through them, They didn’t have the heart for the job. But In David son of Jesse God had found the man with the heart for the job Acts 13:22 “And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID THE SON OF JESSE, A MAN AFTER MY OWN HEART, WHO WILL DO ALL MY WILL.” What does God see when He looks at our hearts?
3. A Forgotten Son v 11 – 13.
1 Samuel 16:11-13 “And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.” As Swindoll says “O for the ability to see beyond the obvious. To see beyond the bad track record. To see beyond someone’s age or the size or their level of intelligence. To see worth, value and God given potential down deep inside.” Then maybe we will find the men and women after God’s own heart who will do all His will in our day! May the Lord reveal to us the young people, the men and women after God’s own heart who will do all his will in this mission hall in the BB, the GB, Soar, Youth Club the Sunday evening meeting. That’s part of our job as leaders like Samuel to discover and anoint or in our case appoint the present and next generation of faithful young people, men and women, with a heart for God and a heart for the Job of serving God. 2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (that’s one of the things I love about my job, seeing God given potential and ability for Kingdom Service in others encouraging it and helping it develop. Group of older young people in the mission hall at the moment in Ballybeen. One young man won’t take a job that involves interfering with any of his church commitments as a BB Officer, and Youth Club Leader) On the basis of “outward appearance.” though good to look at David was too young, too boyish to be anointed therefore Jesse and David’s brothers must have been flabbergasted to see Samuel pouring the anointing oil on David’s head. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” It has often been God’s way to find His men or women in unexpected places. Here God’s king is found in the sheepfold. Could it be that, that boy that girl that you had overlooked or written off at BB, GB or Youth Club is a man or women after God’s own heart? You haven’t seen their potential or what they will become but God has!
4. A Humble Servant v 17-19.
On receiving the anointing to be the next King of Israel what does David do? Demand that Jesse and his Brothers kneel before him? No! Well what did he do? Look down at verses 17 – 19 “So Saul said to his servants, “Provide me now a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the LORD is with him.” Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” Saul is depressed so he says, get me a musician who can make me feel better so David is sought to come to the Palace to be Saul’s minstrel. But don’t miss those last words of verse 19 “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” Even after being anointed king David went right back to the sheep. Then even in the next chapter when David is Musician to the king and there’s a battle going on as well against the Philistines and Goliath again we see 1 Samuel 17:15 “But David occasionally went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.” David is the Kings Minstrel now but he’s still returning to tend his father’s flock. You see when you have a faithful humble heart like David’s that’s what you do. That was David’s job and he was faithful to it. It made no difference to David that he was the next anointed king of Israel, being King Saul’s chief musician didn’t go to his head, no he just went back to the sheep. As Swindoll writes “ David was sensitive enough to hear the whisper of God’s voice. “You will be the next king.” But as soon as the big moment was over and they turned out the lights, he was humbly back with his sheep. People had to actually pull him from the sheep to get him to do anything that was related to the limelight.” That’s why David was a man after God’s own heart. David was humble, authentic, and faithful even in the little things as God sees your heart, as God sees my heart, is that what He sees? A Humble, authentic, faithful man or woman after His own Heart. For the way up in the Kingdom of God is always the way down, the way of Humility. Still today God is looking for men and women, looking for people after His own heart to whom He can say “ You are mine, I want to use you here because I have found you humble, authentic and faithful. Our calling is to be humble, authentic and faithful. That’s the kind of men and women God wants to use.
But I want to finish by going back to that thought of “A Forgotten Son” David was forgotten by His Father Jesse and His Brothers but Jeremiah 2:32 says this about God’s Old Testament people “My people have forgotten Me days without number.” Many today have forgotten God’s Son Jesus Christ, maybe until this moment you have forgotten Him As One Hymn writer put it “Our Lord is now rejected, And by the world disowned, By the many still neglected, And by the few enthroned, But soon He’ll come in glory, The hour is drawing nigh, For the crowning day is coming by and by.” One day King Jesus is coming back to rule and reign forever as King of heaven and earth. If you will not remember Him now and confess Him as your Saviour and Lord turning from your sin then one day He will say these terrible words to you Matthew 7:23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me…” Don’t Forget God’s Son Jesus Christ!