David: A Man After God’s Heart
1 Samuel 16:1–13
Samuel Lesson #059
August 16, 2016
“Our Father, we are so grateful we can come together. We can fellowship around Your Word. We know that fellowship primarily focuses on our relationship with You. Secondarily, because of that relationship with You we have fellowship with one another in the body of Christ. That it is all grounded in Christ and His work on the Cross. That He is every thing to us. He has made such a world of difference in our lives that we cannot even begin to fathom all that it has transformed.
Father, we pray that as we study Your Word that we would come to grips with the way You work in history. The way You work in the lives of Israel. The way You work in the lives of other nations. That You raise up nations and You bring nations down. You work providentially in this Church Age, through Your church to impact the world, to preserve the world, and when the Rapture occurs and the Restrainer, the Holy Spirit, is removed and the church is removed, then all hell will literally break loose on this planet.
Father, we pray that during this time we may be faithful and that we may be genuine students of Your Word. Not just falling in love with Your Word, but falling in love with You and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as a result of study of Your Word. We pray this in His Name. Amen.”
We are in 1 Samuel 16. We are beginning the life of David. I gave you an overview last time looking over 1 Samuel 16–31, so that we could have a general idea of how things were going to go through this period. This is a period when we are going to see the transition from Saul to David.
There are a lot of ways we could compare and contrast Saul. We will see a number of them as we go through our study tonight and in the weeks to come. But the core difference is not that David was saved and Saul was not. There are some who take that view. Saul is like many believers down through the ages. He is a man who might be a believer. He might be regenerate, but he is more concerned about his own self-centered agenda than he is the agenda of the LORD.
That is why the Scripture makes this statement about David. It characterizes him as a man after God’s heart. We will look at that in our introduction as we go forward.
We have seen in our study of Samuel that 1 Samuel is really a part of the whole 1 and 2 Samuel. The book of Samuel is divided into two because it would not all fit on one scroll. This is why we have 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles. They were originally one book each, one entity. In the New Testament you have 1 and 2 Corinthians. Those are completely separate epistles. 1, 2, and 3 John are completely separate epistles. 1 and 2 Peter are completely separate epistles, but in the Old Testament the divisions between first and second have to do with their being divided because the text could not fit on one scroll.
We have Samuel, Saul, and David, the three personages that dominate the first book (scroll) of Samuel. We saw the rise of Samuel and his elevation to the priesthood. That God uses him as a judge. He is also a prophet in the first eight chapters. Then Israel rejected him as judge when he was older. The Israelites said his sons would not rule over them. The sons were rebellious and they were not qualified. The Israelites wanted to have a king like every other nation.
That is important because what the Israelites wanted was a man after their heart. A man who was like them. A man who was like the kings in all the other countries. They wanted to have a country that was not distinct and unique. That is what God had called them to be, a unique and distinct nation. Another term for that would be a holy nation, a nation set apart to God.
Samuel dominates. Then after the rejection of God as King, God directs Samuel saying the Israelites have not rejected you. They have rejected Me, Yahweh. He directs Samuel to anoint Saul as king. We never see the orientation of Saul to God like we will with David. Saul is a man after the people’s heart. He looks like he should be king. Visual appearance is important as a backdrop to what we are going to see, because when Samuel goes to the sons of Jesse he is thinking that God had me pick Saul. He was head and shoulders taller then anybody else. He looked presidential. He looked like a king. He looked like it was somebody you would want to be a king.
Samuel is looking on the outside. One of the most significant statements in Scripture is found in this chapter related to not looking on the outside, 1 Samuel 16:7. We see this shift that takes place, but Saul is still the anointed king. David is also anointed, but he is not elevated to the position yet. I pointed out last time that this is an excellent analogy for the current Church Age, where we have the future King of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Messiah, who has been anointed at the first advent.
The Lord Jesus Christ is now seated not on His earthly throne, but is at the right hand of the throne of God in Heaven. He is not on David’s throne. That is the position of amillennialism. That is the position that is taken by so called progressive dispensationalists. No where in Scripture does it identify His throne in Heaven as the throne of David. That is yet future. What we see in this period between David’s anointing and His elevation to throne is a period that is analogous to what we see in the Church Age today.
- David is persecuted by the ruler of the kingdom, just as the church is persecuted by the ruler of this age.
- David is gathering to himself a motley crew, a crew of casted outs, ne’er-do-wells that are being trained during this period of time, as they are moving from location to location, to be his cadre’, to be those who will rule and reign with him when he comes into his kingdom.
In the same way the church is being trained. We are the ones looked down upon by the world around us. We have not had that position in this country for the last 300 years, but we are getting to the point where that is how we are looked upon. It will only get worse, I believe.
We see this period from 1 Samuel 16, with the anointing of David, to 1 Samuel 31, as the period of David’s rise and Saul’s decline and ultimate death. I pointed out last time that, as we get into this last section, God is disciplining Saul and promotes David. Unless God promotes you, you are not really promoted. God has David anointed, but not raised yet. He is not ready. He does not yet have the capacity for leadership to be the king.
That covers the second half of 1 Samuel. In this section I have divided from 1 Samuel 16:1 through 20:42. We see how God promotes and authenticates David. Before we get into the details of this text I want to give a little background:
- We have to remember that after the worldwide flood at the time of Noah, we have about 200 years where civilization expands very, very rapidly. People are still living 400, 500, even 600 years even though there is a decline from generation to generation of how long they live. Abraham lived to be almost 200 years of age. He was 180 years when he died. You still had three, four, or five generations living at the same time. There is a rapid population growth, rapid expansion, but the people fail at the tower of Babel.
At the tower of Babel you have Nimrod who has appointed himself as the ruler of Babel. He conspired with the people to build this great tower that would represent a mountain. They are trying to reach Heaven. There are tones of anger towards Heaven, and also maybe the idea that they are going to build a tower high enough to prevent God from destroying them in a future flood. A lot of different tones are going on in that episode that all speak about man’s rebellion against God.i>
- God turns from trying to work through the entire human race to working through one man. In Genesis 12 he calls out Abram, Avrām, from Ur of the Chaldees. We can tell from the text that Abram has already become a believer in God. He has received the imputation of righteousness because of His faith. That is Genesis 15:6. Now God is going to work through him and his descendants. He gives Abram an eternal promise, an eternal covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant. It is reconfirmed with his son, Isaac, and with his grandson, Jacob. It is through that lineage that we trace the Jewish people. Not through Abram’s other sons, but only through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
- Abraham has a great grandson, a son of Jacob who is called Judah. One of the first indications of the ruling lineage comes from a prophecy that Jacob gives in Genesis 49. In Genesis 49 Jacob gives a prophecy over each of his sons. In the first of the chapter we read that Jacob called his sons together. He said, “Gather together that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days.”
Is that not an interesting phrase? We often think of this as something fulfilled in history that points to the last days. Remember that there are the last days of Israel in the Bible and the last days of the church. We have been in the last days of the church since the ascension of Christ. The Church Age is often referred to as the last times or the last days because of the doctrine of the imminence of the Rapture. That Jesus could come back at any moment. Nothing has to be fulfilled to set the stage for the Rapture. We have always been in the last days of the church.
But in Genesis 49:1 it is talking about the last days related to Israel, God’s plan for Israel. There is a long term projection in these particular verses. What we find is that in Genesis 49:1–7, Jacob gives prophecy related to the three older sons, older brothers to Judah. He basically shows that these three older sons will be disqualified because to be the heirs, the chief heir, the eldest son type of heir, because of their spiritual failures.
Then Jacob comes to a prophecy for Judah that begins in Genesis 49:8, “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies,” which indicates military strength and power. That Judah’s descendants would grow to a certain size and certain dominance. This is true. It is one of the largest tribes. It has the largest territory allotted to them in the book of Joshua and after the conquest. Genesis 49:9 says that Judah is compared to a lion. “He bows down. He lies down as a loin, and as a lion who shall rouse him?” This is just imagery speaking of his strength.
Then we have a fascinating statement in Genesis 49:10 “The scepter shall not depart from Judah.” A scepter is the sign of a ruler. It is a royal staff. Usually in the ancient world it would be carved. Often times it would be covered in gold or silver, sometimes in jewels. This is a sign of royalty. The idea that “The scepter shall not depart from Judah” is an indication that the ruling line for Israel will come from the descent of Judah, the tribe of Judah.
Genesis 49:10 is a promise that the scepter would not depart. That even though, as we know looking back, there would be times when Israel would be defeated and taken out of the land. There would be civil war. It would be split between the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Nevertheless, when they were brought back there would still be a lineage of Judah. There would still be someone who would be leading the people. Ultimately, even though that line faded, it would be restored in the Person of the Messiah.
Isaiah talks about the root of Jesse. Jesse is David’s father. That is in the line of Judah. It is the stump of Jesse also. The line seems to be cut out and cut down, but then there is a new shoot that comes out, a new branch. That becomes a title for the Messiah. But we have here the statement that “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet.” That is an imagery of descent. “… until Shiloh comes.” This is a somewhat interesting phrase. There is a lot of debate over just exactly what it means. Some think that it is translated this as a place name of Shiloh.
Shilōh (shee-lo') is the Hebrew pronunciation of the location of the tabernacle after the Israelites entered into the land and after the conquest they found a permanent location in Shiloh for the establishment of the tabernacle. It is supposed by a number of scholars that it became a little more permanent there. Just as if you were to have a tent and you were going to live there for a long time. Before long you would start building a few walls. You might build a more permanent roof. If you were living in a mobile home you might start adding a few features to it until eventually it was not so mobile anymore and had a more permanent status.
The tabernacle is at that location at Shiloh for a just over 300 years. During that time it became somewhat stable. This is where the Ark of the Covenant was located. This is where we see Hannah and her family visiting the Ark for the festivals at the beginning of Samuel. This was the location of Shiloh, but the issue here is, and part of the problem is that the Masoretic Text, when it inserts the vowels in the word in the consonants.
The vowels of Shîlōh, שִׁלֹה, are sh, the שׁ, shîn, in Hebrew, L, ל, lāmed in Hebrew, and ה, the he in Hebrew, a soft ‘h’. This word is usually pointed. When it is talking about the city, the location, it usually has certain Hebrew vowels associated with it. Those are different from the vowel pointing in this verse שִׁילֹה.
- The argument there is that this is not talking about the physical location because the Masoretic text understood it to be a different word. Therefore, the Masoretes inserted different vowels.
- The second view is that the term Shiloh is a proper name for the Messiah. That also seems to have some support from Jewish studies. In the Talmud in the Tractate Sanhedrin in AD 90 it answers the question on the name of the Messiah by saying Shîlōh שִׁילֹה is His name, as it is said, “until Shiloh comes.” That is a reference to this particular verse.
The Talmud is written in the beginning of the Church Age. You have the collection of the Jewish oral tradition written down and organized by a man named Judah the Prince about AD 100. That was called the Mishnah. Then the Talmud is a collection of Jewish commentary on the Mishnah. If you look at a Talmud page it is a large page. In the middle of the page there will be a rectangle about the size of a page in a trade size paperback. That is the Mishnah. Then there is about a half inch margin around that. Then you have written all around that the commentary. The combination of the two, the Mishnah and the Gemara, which is the commentary, that combined made up the Talmud.
There were two great Talmuds:
- Babylonian Talmud
- Jerusalem Talmud
The Talmud is not put together until late in the third century into the fourth century. This is tradition that is a couple of hundred years after the rise of the church and the rise of Christianity. There is also a targum. A targum was like a commentary, written by a man who used the name, pseudonym, Jonathan. It is called the Targum of Pseudo Jonathan. He translates this as “until the time of the King Messiah shall come.” There is also a reference to this among the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran that translated this “until the coming of the Messiah of Righteousness.” There is a fairly good tradition that Shîlōh שִׁילֹה here is a name for the Messiah.
- The third view is that Shîlōh שִׁילֹה here is a word that means “that which belongs to Him” or “to whom it belongs.” This is seen in the way the Septuagint translates this. It is also supported by the Targum of Onkelos. Then there were some early Church Age Greek translations of the Old Testament Scripture, different from the Septuagint by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. That would translate this “until He to whom it belongs comes.” Again, this would be an allusion to the Messiah, but it was not using Shîlōh שִׁילֹה as a messianic name.
This is somewhat supported by Ezekiel 21:27, “Overthrown, overthrown, I will make it overthrown! It shall be no longer, until He comes whose right it is, and I will give it to Him.” This is a recognition that Israel was about to be defeated by the Babylonians. “I will make it overthrown.” God is saying that “It shall be no longer, until He comes whose right it is.” This is seen as a confirmation of the interpretation that Shîlōh שִׁילֹה should be translated “as to whom it belongs.”
This is the view that is taken by both Arnold Fruchtenbaum and Michal Rydelnik. Michael Rydelnik has about three pages discussing all of the intricate details as to why this is the best solution. I have heard him explain it. I think he explained it better verbally than he explained it in the book. I think this is probably the best solution. That it is messianic. Either the second solution or this solution are both messianic. I think either one of those is viable.
We see that the King is going to come through the line of Judah. This is definitely a messianic prophecy in Genesis 49:9–10. Then the next time we see a reference to the line of Judah is a development of the line in Ruth. Judah’s sons are listed in Genesis 46:12. One of his sons is Perez. That line, the Perizzite line, is picked up in the genealogy of Ruth. Remember when we went through Genesis. I said that one of the key words in Genesis is the word “seed.” We trace the lineage of Jesus. All those genealogies that people read and think are boring. That is tracing the “seed” all the way from Eve to Judah at the end of Genesis, then through Exodus and on. These genealogies carry the line all the way through.
We have Perez picked up after the history of Ruth. Ruth 4:18, is the genealogy of Perez. Perez gave birth to Hezron, Hezron to Ram, Ram to Amminadab, Amminadab to Nahshon, Nahshon to Salmon, and Salmon to Boaz. He is the kinsman who redeems Ruth and marries her. They have a son named Obed. Obed is the father of Jesse, who is the father of David. David’s great grandmother is Ruth.
Here we have in a line David’s grandfathers. His grandfather is Obed. His great grandfather is Boaz, married to Ruth. This is the line of David going back to Perez, Perez being the son of Judah. This traces the royal line. David is going to be anointed. He is going to be chosen by God to be the ruler. The line that we see coming through here is a line that is related to Boaz and Ruth, and where do they live? They live in Bethlehem, the house of bread. But before that Bethlehem was known as Ephrath, his territory. It is later referred to as Bethlehem of Ephrath. Now we just refer to it as Bethlehem.
In Micah 5:2 Micah says, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrath, though you are little among the thousands of Judah …” This is a messianic prophecy. It is talking about the fact that Bethlehem is a small little town that is not very big. You have to understand that if we were in Bethlehem, it probably would not be any larger than the block that we are in. It may not have even been that large at the time of David. It was a very small village, therefore insignificant.
That is why when Micah writes this prophecy, which is around 700 BC, this is still 300 years after David. Micah mentions that Bethlehem is a little tiny nothing of a town. It is a wide spot on the road. It would not even require one stop light. We have a lot of places like that in Texas, with one traffic light. Usually it is just blinking. It would not even be that large. It was an insignificant place. It would be insignificant when Messiah came, and it was insignificant for the king of Israel at this time.
David was coming from an insignificant location. He is not the person you would expect to be king. He is not going to look like a king. He is not going to come from a wealthy family. He is not going to have the trappings of kingship about him. It is going to be his character that matters, not the physical attributes of his family or his life.
When we get into the descriptions about David there are two passages that refer to the fact that David is a man after God’s own heart. In Acts 13:22 Paul is going through some of the Old Testament episodes. He says that when God had removed him, Saul, “He raised up for them David as king.” Notice the emphasis here and all through 1 Samuel 16 and before. It is on the sovereignty of God. God is the Ruler of creation. God is the Ruler of history. God is the one who has selected the descendants of Abraham to be recipients of special responsibilities and blessings. God is going to raise up the Ruler that He desires.
God gave Saul to the people because that is what they wanted. He reflected the values of the human heart, which Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful and wicked above all things.” Paul says regarding David that God “raised David up as king, to whom also He gave testimony.” That is that God gave testimony. This is God’s assessment of the core of David’s character, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”
I think we need to parse this. David is a man. He is a sinner. David committed some pretty egregious sins. But when God looked at his heart, at his focal point, at what David really wanted to do, He knew that David was a man who wanted to please God more than anything else. Did he always accomplish that? No. Not anymore than we always accomplish that. But there is a big difference between a man that has made a decision early in life that he is going to be devoted and focused to the Lord no matter what and people who convince themselves of that, but they are self deceived.
I was thinking about that today. How do we know that they are self-deceived? We eventually find out. I found out this last week that a man, who as a boy grew up in the same church where I was (if I mentioned his name or his parents’ name, many of you would know his name, his family), He went off to college. He went to Lubbock Bible Church when Charlie Clough was the pastor. In fact, he was responsible for transcribing numerous studies that Charlie did. I got a Facebook message from a mutual friend that I had also grown up with. She said, “Have you read his Facebook page lately? He has repudiated Jesus Christ and converted to Judaism.” I forgot to mention that he also went to Dallas Seminary.
I cannot tell you how many people I have heard about in the last 30 years, many of whom were pastors or theologians, who have apostatized from the faith. You would look at them and think that at some point that they were as solid as a rock.
One was Francis Beckwith, who is considered one of our generation’s great apologists. He was on the theological faculty at Baylor University, Baylor Seminary. He was also the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. While he was president of the Evangelical Theological Society he covertly slipped into a Catholic Church and made confession and rejoined Catholic faith. It made front page headline news throughout Latin America, “Evangelical Comes Home.”
This is a blithe on the escutcheon of the Cross. But this is not unique. When I first went to Connecticut, I was thinking if there were any schools worth going to, maybe for finishing up my doctorate.
There is Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary up on the northeast side of Boston. It is an evangelical school. It had a lot of fine men that have taught there. I was reading about them and ran across an article that talked about this epidemic that they were facing. It was not unique to them. I am not pounding on their case. This was in 1998. The article was talking about the fact that in the previous 15–20 years they had had a rash, to the tune of 15% of their alumni, who had converted to Roman Catholicism.
I do not think that is unique to them. In the mid-80s there were three Dallas Seminary professors who were all released from their contracts, that means they were fired, because they got involved with the Vineyard Movement. There have been others who have gone Greek Orthodox. What is going on here? What is going on here is men who have thought that because they have the intellectual answers that they have a personal relationship with God.
What happens over the course of time, when they enter into the pressures of life, is there is a vacuum in their soul. They know a lot about God and a lot about the Bible and a lot about doctrine, but they do not know the God of the Bible. They do not know the Jesus of the Bible. They just know a lot of data. When the pressure comes they collapse on the inside. It exposes the inner absence of a spiritual life and a spiritual walk.
I think Saul represents that kind of person. David represents the person who had a deep profound personal relationship with God. He made a decision that he stuck with from being a very young man. Nothing else mattered than pleasing the LORD, even though he failed many times. We all will. That is why many of us love David. He is like Peter in the New Testament. Peter is so flawed, but he is so loyal. We all fail. We have no grounds for self-righteousness at all. We are all still corrupt sinners.
The difference between a David and a Saul is David continuously would confess his sin to God. He would be cleansed. His sin was dealt with, whereas Saul did not care. He was arrogant. He walked independently of God. This is the essence of what this means. It does not mean that David was perfect. He certainly was not. It does not mean that David was sinless. He was not a plaster saint. He was someone who had a sin nature that was extremely active at times and got seriously out of control at times. God disciplined Him severely when that happened. But David never doubted.
I do not know if you have ever thought this or have been this way, but no matter how sinful you might be, you still know God exists. Jesus died for my sins. God is treating me in grace because I have not been incinerated just now. Many of us understand that that is what grace is all about. David was that way. God looked on his heart and knew that it was focused on Him no matter what the external behavior might have been at times.
In fact, in Psalm 57:7, a Psalm we will look at when we get to the point where Saul is in the cave. After that whole episode David wrote this particular psalm. We will go through it when we get there. In that psalm David says, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast.” The repetition is for emphasis. He says, “I will sing and give praise.”
The word that is translated “steadfast” is a word that means to be firm or to establish or to prepare. It expresses the determination of David to serve the Lord always, to praise the Lord. This was a bedrock conviction. No matter what happens he was not going to shift away from the Lord, and that was David’s focus all of his life, unlike his son Solomon. Solomon started off well, but then he allowed his devotion to God to be a distraction.
There is a difference between somebody who is a sinner and giving reign to the lust patterns of their soul, and someone who is disloyal to God and turns to idolatry. That is what happens with these people that I talked about earlier. They have made idols out of ritual or idols out of emotion or they have made idols out of works, shifting to a works-based religious system.
Another psalm tells us a little more about David, Psalm 78. We are told that this is a psalm of Asaph. Asaph, we are told in Chronicles, was one of the chief musicians at the time of David. Others want to place him a little later. They look at this psalm. The way they look at some of the details of the psalm cause some to place it a little later in David’s life, maybe right near the end of his life. Some may place it a little earlier, but the psalm for the most part is a rehearsal of Israel’s disobedience to God and of God’s faithfulness to His covenant and faithfulness to His people.
At the conclusion of the psalm, Psalm 78:70, the psalmist says, “He also chose David His servant.” Again there is an emphasis. God is the one who raises up leaders. God is the one who takes down leaders, good or ill. “He also chose David his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds.”
This is not the place you would think you were going to find the next king. He did not take him from the local Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, or any place that might have that kind of respectability. He took him from a low position, but some times, when you are in a low position, you learn a lot about humility. You learn a lot about leadership. You learn a lot about how to work. You develop a strong work ethic. You learn what really is important as you deal with some of the rougher basic issues in life.
God took David from the sheepfolds, Psalm 78:72, “From following the ewes that had young.” Think about that. David is having to take care of these pregnant sheep that are about to give birth. He has to follow them around as they are not wanting him to get too close. They are still getting into tough spots. They are getting behind rocks, crevasses, and behind the sticker bushes and everything else. David has to follow them to make sure that when they go into labor he is going to be able to be there and help them in the process. He is learning to care for these animals just as he will learn to care for the people of Israel.
David followed the ewes that had young. “From following the ewes that had young and He, God, brought him to shepherd Jacob His people.” Many times in Scripture the Scripture uses the analogy of shepherding as the model for a good leader. A shepherd is one who takes care of his sheep. He feeds them. He protects them. We transfer that to the pastor. The pastor feeds and protects through the teaching of the Word and keeping people from being exposed to error, teaching them how to avoid falling into apostasy and falling into error. He teaches them what the Word says so that they can be nourished and fed spiritually. David learned this. It is training for leadership in the future.
Psalm 79:72, “So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.” This is a fascinating passage here. The parallelism is not synonymous. “Integrity of heart” is not synonymous to “skillfulness of hands” but you have a development where it moves from the first point to develop the second point.
1. First there is an internal attitude. He has integrity in his heart.
This is the Hebrew word tôm, which emphasizes personal integrity. He learned responsibility by being put out there into the sheepfold. As he develops integrity, as we learn later, when he is queried by Saul as to why he should let him go up against Goliath, David said that he learned how to protect his sheep. Whenever there was a lion or whenever a bear that would attack, then I would go after them with my slingshot and my staff. I do not know if any of us would want to take on a cougar or a bear with nothing more than a slingshot and a staff, but that was what David did. He learned responsibility to care for the sheep. That gave him integrity.
David did not say to his dad that he lost five or six of the sheep. You gave me the responsibility to protect them, but it is a little tough fighting a mountain lion. I had to let the lion go with it. No, he had integrity. He did the job. He did what needed to be done. There is a heart attitude, which is your mentality. Most often in the Old Testament the word “heart” refers to your mindset, your mentality, not your emotion, your it’s your mental attitude. David has developed a mental attitude of toughness and a mental attitude of responsibility. This developed into actions.
When the verse talks about “the skillfulness of his hands” hands often represent what we do in life. What is emphasized here is that he has integrity internally in his mindset, in his attitude, that worked itself out into what he did and how he did it. How he carried out his job. How he carried out the affairs of life. We will see this in the coming chapters that are talking about David’s attitude, his mentality.
David comes from what we would say today, “He comes from nothing.” He was like the original log cabin president. He came out of a background and a position that would not have made anyone think that one day he would be the ruler of one of the greatest empires of the Middle East. In the New Testament Paul talks about this.
1 Corinthians 1:26-29, “For you see your calling, brethren, that not may wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise.”
This does not mean that they are foolish in an absolute sense, but in terms of society they do not look like much. They did not go to the right schools. They were not part of the right fraternities or the right sororities. They did not come up under the right coaches. But they have a personal integrity that is greater than all of that. They have biblical wisdom as opposed to human viewpoint wisdom. “God has chosen the foolish things of the world” that does not have the status that the world gives to people.
“And God has chosen the weak things of the world.” That does not mean that He does not use anyone that is not bright or not well educated, but that is not the norm. God has the place for the Apostle Paul, well educated, probably the top of his rabbinical class. God uses many intelligent, great men, who are in the pastorate, in ministry, and teaching in seminaries, who are well educated. But that is not the norm.
We are going to be so surprised when we get to Heaven. The people who are out front today are the pastors and many ministries that have a lot of glitz to them. They have big numbers. They have big buildings. They have large radio or television ministries, but there are so many believers who sit there, take in the Word, and do it. They are faithful in giving. They are faithful in witnessing. They are quiet. They do not look like much. They have all kinds of very ordinary jobs, but they are more faithful in their application of the Word than many of the people that we think are out front, that know the Word so well.
1 Corinthians 1:27–29, “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.”
One of the contrasts between David and Saul is Saul seems quiet, bashful, and shy at the beginning, but he is filled with arrogance. He may not act like he thinks he is much, but he really does. David is truly humble. He is submissive to the authority of Saul even when Saul is trying to kill him.
One of the things that we are going to see, as we go through the last half of Samuel, is that there this subtle contrast developed between the genuine humility of David and the arrogance of Saul. The arrogance of Saul culminated in the great indictment from Samuel when he told him that “rebellion is the sin of wickedness (divination), and stubbornness (insubordination) is as the sin of iniquity and idolatry,” 1 Samuel 15:23. It is like idolatry and sin. Saul is arrogant and rebellious, but David, we are going to see, is obedient.
David is submissive to Saul. He gets caught in the cave with Saul. All of his men say here is God’s opportunity for you to kill Saul. Saul is trying to kill you. He has been trying to kill you over and over again. David weakens a little bit. He reaches out and cuts off the hem of Saul’s robe to show, see, I could have killed you, but I did not. You see a hint of pride. David is so convicted by that that by just doing that he has violated the authority of God’s anointed.
David comes out and he has to confess it to Saul and apologize that he did that. It was an affront to Saul’s authority, even though Saul is not worthy of that at all. Saul is God’s anointed. God has put him in authority. That is one of the hardest things for independent-minded Americans to grasp, the emphasis on submission to authority. That is humility in the Scriptures. We are going to see this again and again.
For years, I pointed this out last week, liberals have said that they have never found any evidence of David in archeology. He is just a myth.
Then in the mid-90s archeologists discovered at Tel Dan, which is located in the north of Israel, an inscription, highlighted here in the slide, which is a reference to house of David. That tells us that David existed. His dynasty existed. It confirms what the Bible says.
As we get into the 1 Samuel 16, it is a rather short chapter. There is not a lot of action that takes place here, but it is significant for us to go through this. The Lord addresses Samuel.
At the end of 1 Samuel 15 what we noted is that Samuel is despondent. He is mourning over Saul’s failure and Saul’s rejection. Not only that, but we also see in the text that God regretted that He has made Saul king over Israel. In 1 Samuel 15:35 the Hebrew word is nācham. It is repeated a couple of times in this chapter for emphasis. It is only used of God a couple of times. It is an anthropopathism. It does not mean that God changed His mind like a human does, because as we see in this particular chapter that one of the uses of this is to say that “God is not a man that He should repent.”
God is not going to change. It is an anthropopathism. From our perspective God has changed His mind about Saul being over Israel. But this idiom that is expressing this kind of shift in God’s plan is only used one other time prior to this. That is in Genesis 6, when the Scripture says that God regretted that He had made man. What is the result of that? The result is the judgment and the worldwide flood. In other words, when God looks down and we have this kind of a statement made regarding to God’s plan and shift of plan, it is something extremely serious. This is not just a minor thing. This is something that is extremely serious.
After Samuel has mourned awhile, 1 Samuel 16:1, God says, “How long will you morn 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.”
Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us there is “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” Sometimes Christians get the idea that I should not mourn, or that Samuel was wrong to mourn. No, it is okay to mourn, but there is a time to mourn. After a time of mourning you need to get up and move on. That is what God is saying here. It is time to move on. I do not know how long that period of time was.
In Daniel 10:2 Daniel is given a revelation, “In those days, I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks.” There is nothing wrong with that, but then it was time to move on.
In Nehemiah 1:4 as Nehemiah heard the terrible report about how the walls of Jerusalem had not been rebuilt, he “sat down and wept and mourned for many days.” He was “fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” Sometimes mourning is good because it drives us to focus on the Lord again.
1 Thessalonians 4:13, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”
In the New Testament we realize that when there is a death we do not sorrow like those who have no hope. It does not say that we do not sorrow. We do, but then we have to learn to apply Scripture and move on as we go through that mourning.
What we see here in 1 Samuel 16:1 is that Samuel is instructed to take a horn and he is going to fill it with olive oil. He will go to the home of Jesse the Bethlehemite. The term Jesse is not a common name among the Israelites. It may be an Aramaic name. Perhaps it is a name that came out of Ruth’s background. We do not know, but we do know that he is the grandson of Boaz and Ruth. This is the first time the word Bethlehemite shows up in Scripture. We know that it is going to be the future birthplace of the Messiah because of the book of Micah.
Bethlehem is about ten miles south of Ramah. Ramah is where Samuel is living. Ramah is about five miles north of Jerusalem. Bethlehem is about five miles south. Put that in perspective. We are about ten miles from downtown Houston. If we were at Ramah we would be moving toward Bethlehem. It would be about where downtown is. Jerusalem would be located about where Memorial Park is located. Jerusalem at that time probably was not as big as Memorial Park. It was really small.
In fact, if you know where the jogging trail is at Memorial Park, or if you have ever walked it, that section is about the size, maybe a little larger of the Jebusite city of David at that particular time. It is not very large. Those are about the distances.
In 1 Samuel 16:2 Samuel says, “How can I go?” I cannot really trust Saul. If he finds out that I am headed there and what I am going to do, then Saul is going to react against this. My life may be in danger. God says He has a mission for him. “Take a heifer with you” and if anyone asks, say that you “have come to sacrifice to the LORD.” That is legitimately what Samuel was going to do. He was going to go there and provide a sacrifice.
A heifer is a young female cow. According to Leviticus 3:1, a heifer was the sacrifice for a peace offering. It is Samuel’s role as priest. He would go to different villages and teach. He would also offer sacrifices. That is what he is going to do, but he has another mission as well.
1n 1 Samuel 16:3 Samuel is to invite Jesse to the sacrifice. God is going to reveal to Samuel what he should do. We do not know how God was going to reveal it to him. Do not read into the text your intuition, your feelings, your emotions, liver quiver, or any of the other things that people go by. We do not know how this worked. Samuel is a prophet. God could have audibly spoken to him. We do not know how this worked. God communicated it very clearly to him as to whom he would anoint.
1 Samuel 16:4, Samuel went to Bethlehem. The elders were a little concerned. Why is this significant man of God coming here? Maybe we have done something? They want to know if he is peaceable and not going to bring judgment from God. Samuel says yes, it is peaceable. Shālôm is the word there.
1 Samuel 16:5, “I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Before they could sacrifice there had to be ritual cleansing. “Then he (Samuel) consecrated Jesse and his sons.”
The word “consecrated” and the word “sanctified” are the same Hebrew verb, qodash. The first qodash, “sanctify yourselves,” is a hithpael in the Hebrew, which means it is causative and reflects it, do this to yourselves. Make sure you are ritually cleansed if you need to wash. You need to wash if you need to change your cloths. You need to avoid certain practices ahead of time. You needed to have done this ahead of time. There were different stipulations for cleansing in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament you had to be cleansed. Samuel says that to the elders. Then he found Jesse and his sons, and he personally sanctified them. We are not told exactly how he did that. Then he invited them to the sacrifice. This probably took a few days. It is not something that just happened quickly. People have to walk a long distance, all of these kinds of things. The logistics take a little bit of time. When they come together Jesse brings his sons. The first son comes and he looks manly. He looks regal. He looks like he should be king.
Samuel looks at him and says “Ah! This is the Lord’s anointed.” The word “anointed” is the Hebrew word māshîach, which is where we get our word Messiah. It is translated into Greek as CHRISTOS, or Christ. This is where we get the word “anointed.” That he is going to be the “anointed one.”
In 1 Samuel 16:7 the Lord tells Samuel not look on the outer appearance or at his physical stature.
There have been so many people that I have heard in this presidential election, all kinds of different people, so-and-so does not look presidential. Look at the way that person looks. Look at that hair. That was Hillary, not Trump. Look at that hair. That is Trump, not Hillary. Look at those age lines. Look at how she stumbles. All kinds of things that do not have anything to do with character—that do not have anything to do with politics.
We live in an age where we would rather vote for a John F. Kennedy than a Richard Nixon because Nixon had a heavy 5 o’clock shadow on his face in a debate. We are so superficial. We are going to vote for appearance. We are not going to vote for content. We deserve whatever we get.
God says do not look on the outside. I got in trouble. Some people did not like it when I said that in the 20th century it is rare, in a contest between two presidential candidates, for a man under 5’9” to be the winner. That does not have anything to do with content. That is just an observation on the superficiality of the pagan culture in the 20th century.
People got all upset because that meant that their candidate, who was shorter, would not get there. He did not get there. He did not make it. He should have, perhaps. I am not making a judgment on that. I am just saying that this is human nature. We are superficial. This is what God is talking about. Do not make ad hominem arguments for or against a candidate. It is not about how they look, how they talk, how they smell, what their nose is like, what their chin is like, what their eyes are like. It is their character and the content of their belief system.
1 Samuel 16:7, “For the LORD does not see as a man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
This is similar to what Isaiah says in Isaiah 55:8–9, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
There is human viewpoint versus divine viewpoint. Frankly, the choices we have had for president and most political offices for the last 50 years have been between one kind of human viewpoint and another kind of human viewpoint. We are supposed to vote for the one that we think best work out that to where the church can function peaceably and carry out her role and her mission under that particular leader—whether it is a mayor or a governor or a president.
We have to focus on what is best. When we have a choice between two midgets, we have to pick the one that is the taller. I am going to get in trouble with somebody. But that is what we are doing. We have to take the taller of two midgets. It may not be but a millimeters’ worth of difference.
1 Samuel 16:8, “So Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel.” He did not make the cut.
The next son, the third son, 1 Samuel 16:9, “Shammah passed by.” He did not make the cut.
1 Samuel 16:10, the rest of Jesse’s sons went by, and none of them made the cut.
Samuel asks Jesse if all the young men were there. Jesse tells him of the young one. He is the “runt of the litter”. He is not much. He is out taking care of the sheep because he is the young one. We give him the dirtiest jobs.
In 1 Samuel 16:11 Samuel says for Jesse to bring him. We will not sit down until he comes. They were probably getting hungry by this point. Jesse sent for him and brought him in.
In 1 Samuel 16:12 we are told that “he was ruddy, with bright eyes and good looking.” He is not the “runt of the litter” in terms of his appearance, but he probably was not as tall as Eliab. And the Lord indicates to Samuel, this is he. “Anoint him; for this is the one!”
We are told in 1 Samuel 16:13, “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him.” It is a picture of the Holy Spirit coming upon somebody. It is external. It is not internal. He “anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David.”
The word “upon” is important. It is the Hebrew word ’el, which means to come to or toward someone. It is not in him. We have the internal indwelling of the Holy Spirit today. This is an external position of empowerment, not internal. That is going to be important because we are going to see that these evil spirits that come upon Saul also come upon him or to him. They do not go in him. It is not demon possession. It is not internal. Those prepositions are really important. From that day forward the Holy Spirit is empowering David to rule.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament:
- It was limited to leaders in Israel.
I added it up one time. Probably, not more than 90–100 people in the Old Testament were empowered by the Holy Spirit. They were prophets, priests, writers of Scripture, a few kings and judges, and the craftsmen who made the tabernacle, Aholiab and Bezalel.
- We are told that the Holy Spirit was given to empower them to fulfill their responsibilities in relation to the theocratic kingdom of Israel. They were rulers and administrators. They had other functions, but that was what the purpose was. It was not to empower them in their spiritual life, Exodus 31:3–4.
- We are told that the Holy Spirit was temporary. The Holy Spirit was taken from Saul in 1 Samuel 16:14, and the Holy Spirit might have been taken from David. David prays in Psalm 51:11, “LORD, do not take Your Spirit from me.”
- We learned that the Holy Spirit was not given to empower their spiritual lives. Not like we have in the Church Age. That is what is so remarkable. We have been given the Holy Spirit, and we have been baptized by the Spirit. That never happened before the Day of Pentecost. That is what is unique to the Church Age.
We will come back and look at the contrast between David and Saul in the rest of the chapter next time.
“Father, thank You for this time to study Your Word. We pray that You would help us to understand and apply these things. That You would give us wisdom and skill as we learn and study about the people who are running for various offices for this election that we may make a wise selection. We pray this in Christ’s Name. Amen.”