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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

1 Samuel 16

 

 

Verses 1-23

III. DAVID, THE KING AFTER GOD’S HEART--His EXILE AND SUFFERING

1. David Anointed King and the Departure of the Spirit from Saul

CHAPTER 16

1. David anointed king (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

2. The Spirit departs from Saul and David with Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-23)

The king after the people’s heart has failed and is set aside, and now Jehovah brings forth His king after His own heart. That king like Jonathan, a man of faith, is devoted to Jehovah and in perfect subjection unto Him. Furthermore, from the tribe of Judah (Judah means “praise”) he is a worshipper through whom the Spirit of God pours forth the sweetest strains of praise and worship. He prospers into a great kingdom and Jehovah makes an oathbound covenant with him (2 Sam. 7). That covenant points us to the true King, who according to the flesh is of the seed of David. Saul could not foreshadow that King. There is absolutely nothing in Saul which could remind us of the King who is yet to rule over this earth in righteousness. It is different with the life and reign of David. Everywhere we may discover most blessed types of our Lord Jesus Christ, the son of David. Because this king after God’s own heart is to give a typical vision of the coming true King, David had to pass through suffering first before he could receive the kingdom and its glory. From now on in this book we shall follow the sufferings of the king after God’s heart.

Samuel is interrupted in his mourning for Saul by a new command to fill his horn with oil for the anointing of another king. That king is to be chosen from the sons of Jesse the Bethlehemite. A sacrificial feast is appointed in connection with the approaching anointing of the son of Jesse, and Samuel is obedient and went to Bethlehem. Then he called Jesse and his sons to the feast. Then the seven sons of Jesse pass by, but the chosen one is not among them. Only one was left, the youngest who kept the sheep. He is brought in. “Now he was ruddy (literally, “reddish,” perhaps referring to auburn hair) and withal of a beautiful countenance and goodly to look upon; and the LORD said, Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” David the son of Jesse was anointed and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. And so David became the Lord’s anointed. David means “beloved”; he is a shepherd, typifying the Beloved One, the good, the great and the chief Shepherd. What a contrast with Saul!

An evil spirit from the Lord began then to trouble Saul after the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him. What a sad spectacle he now presents! When he had been anointed, the Spirit also came upon him and he became another man. His pride, self-will, disobedience and stubbornness we have followed, and now the Spirit departs and in judgment upon the deposed King an evil spirit was permitted to come upon Saul. “Evil as well as good has its commission from God,--not its existence, but its liberty to act, and the limits of its action.” It was no doubt a case of demon possession. He had rejected the Word of God and was given over into the hands of a demon. Such is also the case in the days of apostasy which are now upon Christendom. They depart from the faith and follow seducing spirits and doctrines of demons. Doctrinal apostasy and the moral evils following such an apostasy is the work of demons. God still permits as an act of judgment that demons possess those who are disobedient and rebel against Him. Then David is called in to sing to the afflicted King and to soothe him. And he loved him greatly and David became his armour bearer. “And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand; so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.” Here we have a beautiful type of the Lord Jesus Christ. His sweet words, the ministrations of His Spirit refresh the soul and drive out the evil spirit. When the unhappy king had been quieted and the ministry of the young shepherd-king was no longer needed, he returned to his home and to his shepherd life; to feed his father’s sheep (1 Samuel 17:15).

No discrepancy exists between 1 Samuel 16:19-23 and the question which Saul subsequently asks: “Whose son is this youth?” (1 Samuel 17:55-58) The king had not been previously anxious to become intimately acquainted with the origin and family-connections of one who merely bore his arms and served as his harper, but when the latter is on the point of becoming his son-in-law, it is naturally a matter of interest to him to acquire a more accurate knowledge of the personal history of David.

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/1-samuel-16.html. 1913-1922.

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