Beginning of the End


David Anointed as King

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 16:1-13.

In the freshness of boyhood, David kept watch of his flocks as they grazed on the hills surrounding Bethlehem. The simple shepherd sang songs he composed himself, and the music of his harp made a sweet accompaniment to the rich melody of his young voice. The Lord was preparing David for the work He planned to commit to his trust in later years. BOE 321.1

“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. ... You shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.’ So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, ‘Do you come peaceably?’ And he said, ‘Peaceably.’” The elders accepted an invitation to the sacrifice, and Samuel called Jesse and his sons. All the household of Jesse were present except David, the youngest son, who had been left to guard the sheep. BOE 321.2

Before eating of the offering feast, Samuel began his prophetic inspection of the noble-appearing sons of Jesse. Eliab was the eldest, and more nearly resembled Saul in height and good looks than the others. As Samuel looked at his princely bearing, he thought, “This is indeed the man whom God has chosen as successor to Saul,” and waited for the divine permission to anoint him. BOE 321.3

But Eliab did not fear the Lord. He would have been a proud, demanding ruler. The Lord’s word to Samuel was, “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.” We may learn from the mistake of Samuel how useless it is to judge people by how beautiful or how handsome and tall they are. God’s thoughts regarding His creatures are above our finite minds. But if they will submit their will to God, His children will be brought to fill the place for which they are qualified, and enabled to accomplish the work committed to their hands. BOE 321.4