The Lord leads Samuel to the Christ who will be after His own heart – David. Samuel has difficulty in recognizing a person who is after God’s own heart – he would choose another Saul Eliab. You and I often have the same difficulty. What do you look for really in a spiritual leader? Charisma, presence, looks, personality, ability, someone who boosts us! What did God look for?
We see now the rise of one king as the other falls.
It seems that the anger and boldness that gripped Samuel in the previous reading is now gone, for he fears Saul’s wrath.
The Lord is patient with Samuel (good news for us!), and tells him what to do.
There is another, who will be a mighty king, one who has a heart after God’s own heart – David!
But today’s reading is not really about David himself, it is focussed on Samuel and Saul.
Although he has been God’s mouthpiece for most of his life (remember little Samuel hearing God’s call in the temple), a faithful prophet and judge, Samuel doesn’t view people the way God does. He still looks on the outside, muscles and countenance, getting a vibe from the exterior (Eliab was surely the one!).
But the Lord is the creator of all things. He has put us together, and He has not forgotten the wiring and code that makes each of us up. He is omniscient – ALL-KNOWING. This includes our minds and thoughts, the intangible and ephemeral. God sees to the HEART.
So He teaches Samuel about the heart (an old man, showing a teachable spirit), and Samuel listens and obeys.
The oil anoints the Lord’s christ – The Spirit of the Lord!
God’s Spirit rushes upon David and, sadly in a way, departs from Saul.
Saul is not just left without God’s Spirit, he now has a dark passenger, a harmful spirit.
While the focus is on Saul, we see that he is unable to (and chooses not to) appeal to the Lord for help. Still though, the Lord does bring help, weaving together His will, in the form of young David.
David is a healing balm, doing the work of a spiritual physician (even in a temporary fashion).
Saul is falling, decreasing. David is rising, increasing.
For us today it is good to reminded that in Jesus we have a King who is GOD HIMSELF, there is no need for rising and increasing.
And He is the Great Physician who has healed His people, giving us new hearts, new spirits.
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
* God Above,
You alone are God, three persons, one God.
You are holy and true, just and merciful. Your steadfast love and faithfulness are in evidence throughout history.
Thank You for Jesus, our King and Saviour.
Please help us to follow Him each day, to work out our faith with fear and trembling, hard-won hard-fought practical outworking of trust in You.