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David Anointed and Saul Rejected (1 Samuel 16) October 30

The search for a new king begins appropriately enough in Bethlehem, meaning "House of Bread," for out of David's lineage would spring the Messiah, the true bread from heaven (16:1-4; Micah 5:2; John 6:58). Bethlehem had been the town of Ruth and Boaz. Indeed, Jesse and his family were their direct descendants.

Young David was a man after God's own heart, who, unlike Saul, would perform all of God's will (Acts 13:22; Psalm 40:8). The fact that God sought those who would serve Him with all their heart was well known (12:20; 13:14; Deuteronomy 6:5). We would do well to emulate this desired quality in our own lives by studying David's relationship with God.

The name David means "Beloved." His name is mentioned more than a thousand times in the Scriptures. David as shepherd (1 Samuel 16:11) was a picture of Jesus Christ. First of all, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep (John 10:11; Psalm 22). Secondly, Jesus is the Great Shepherd who rules from heaven interceding with the Father for us (Hebrews 13:20; Psalm 23). And finally, Jesus is the Chief Shepherd who brings the Kingdom of God, rewarding His own (1 Peter 5:4; Isaiah 40:11; Psalm 80:1).

David was anointed, i.e. set apart for a special purpose, by Samuel (1 Samuel 16:13). Actually, this was the first of three anointings of David revealed in the Scriptures. You can read of the second anointing that takes place on the occasion of David assuming the kingship of Judah in 2 Samuel 2:4. And he is later anointed king of all Israel in 2 Samuel 5:3.

Saul, on the other hand, is rejected by God. The departure of God's Spirit leaves him in a terrible spiritual, mental and emotional state. God's Holy Spirit helps people to maintain sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). And to start with, Saul was a man who exhibited weakness in his character, such as needing the approval of men (1 Samuel 15:30). The removal of God's Spirit only made things worse.

Amazingly, David a talented shepherd boy, had already achieved notoriety at a young age, not only for his musical ability, but also for his fighting skills (verse 18). He was a levelheaded, handsome young man with a pleasing personality—a natural to be chosen to perform in the court of the king. Saul immediately took to David with a real affection, making him his armor-bearer. David's performance of soothing music on the harp was able to settle and refresh the disturbed state of Saul's mind.

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