A Heart! A Heart! My Kingdom for a Heart! That Heart! That Heart! My Kingdom to that Heart!

A HEART! A HEART! MY KINGDOM FOR A HEART!      THAT HEART! THAT HEART! MY KINGDOM TO THAT HEART!
The Entire Horn Full of Oil Brought the Full Anointing of the Spirit.
(1 Samuel 16:4-13)
0001 JessesSons

Jesse’s seven sons meet Samuel.

OK! This is the big one for Samuel. It is also the last one. It is not the last we hear of him, but it is the last commissioned job that we know of given to him by God. Samuel was on his way, by divine instruction to a place called Bethlehem. It means “House of Bread.” It was in this place that He who said He was the “Bread of Life” was born.  And the big house that was undoubtedly at the centre of Bethlehem was clearly Jesse’s, and undoubtedly the place where the Bread of Life was born.

Most readers will instinctively respond to that last sentence by asking, “How on earth can this writer know that Jesse had the biggest house in Bethlehem?” Here is my answer. Can it be gainsaid?

Bethlehem is about 6 miles or so south of Jerusalem. Bethlehem was within the territory given to the tribe of Judah. Rahab, the woman who was  an innkeeper (not a harlot) in Jericho was grafted into the people of Israel because of her faith, and her actions that sprung from that faith in Yahweh. She married a man named Salmon, of Judah. Salmon must have lived in the big house in Bethlehem. I know that, first of all, because Salmon was the son of Nahshon. According to Numbers 1:7 Nahshon was at least 20 years old when Israel left Egypt led by Moses. He was a prince in Israel. Salmon lived in the biggest house in Bethlehem. We can be sure of that because he and Rahab had a child whose name was Boaz.  Boaz is the “mighty man of wealth” who owned most of the land around Bethlehem. He was well respected and godly. Boaz having a gentile mother, had no scruples at all about marrying a beautiful and godly gentile woman whose name was Ruth – as in “The book of Ruth.” Boaz  and Ruth had a son called Obed. We don’t know who Obed married, but he had a son called Jesse, who had a son called David. Catch the thread, and in so doing, catch the point about the huge dwelling place that was the family seat.

Because family, property and homes  and tradition were held tightly and firmly through unchanging customs and many generations, it is an assertion, generally agreed to by middle eastern people in the know, as well as statements made by historians, that Salmon of Judah who entered the promised land with Joshua, who would have actually known Moses, lived in the same home that David lived in as a child. The house would have undoubtedly been extended and/or “improved” through the generations, but it would, without question, have been the same familial house over  those first half a dozen descendants. It is possible (although I personally doubt it) that there are names omitted from the biblical line of descent, so it may have been over more generations. Bethlehem, it is believed, was known as the house of bread because of the far-famed fields of Boaz, which were corn, wheat and barley fields that had no parallel in Judah. The land given to Nahshon, or if he had deceased, to Salmon, by Moses must have consisted of a house and lands extending down the valley on the eastern flank of Bethlehem and embracing the celebrated fields.

0002 SAMUEL INSPECTS-JESSE'S SONS-234

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Bethlehem is a town in the Judean hills fifteen miles north of Hebron and Mamre, six miles south of Jerusalem and the border of Benjamin, and twelve to fifteen miles, depending on which road one takes, west of the Dead Sea. These distances seem trivial, but it must be remembered that, in a day where the average rate of travel is three miles an hour instead of fifty as it is today, these miles must be multiplied by nearly 17 to represent the real time it takes to get from one place to another. This place that progressed to be a town was called, since the days of Naashon, “Bethlehem-Judah,” Jewish people in the area tell the story of how, as soon as the temple was built on Mount Moriah, the weaving of the veils and curtains of the temple and its courts became part of the work of the town and was reported to be especially carried on by the family of Jesse. How that is known, I fail to understand. I would have thought that once David had ascended the throne, and then afterwards when Solomon had entered into an established wealth and grandeur, making curtains would have been the last thing that the royal family of Jesse would do. But, legends are legends.

When Ruth entered into what are now the hallowed precincts of Bethlehem, we are given a unique insight into the life of the time. We learn how Boaz added to his already great wealth the whole property of the late Elimelech and his two dead sons, and then he takes in marriage the Moabitess, Ruth. It seems to have been a done thing in the tribe of Judah to marry “alien” gentile women, Judah himself, the son of Jacob, married Shua, a Canaanite (1 Chronicles 2:3), and to this royal tribe Boaz belonged. It is also fascinating to note, that in scripture the Moabites were under a deeper curse than the Canaanites (See Deuteronomy 23:3). We refuse to bite the bait and follow that strand – in these pages at least.

0003 shepherds outside Bethlehem

Shepherds outside Bethlehem

But, concerning this building that was the home of Boaz, Jesse and David I would just like to digress a little, and add a postscript concerning what happened to the place. In the biblical account of David – the boy Shepherd who became the great king of Israel – when he was nearly sixty years of age, King David had to flee from Absalom his son over the Mount of Olives and then right away to a northern city of refuge called Mahanaim in Gilead, the other side of Jordan some 100 miles north-east of Jerusalem. Here he met with three great sheikhs who cared for him, and one of them, Barzillai, came back with him on his return to Jerusalem as far as the Jordan. The elderly and humbled King pressed Barzillai hard to come back with him to the capital and take a place at the royal table. It was, however, Barzillai’s eightieth birthday, and he said he could not come, but must return to be buried by his father and mother’s side in Gilead. Although Barzillai could not accept the offer, he asked David if his son Chimham could take his place. David accepted. So the King  returned with Chimham and treated him very much as his own son, and commended him to Solomon when he died. Chimham, therefore, lived all his life as a son of David. The next mention of Chimham is in Jeremiah 41:17. Rebels, who had murdered a man appointed as a Jewish leader by Nebuchadnezzar after Jerusalem’s fall, were fleeing to Egypt. On the way they stopped at the place where Chimham lived. And we read of Chimham in connection with Bethlehem. It speaks of the habitation (or inn) of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem. This “kahn,” or inn was at the same site of Boaz and David’s house, “by Bethlehem.” The inns, or kahns of the day were always the largest building in the town. Most English translations refer to the “habitation of Chimham,” the Masoretic text refers to the “kahn of Chimham.” Straightforward logic would therefore suggest that the grand old home of Jesse, David, and his seven brothers had become the possession  and home of the king’s adopted son, Chimham. There is simply no other way to account for the presence of Chimham in Bethlehem.

A sanitised image of Samuel anointing David

A sanitised image of Samuel anointing David

We must therefore suppose that David gave Chimham his house at Bethlehem, according to his promise to do all he could for him, to whom he became so much attached, as is seen by his message to Solomon (1 Kings 2:7); and thus we can readily see how Chimham got his habitation there. That this was so, appears all the more probable in that, as we know, the dwelling was large and spacious, and well fitted to be converted into a khan or inn sometime after  Chimham’s death, as would appear from Jeremiah. Chimham must have made a reputable name for himself for his name to be sustainably used through many generations as the identity of the place. A khan always gave great financial benefit to a town. People local to Bethlehem claim that this khan was one of great importance, as being the “starting-place” of caravans off to trade in Egypt. Alfred Schofield, when not producing his “Scofield Bible,” is on record as saying that “To give a khan to a town in those days was equivalent to giving a park or a hospital to the community now.” I find biblical trails like this, absolutely fascinating.

And there’s more!

The occasion in Jeremiah 41 where Chimham’s kahn is mentioned is also striking.  At this time a man called Ishmael, of the Jewish royal house, killed Gedaliah the Babylonish governor of Nebuchadnezzar. Johanan, another Jewish leader, fearing the wrath of the King of Babylon, fled southwards to Egypt  with a mixed multitude, and in so doing, forcibly dragged the daughters of Zedekiah the king, as well as the prophet Jeremiah, and his companion Baruch. But at Bethlehem, in the khan of Chimham, where the caravan had to be made up, he stayed some little time, during which Jeremiah was asked to pray for guidance as to whether the people should flee into Egypt or no. Jeremiah prayed for 10 days in the old house of David, ie: Chimham’s kahn. Jeremiah told them that the answer was a firm “No!” Nasty Johanan, however, was determined to go on. He declared that Jeremiah had lied and that God had not spoken to him. He then proceeded on his journey with all his company, including Jeremiah. This particular caravan of people, including Jeremiah, returned no more to the land of Israel.

But we haven’t yet finished. We know nothing more about the house that David lived in,  until, nearly six hundred years later. Down the road to Bethlehem from Jerusalem, a man called Joseph and a woman called Mary came to be taxed. Bethlehem was so near Jerusalem that it was always filled at feast-times, and Joseph found no room for them in the only khan, the very well-known khan that now, because of population growth and land expansion, was actually within Bethlehem. Those who know the East and its history, understand very well that the inn ” of Luke 2:7 could be none other than the khan of Chimham, the house of David and the dwelling place of Boaz, the house where Salmon lived with Rahab. It may be fading now, since modern global village culture bites into the traditions of men all over the planet, but  it was so in biblical times of both Testaments, that in any eastern district there was only one khan, and its site and name never changed through the centuries.

0005 Bethlehem_native_home_near_Bethlehem

Bethlehem. Could this be where Jesus was born?

Returning to the thrust of our focus, and the elderly prophet Samuel, we follow him into Bethlehem.  As in 1 Samuel 16:4. Samuel had felt it hard to bow to the decree of God concerning Saul being torn from his future dynastic line.  It grieved Samuel as much as it had grieved God Himself.  He had, however, sorrowed so much as to have received a rebuke from the Almighty — the only one recorded as spoken by God to him.

The grief might not have lasted so long with Samuel if he had known the future. That is something that is true of us all. God gives us insights into some aspects of the future. There is biblical prophecy explaining end times. These sections of the scriptures reveal all about the future of the world, heaven and hell as well as the reign of Christ on earth. I have also known and experienced, sometimes as being the subject of personal prophecy from prophetic ministers, and more often as a spectator, when a definite statement has been made concerning my own future. When such personal statements have been made by prophets to myself, I have acted on those words, even though they assumed that a certain point of life was going to go in a definite spoken direction.

As an example, many years ago, I had nine points on my driving Licence in the UK. I was in court for a fourth speeding offence, at which point I would have been banned from driving for three years or so. The possible ban had frozen all decisions of travelling and visiting friends and family. I was not going to stand before a magistrate for 3 or 4 months. It sounds trite as I think of it now, but at the time it was huge. It would have meant, of course, that I would lose my job, as the work I did at the time entailed  around 40,000 miles a year driving.

I was in a church service where a prophet who neither knew my name, my job or anything else about me, stated that, “There is a man here who has a court case coming up about fast driving. You will not lose your job. You will not lose your car. You will leave court with no “hold up” to your future.” I believed the prophecy and immediately made plans that assumed I would have the car and would be driving. When I stood before the magistrate It went exactly as the prophet had foretold.

Knowing the future is a wonderful thing at times. I am sure that knowing the day we will die, or the day our loved ones would pass away would be a torturous thing. But knowing something good is going to happen would bring utter release.

Samuel’s grief was not only because of Saul’s disobedience. It was all about an inner cry of, “What will happen to Israel without a king? Will they go back to the horrible days of the Judges? Will anarchy follow Saul’s death? How is it possible for Israel to progress?” This was the heartbeat of Samuel and his passionate pastoral care for, as well as his prophetic input to the nation.

The grief had stopped the very moment God told Samuel to go to Jesse of Bethlehem and said to the prophet, “I have chosen one of his sons to be king .” There must have been as much joy in his heart as there had been grief the moment earlier.

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Bethlehem Market place in 1907

Imagine also, as an overlay to this story, the fear of Saul in Samuel. I cannot perceive that Samuel did not want to fulfil the God given mission  because of a complaint, but he wanted to know about Saul. He shrunk from this task which added all that was required to confirm the doom of Saul. He sought to shun the duty by expressing apprehensions for his safety should Saul hear of the transaction.  “How can I go? If Saul hears it he’ll kill me.” Samuel lived just a couple of miles from Gibeah of Saul, and if he  went off with a saddled donkey and a pack donkey, Saul’s spies would know he was up to something and would attempt to stop Samuel in his tracks.  It makes logical sense, that if Saul and his followers were now in fear of Saul losing his throne, not knowing the mind of God or Samuel, there must have been a whole raft of random ideas in Saul’s head. “Will Samuel hack me into pieces as he did with Agag? Will he inspire somebody to rebel against me and wage a civil war? Will he  surrender me to the Philistines? Worse of all, will he pray against me in public?”

God’s instruction to Samuel was to take a heifer with him, and to tell folks that he was going to hold a feast with the people of Bethlehem. So here he was at the house of Bread. The difficulty of thoughts of danger to his life had been removed, and he was guaranteed Divine wisdom to direct his conduct. We can all walk safely when we have the counsel of God, when we are assured of strength and wisdom according to our day! The Lord opened up a clear way for Samuel by suggesting an exercise that concealed his chief object. He was to take a heifer with him, and call Jesse to the sacrifice and feast. This seems to have been not an unusual occurrence. A similar occasion took place when Saul was first told of the kingly dignity awaiting him.

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Bethlehem Old Market Place in 1907

Samuel was a living legend. It was quite an event in Bethlehem that the venerable son of Hannah should be there. The people held him in the very highest esteem, and felt an awe upon their spirits in his presence. His was entirely, so far as they were concerned, a spiritual mission. They trembled at the sight of him, crying in anguish, “Do you come in peace?” They had probably heard of his words to Saul. They had undoubtedly had some of the young men in their town present when he prayed a prayer that distressed the Philistines. They knew not to mess with God’s prophet. So, before any words were passed, “Do you come in peace?” seemed the right question to ask,

He declared his purpose. “I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord; sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” They were to wash their clothes-indicative of the spiritual cleansing of the heart which was essential to the right observance of any sacrifice. The text tells us that Samuel himself consecrated  Jesse and his sons and invited them in particular to the sacrifice. Samuel led them, he performed for them the priestly service as he was a Levite. That sacrifice at Bethlehem had its joy in a feasted meal and undoubtedly some good talks with the prophet. The day would be long remembered in the local chat for the sacrifice and the meal with Samuel. Some would be telling their Grandchildren, “I met and talked to the prophet Samuel.” It was a huge event, locally, and as the most important man in the nation was there, he would, of course stay in the largest house of the wealthiest family in Bethlehem. This happened to be the property of the man called Jesse. But before they sat down to feast upon the offered heifer, Samuel had another job to perform.

The great prophet sought a special interview with the sons of Jesse, that he might set apart one of them for a high dignity in the future history of the Hebrew nation. Up to these moments, nobody on the planet was aware of what was to follow, apart from Samuel himself. It wasn’t so much that Samuel would interview any of them before the choice of king, but perhaps, although there is none recorded, he would have the chance to enjoy a chat with the recipient of the kingly anointing after the choosing, as he did with Saul. A man to man talk between prophet and future king would be just what Samuel needed to assure himself of the nation’s future – that is with the assumption that a grown, intelligent man would be the choice.

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Samuel anointing David with onlooking brothers.

We have no idea of who was there when this moment of destiny arrived. Was it just Jesse and his sons (minus David) at first? Or could it possibly have been in the presence of other members of the elders of Bethlehem?  We are not told. I feel brave enough, however, to state that because of the state of mind of Saul, and the danger to all who would dare whisper the results of Samuel’s visit to the house of Jesse, nobody else was there but the members of David’s immediate family. What was about to happen would endanger people’s lives if it was discussed in the wrong company. For these reasons the camera of my mind sees, in glorious Technicolor, Samuel possibly in Jesse’s home just prior to going out to make the sacrifice, or possibly just after the sacrifice and before the feast, seeming to have asked Jesse to introduce to him all his sons. Whether they lined up before him, or were brought into the room one by one we are not told.

However it occurred, while Samuel stood with Jesse, in came Eliab his eldest son. Eliab was a soldier of Israel who was later fighting with Saul’s troops when they were paralysed with fear because of Goliath. He was obviously, tall, strong and able in appearance to look like a king.

We are here allowed into Samuel’s mind. Does this mean that Samuel wrote the text while he lived? Or was it his retelling of this memorable day that allows us into the great man’s thoughts? “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” But then Samuel heard Yahweh say, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

0009David is anointed by Samuel as seven brothers and his father watch.Oh! How often have I read these lines and found myself utterly immersed in several points of observation.

  1. Samuel saw everything as “before the Lord.” That is because he himself lived in the presence of God, therefore “before the LORD.” We are not talking here about, “God is everywhere therefore wherever I am I stand before Him.” This is the reality of living in the Spirit, in the manifest presence of God. But because of Samuel’s very essence being in the presence of the Lord, he sees Eliab as, “Before the LORD.” The cusp of the supernatural, the threshold of the doorway between what is flesh and what is spirit, at the opening betwixt Heaven and Earth. Sublime!
  2. Samuel can tell the difference, instantly, between what are his thoughts, and what are God’s thoughts. He is aware, almost instinctively, where his words finish and where God’s words start. He thinks Eliab is the one to be anointed, and immediately the voice of God corrects him. Oh Lord, take me there!
  3. The ESV has Hebrews 5:14 saying, “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” This instant hearing of the voice of God shows Samuel’s spiritual maturity. It shows us that his powers of discernment were trained by constant practice, in fact it was a lifelong practice learned since that night in the tabernacle when, as a child God first called him.  Samuel’s gift for distinguishing between what was good and what was evil, what was man and what was God, what was self and what was the Spirit of God, was learned by practice and being practical in his responses to God.
  4. It causes me to believe that God is speaking constantly to all believers in this fashion. It must grieve the heart of God how rarely some of us hear him.
  5. It also informs us how close were Samuel and Yahweh. It’s like best friends walking together. One says, “I think this is right!” and the All Knowing Friend replies, “No! That is not right, because …,” and then gives the friend the reasons for the correction.
  6. If a man of Samuel’s maturity and gifting gets it wrong when he thinks from his own human resources, how much more do I?  The answer Samuel received to correct his error is one of these divine statements which, even without the context of this story is weighty, is simply one of those eternal truths that allows us to rest in our awe of the character of God.  “Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks on the heart.” The application of this principle is phenomenally ubiquitous.  This is the reason, of course, God could not leave the choice of the new king to Samuel, the correct choosing depended solely on God speaking to a man that was able to listen to what God was saying, and to do what the Word said.
  7. The Lord said to Samuel, “Look not on his appearance, or on the height of his stature: because I have refused him: for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  God  knows fully all that characterises the inward and spiritual nature of man. O heart, heart, what are you? A mass of foolishness and absurdities, the vainest, craftiest, wickedest, most foolish thing in nature.

00010 David_anointedSo Eliab stands there with Samuel shaking his head as if he was talking to an invisible other party, which he was. Then Abinadab, Jesse’s second born child entered the room, and passed by in front of Samuel. We are not told what Yahweh whispered to Samuel this time, but we are told plainly that he uttered the words, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” This meant, assuming that Samuel spoke out loud, that Jesse, Eliab and Abinadab were now aware that Samuel was looking for someone for a special purpose. Could they have guessed what that purpose was before Samuel made it plain? Then entered Shammah (stated in 1 Chronicles 2 to be Shimea). “Nor has the Lord chosen this one,” were Samuel’s spoken words. So now we have father and three sons knowing that on this day God has chosen somebody for something. They probably concluded that it must be somebody of the family, but the biggest and best of the bunch were now excluded. Where was Samuel going in his search?

Verse 10 gives me a problem. It states that, “Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen these.” Why does it give me a problem? Because the verse could not possibly imply that the youngest who (as we are all aware) was out looking after his father’s sheep, and was so young as not to be included even in Jesse’s thoughts for anything to do with “Grown-ups Business,” was one of the seven. It leaves us to believe that David had seven brothers. I cannot see how anybody could disagree with me there. But that would mean that the list in 1 Chronicles 2:13-16 gives a deficient list. It says, “Jesse begat Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh.” We are then told of David’s two sisters, “Now their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel-three.”  Great! No problem! But why does 1 Samuel 16:1o say that seven sons passed by Samuel, not including David?   Ah well! That is a question for when I get to see God’s face.

So all 6 or 7 sons have past Samuel, and while listening to God, the prophet has shook his head at each one of them. What next?

00011 Bethlehem today.

Aerial view of Bethlehem today.

There must have been a pregnant pause. Seven fine strapping young men, and God says, “No!” to them all. Jesse and his sons must have deduced that Samuel wanted to be introduced to Jesse’s sons because God had told him that one of them  was to be king. So, surely, Samuel must have misheard the Divine voice? But he knew full well he had not misheard at all. Therefore, logically, there must be at least one other son.

“Are these all the sons you have?” asked Samuel. Then we have Jesse’s classic answer, “There is still the youngest, but …”  Ah! “But…” Samuel had asked to see Jesse’s sons. Jesse assumed that the man of God acts on the way things are, and not on the way things will be in the future. Surely the prophet was after a man, a fighting man, a man’s man, no matter what the purpose of the search was. But God was looking into the future. Tomorrow’s kingly man, was today’s junior playing in the yard. Tomorrow’s mighty man of valour and integrity, was today’s “innocent” looking after the sheep. Tomorrow’s leader whose word the masses would hang on, is today’s little boy who is told to shut up, stay away from the men’s business and just look after the sheep.  Jesse did not even use the boy’s name. “There is still the youngest, but he is tending the sheep.” I can see Samuel’s eyes opening wide while he stares at Jesse, and Jesse attempting to justify himself. “He is of no consequence Samuel. He is young, small, good for nothing but the sheep, he is not a man that you or I can talk to. He is not a fighter to recount acts of bravery. He is a little lad.” Enough said!

“Send for him,” says Samuel. “We will not gather round, or be seated until he arrives.” So Jesse sent a servant, it does not suggest one of the sons was asked to go, and the father had this nameless child brought into the house, and the room where they were all stood waiting. We are told that when he entered he was noticeably ruddy, fine and handsome. The NIV tells it as “He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.” The NLT: “He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.” You get the picture. One commentator is convinced that the word “ruddy” is informing us that David was a red-head. Whatever the actual strict translation is, David was a striking looking young boy with external features that projected a warm and open heart.

BibleAs the unnamed boy enters, Samuel hears God clearly and distinctly. “Rise and anoint him. He is the one.” Thank God that Samuel could hear the divine instruction so promptly. It seems the brothers and the father remained standing whilst Samuel sat.  In front of the whole family, at least all the male members of the family – we are not told if this unnamed boy’s mother or two sisters were present, it simply reminds us that it was in front of the boy’s brothers – Samuel stood up, removed the cap of the horn that was filled with anointing oil, and poured the contents all over the boy’s  head.

It is at this point that the Bible tells us the name of this stripling of a boy, and makes a remarkable statement. “From that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.”

This child was to become the man after God’s heart. This future king, who was a boy after God’s heart, at last was found!  This youngster was to be captain of the people of Israel, who would submit to God in all things, who would fulfil in his rule all the will of God. The new king of Israel had been selected. The great type and the earthly progenitor of the Messianic King, and the pledge of Israel’s greatness, had stood out before the prophet’s eye. God had said, “I choose that one!”  Samuel’s grief must now have been utterly assuaged.

We are now introduced to one whose personal history and typical character are of undying spiritual interest to Bible students everywhere. We can see Christ throughout the life of David if only we search for Him. Genius was born in this youngest fruit of Jesse’s loins. Music and poetry were a part of his nature. Both received a high development from his constant attention to his gift. His harp often sped on the slow moving day or the stationery night, as he watched his flocks. David was a poet, and sang his own Hebrew melodies to his tuneful harp. He was godly, and dedicated his music to the praise of Yahweh. He was profoundly acquainted with the word of God, and while setting many of its heroes of faith and events of grace to music, he was permitted to add largely to the volume of inspiration. Samuel rejoiced in David from the day of his anointing, though he saw not yet all things put under him. In like manner may the believer rejoice in the Son of David and the Son of God, though he sees not yet all things put under His feet. We have a pledge of his future government of all things after God’s own heart in what He has already done.

The job was done. What else was there for Samuel to do. We can but assume that the sacrifice and the feast continued with Samuel present. The moment must have seemed like a surreal aberration. Imagine the memory banks of Jesse and his older sons. The legendary prophet Samuel had appeared to make sacrifice and hold a feast. He calls them all in one by one, and shakes his head, saying to Jesse, “Yahweh has not chosen this one! Nor this one! Nor this one!” Then when the troublesome little sibling enters the room, the elderly man bursts into action and pours an entire horn of oil over his head.” We don’t know what Samuel said as he poured the oil. Perhaps he was actually saying, “I anoint you to be king over Israel,” similar to what he did with Saul. The oil poured over Saul’s head had the same effect as that which was poured over David’s head. Then, before they could ask Samuel, debate, or inquire, it simply says, “Samuel then went to Ramah.” In plain English, Samuel went home  – in more ways than one. Samuel could not have even had a heart to heart with such a youngster. We are not told that any words had passed between the prophet and the king elect. The future was set. It would obviously be years before David could become man enough to be king. Samuel must have left Bethlehem half convinced that David’s enthronement was something he would never see.

The only factual observation they could discern that left them all without a doubt as to what had happened was that David was a changed boy. From then on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David. No one could say it was David’s mind, or adroitness in his natural progress and development. Everybody who knew him could see – it was God.

Samuel must have sighed as he reached the Naioth again. Was his life over? Was there anything else for him to do?

The elderly prophet who had served as a slave to benefit the people of Israel, was now estranged from the present king because of animosity from him. Samuel was estranged from the king to be, through age, and the need for him to sit under parental and sibling education. What was the retired life to be like?

 
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Categories: 1 Samuel 16:4-13, A Heart A Heart My Kingdom for a Heart That Heart That Heart My Kingdom to that Heart | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “A Heart! A Heart! My Kingdom for a Heart! That Heart! That Heart! My Kingdom to that Heart!

  1. It has been a curiosity of mine, pondering the possible reasons for God sending Samuel on Jesse and not direct on David. There emerges the secret of the message of Samuel and Jesse and his Sons. How does a Heart learn?
    The wisdom in God’s choosing of Samuel to go forth to Jesse on, may have in its very act, relieved countless unknown troubles from having taken place. What have Jesse and his other Sons there learned? In any event, those others would have their Lifetimes to reflect on the Goodness of David and through him, the Grace of God.

    Thank you for the wonderful article.

    • Benjamin, How thoughtful a response. I had not thought of the issues you raise.
      Thank you so very much for replying. I appreciate it very much.

      Keith Lannon

  2. You’re welcome Keith.

    I’m happy to share that perspective. It would seem to me that in God including those other 8, He effectively parted the Seas for David to go in safety forth with calmness also behind him. When God includes those otherwise seemingly unnecessarily, I’ve found Great lessons presented. While men might choose exclusion, God uses Inclusion and is yet another testament of God’s Grace.

    His Grace works through giving the chance to a mankind, to decide for oneself.
    In the realm of the Heart, each man is free. To act against the Heart will always first be the Choice of that man. This is the character development God wishes to see. Much the same a Father may wish to see of his children.

    I write further on this because His Grace is so inspiring.

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