1 Samuel: Introducing… David

1 Samuel 16:1–23

We don’t talk very much about the Bible and politics. But 1 & 2 Samuel is definitely a story about politics.

Because politics is all about people are organized and who’s in charge (and who’s not) and why they’re in charge (and that other person isn’t) and how it happened. That’s what’s going on in 1 & 2 Samuel.

And if human history has proven anything, it’s that political succession, that is, how you pass leadership from one person or group to the next is messy and often violent business. Power and influence, once obtained, may very well be the most difficult of things to let go. We may go around thinking we possess them, but time and time again, history gives us examples of people ended up being possessed by power and influence.

So now that we know that Saul is unworthy to lead Israel, we have to know who is and how that power is going to change hands.

Enter David.

In chapter 16, we get two separate stories about how David gets chosen. The first involves Samuel and God and David being chosen despite not being the obvious choice in Samuel’s mind.

(Remember Hannah’s song back in chapter 2 about God bringing down the high and mighty and lifting up the lowly?)

And we get this gem of a statement from God:

For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

The next scene involves Saul and his servants. Saul has a problem. We don’t know specifically what this looks like. Maybe some kind of mental illness or depression. The writer says Saul is tormented by a “harmful spirit from God.” Regardless, it doesn’t sound like a good thing.

The solution they come to is they need a good musician to relieve this tension of Saul’s. Somebody brings up the name of David. Notice his resume that gets listed.

Skillful is playing.

A man of valor.

A man of war.

Prudent in speech.

A man of good presence.

The LORD is with him.

How’s that for building anticipation for us the readers?

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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