Pastoral Commentary for 1 Samuel 16:1-17:16
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
God instructed Samuel to stop mourning for King Saul and go to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be king in Saul's place. Samuel was fearful of Saul, but went and did as God commanded, inviting Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice. When they arrived Samuel laid eyes on the eldest, Eliab and thought he would be God's choice. However, the LORD told Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." Each of Jesse's sons was passed by, so Samuel was forced to inquire if there were any more. Jesse brought his youngest son, David, and the Lord chose him in spite of the fact that "had beautiful eyes and was handsome." From that time on God's Holy Spirit came on David in power, but God permitted an evil spirit to torment Saul. When Saul's attendants suggested that a musician might soothe his troubled spirit, Saul told them to find him one, and David was summoned to Saul's court. David became an armor bearer for Saul, and calmed his troubled heart with his harp. During this time the Philistines gathered for war against Israel and sent champion named Goliath, who was nine feet tall, out to challenge them. "I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together." This went on for forty days without any Israelite having the courage to come out against Goliath. Once again, the fear of man was greater than the fear of God.