Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


First Samuel

First Samuel was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Sixteen




David is certainly one of the major characters of the Word of God. He was God's choice to be the first king of Israel, a most distinguished position. The remainder of I Samuel, all of II Samuel, and the first two chapters of I Kings occupy themselves with David. David is a shepherd boy, a beloved friend and archenemy of Saul, a tribal king of Judah, King of Israel, one of the greatest military strategists and warriors in the Old Testament, and one of the greatest types of Christ in the Bible.

The name David means "beloved." The name is given to no other person in the Old Testament.

David was the son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, and the youngest of eight brothers. His genealogy is given in (Ruth 4:18-22) as running back ten generations through Jesse, Obed, Boaz, Salmon Nahshon, Amminadab, Ram, and Hezron to Perez; who according to (Gen. 38) was the son of Judah by Tamar. In is ancestral line were Nahshon (Num. 2:3; 1 Chron. 2:10) and brother-in-law of Aaron (Ex. 6:23); and Ruth, a moabitess, was his great grandmother. Foreign blood thus flowed in his veins. Nothing is known concerning his mother.

In estimating the character of David, it is generally allowed that he is the most gifted and versatile personage in Israelitish history; that he is surpassed in ethical greatness and general historical importance only by Moses; that he completed what Moses began; that he created out of Israel a nation and raised it to its highest eminence; and that in spite of all his human frailties, he was a genuinely pious man, an ideal ruler, a lover of righteousness and peace, the only man of age who appreciated Israel's spiritual and social destiny.

David was tender, generous, passionate and fierce. He was a soldier, shepherd, poet, statesman, prophet, king, friend, leader, and a devoted father, all in one.

He founded a dynasty. He established the principle of monarchy. He was patriotic, generous and kind; a man of strong impulses and firm faith; brave, polite and forgiving. He fostered a simple trust in God; as, a sinner, he was sincerely repentant. Seventy-three Psalms are ascribed to David. Many of the Psalms are found duplicated in II Samuel, or vice versa.

In short, the least that can be said in praise of David is that he freed his country from its enemies, unified the nation, gave them Jerusalem as their capital, established some spirituality, and as a just and patriotic ruler, became an ideal of succeeding generations, and a type of the Messiah.

Yet, David was a man ... a sinner ... an adulterer and murderer. If he, then what are we? Isaac Walton once remarked: "Though the prophet David was guilty of murder and adultery, and many others of the most deadly sins, yet he was said to be a man after God's own heart, because he abounded more and more with thankfulness than any other that is mentioned in the Holy Scripture." May our study of David teach us, admonish us, exhort us, and warn us of the relationship we ought to strive to have with our Lord.







Thus far the character of Samuel has been flawless. But here in chapter (16), we see that Samuel has inherited the nature of his fallen parents Adam and Eve. The humanity of Samuel is very evident in two respects. First, in spite of the news from God, that Saul's career, as they say on Wall Street, is on the down side, Samuel continues to mourn for his friend. The Lord questions him, "How long?" God says in effect, "Let's move on with the program." When God stops showing concern in any area, it is for a good reason and it is no reason for us to fret about it. Samuel has temporarily lost the heartbeat of God. How do we know that? Secondly, "How can I go? (vs. 2) Saul will kill me!" Suddenly Samuel is afraid of Saul! Shy? The moment is strangely reminiscent of Elijah's condition when Jezebel threatened him. Victories can bring on some mighty low moments.

The Lord tells Samuel that He will give him an excuse to go to Jesse: "Go do sacrifice." Instead of condemning Samuel's lack of faith, the Lord makes provisions to help him compensate for his unbelief. God is far more understanding than we have ever imagined. (1 Cor. 10:13)!

Bethlehem means "house of bread." This is the city of David and apparently his birthplace. Here we see the first of many pictures that typify the future Jewish Messiah who was born in Bethlehem. David, other than Joseph, is probably the greatest type of Christ in the Scriptures. Note in this chapter alone: his birthplace, "he keepeth the sheep" (11), ruddy (Song of Solomon 5:10), anointed in the midst of his brethren (13) (Matt. 3:16), "man of war" (18) (Ex. 15:3). In Matthew, the gospel of the king and kingdom, we see "...Jesus Christ, the son of David..." (Matt. 1:1). In (vs. 6) "...David the king ... "; there are numerous kings in the genealogy, but only one is ascribed the title.

"Comest thou peaceably?" The news is out--Samuel and Saul have split. The residents of Bethlehem are concerned that Samuel may be there to procure some military support to launch an offensive against Saul.



"... The Lord seeth not as man seeth..." (7). God is not fooled by eye- service, lip-service, excuses, token sacrifices and "good intentions." He sees us where our desires and motives are formed. "For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings" (Prov. 5:21). "...The Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts" (1 Chron. 28:9). "For he knoweth the secrets of the heart" (Psa. 44:21). Eliab looked like a potential king: "Surely the Lord's anointed is before him." God saw more than they saw. After all, it was the people who had chosen Saul; their batting average to date was very poor. David was number 8 of 8! He didn't look like a king, but yet he became the standard to which all other kings were compared.



Is the Devil tempting me or is the Lord testing me? This is an hard saying who can hear it? The text says, " evil spirit from the Lord troubled him" (14). We may best answer our question by scriptural illustration. Job (1:12) says, "...the Lord said unto Satan, Behold all that he hath is in thy power ... So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord." In (2:3), "...thou movest me (God) against him (Job), to destroy him without cause." The Devil worked through the permissive will of God. The Devil tempted, God tested. How may we separate the two? (2 Cor. 12:7). "...there was given to me ... the messenger of Satan to buffet me...." Did the Devil persecute Paul or did the Lord test him? Both! Compare the supposed contradiction of, (1 Chron. 21:1 and 2 Sam. 24:1) in this light. See (1 Ki. 22:19-23 and Judg. 9:23).

Even Saul's servants recognized that the evil spirit upon Saul was from God (16). Tell that to the next "lovey dovey" charismatic you meet! People are so quick to blame the Devil for their problems and fail to see the hand and will of the Lord in them.

The passage teaches us also that music has a very definite effect on our performance and attitude. Note (vs. 23), as David played "Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." Don't underestimate the power of music, good or bad!

David's versatility is evident; he's a well rounded individual. A musician, yet a valiant warrior; a shepherd, a very simple vocation, yet very prudent. A poet, good looking, loyal and spiritually minded "...the Lord is with him" (18). See Acts 10:38.



Saul and David developed an immediate friendship. Implicit trust was necessary between the warrior and his armourbearer as is evidenced in Jonathan's relationship with his armourbearer, (1 Sam. 14:1-6). The motto of the United States Marine Corps is "Semper Fidelis" - always faithful. As we will see, in spite of-their skirmishes, it was David who always endeavored to honor his relationship with Saul. It is sobering to think that what once seemed so good turned out to be so horrible. "David ... loved him greatly." The mere presence of a good friend and loyal associate is almost enough to help one handle life's day to day struggles (23) ... by the grace of God.

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