1 Samuel 16* Samuel sent to Bethlehem to Jesse. (1-5) David is anointed.(6-13) Saul troubled with an evil spirit, is quieted by David.(14-23)1-5 It appears that Saul was grown very wicked. Of what wouldhe not be guilty, who durst think to kill Samuel? The elders ofBethlehem trembled at Samuel's coming. It becomes us to stand inawe of God's messengers, and to tremble at his word. His answerwas, I come peaceably, for I come to sacrifice. When our LordJesus came into the world, though men had reason to fear thathis errand was to condemn the world, yet he gave full assurancethat he came peaceably, for he came to sacrifice, and he broughthis offering with him; A body hast thou prepared me. Let ussanctify ourselves, and depend upon His sacrifice. 6-13 It was strange that Samuel, who had been so disappointedin Saul, whose countenance and stature recommended him, shouldjudge of another man by that rule. We can tell how men look, butGod can tell what they are. He judges of men by the heart. Weoften form a mistaken judgment of characters; but the Lordvalues only the faith, fear, and love, which are planted in theheart, beyond human discernment. And God does not favour ourchildren according to our fond partiality, but often mosthonours and blesses those who have been least regarded. David atlength was pitched upon. He was the youngest of the sons ofJesse; his name signifies Beloved; he was a type of God'sbeloved Son. It should seem, David was least set by of all thesons of Jesse. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon David fromthat day forward. His anointing was not an empty ceremony, aDivine power went with that instituted sign; he found himselfadvanced in wisdom and courage, with all the qualifications of aprince, though not advanced in his outward circumstances. Thiswould satisfy him that his election was of God. The bestevidence of our being predestinated to the kingdom of glory, is,our being sealed with the Spirit of promise, and experience of awork of grace in our hearts. 14-23 Saul is made a terror to himself. The Spirit of the Lorddeparted from him. If God and his grace do not rule us, sin andSatan will have possession of us. The devil, by the Divinepermission, troubled and terrified Saul, by the corrupt humoursof his body, and passions of his mind. He grew fretful, peevish,and discontented, and at times a madman. It is a pity thatmusic, which may be serviceable to the good temper of the mind,should ever be abused, to support vanity and luxury, and made anoccasion of drawing the heart from God and serious things. Thatis driving away the good Spirit, not the evil spirit. Music,diversions, company, or business, have for a time often beenemployed to quiet the wounded conscience; but nothing can effecta real cure but the blood of Christ, applied in faith, and thesanctifying Spirit sealing the pardon, by his holy comforts. Allother plans to dispel religious melancholy are sure to add todistress, either in this world or the next.
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