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.


1-5 It appears that Saul was grown very wicked. Of what would

he not be guilty, who durst think to kill Samuel? The elders of

Bethlehem trembled at Samuel's coming. It becomes us to stand in

awe of God's messengers, and to tremble at his word. His answer

was, I come peaceably, for I come to sacrifice. When our Lord

Jesus came into the world, though men had reason to fear that

his errand was to condemn the world, yet he gave full assurance

that he came peaceably, for he came to sacrifice, and he brought

his offering with him; A body hast thou prepared me. Let us

sanctify ourselves, and depend upon His sacrifice.
6-13 It was strange that Samuel, who had been so disappointed

in Saul, whose countenance and stature recommended him, should

judge of another man by that rule. We can tell how men look, but

God can tell what they are. He judges of men by the heart. We

often form a mistaken judgment of characters; but the Lord

values only the faith, fear, and love, which are planted in the

heart, beyond human discernment. And God does not favour our

children according to our fond partiality, but often most

honours and blesses those who have been least regarded. David at

length was pitched upon. He was the youngest of the sons of

Jesse; his name signifies Beloved; he was a type of God's

beloved Son. It should seem, David was least set by of all the

sons of Jesse. But the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from

that day forward. His anointing was not an empty ceremony, a

Divine power went with that instituted sign; he found himself

advanced in wisdom and courage, with all the qualifications of a

prince, though not advanced in his outward circumstances. This

would satisfy him that his election was of God. The best

evidence of our being predestinated to the kingdom of glory, is,

our being sealed with the Spirit of promise, and experience of a

work of grace in our hearts.
14-23 Saul is made a terror to himself. The Spirit of the Lord

departed from him. If God and his grace do not rule us, sin and

Satan will have possession of us. The devil, by the Divine

permission, troubled and terrified Saul, by the corrupt humours

of his body, and passions of his mind. He grew fretful, peevish,

and discontented, and at times a madman. It is a pity that

music, which may be serviceable to the good temper of the mind,

should ever be abused, to support vanity and luxury, and made an

occasion of drawing the heart from God and serious things. That

is driving away the good Spirit, not the evil spirit. Music,

diversions, company, or business, have for a time often been

employed to quiet the wounded conscience; but nothing can effect

a real cure but the blood of Christ, applied in faith, and the

sanctifying Spirit sealing the pardon, by his holy comforts. All

other plans to dispel religious melancholy are sure to add to

distress, either in this world or the next.

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