The Anointment of David as Israel’s Next King
1 Samuel 16: 1-14 narrates the story of David’s anointing as the next King of Israel by Prophet Samuel. To give a brief background to this event, King Saul had initially been commanded by God to destroy the wicked people of Amalek. While King Saul and his forces, comprising hundreds of thousands of soldiers, attacked and killed the Amalekites, he spared King Agag’s life and kept the best sheep and cattle, arguing they were sacrifices to God. King Saul’s actions led to his rejection as King of Israel and God’s command to have Samuel anoint the next King from Jesse’s household.
Versus 1-14 of 1, Samuel 16 recounts Samuel’s journey to Bethlehem to anoint the next king. God asked Samuel to take along a calf with him to Bethlehem and use it as an excuse to visit the city to offer a sacrifice to the Lord because Samuel was scared Saul would kill him. Upon arrival, Samuel asked Jesse and his sons to purify themselves and join him in the sacrifice. At first, Samuel thought the Lord had chosen Eliab, one of Jesse’s sons, to be the next king. However, the Lord told him that His leadership choice was not based on the outward appearance but on the heart. Jesse brought his older sons before Samuel, but none of them was God’s choice to be Israel’s next king. Eventually, Jesse’s youngest son David had been out herding the sheep. Despite his young age, God confirmed David as the chosen king, and Samuel anointed him accordingly. At that moment, the spirit of the Lord took control of David while an evil spirit descended upon Saul and tormented him.