In Saul’s anointing of David we also see clearly that it is the Lord who does the choosing. To Samuel God says, “I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided myself a king among his sons. (16:1)” Jesse brings seven sons before the prophet, and for each Samuel says: “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” I love the faithful obedience of Samuel expressed by his question, “Are all your sons here?” Would it not have been tempting to question the Lord? Or perhaps throw up his hands and say, “Lets go through this one more time, maybe I can somehow get a yes from this lot!” No, he knows the Lord’s choice is among Jesse’s sons, and he knows he has heard a no for each one; therefore, are there any others?
“There remains yet the youngest, but behold he is keeping the sheep (16:11)”, says Jesse apologetically. Oh, how often are the Lord’s chosen underestimated. The regard for David was so low that even within his family he was not given consideration. When finally referred to, his father did not even name him – he was simply ‘the youngest’. He was not invited to the sacrificial feast, and only summoned upon Samuel’s insistence.
Something to Understand:
Saul came straight from “casting central”, so perfectly did he look the part of the king. But God often chooses those who seem unlikely from a natural perspective. David was the youngest of eight brothers, consigned to the household sheep – out of sight and out of mind. Next to a man like Saul he would have appeared every inch of the boy he was, and the man he wasn’t. Moreover, his genetic heritage was suspect to begin with: two foreign women and at least one with an immoral background (Matthew 1). It was of this brother the Lord says: “Arise, anoint him, for this is he (16:12)”, knowing that when such a person works with the strength the Lord supplies, it is He that is glorified (1 Peter 4:11)!