Below is a link to a sermon I preached at 2 churches on 6/17/2018. It is on the 1 Samuel 16 passage where David is chosen and anointed. Below that is a transcript if you’d rather read it. Something I feel odd about when preaching (as opposed to writing papers and such) is not having a bibliography! I sort of feel like I should type up a bibliography to give the audience when I preach – to give proper credit. I carefully study the passage myself and peruse many sources to get ideas and stimulate my thinking.
There was recently a royal wedding and even if British royalty does not overly interest you, it was hard to ignore the news coverage. The wedding was a unique situation because of the bride, Meghan Markle. A bi-racial American and a descendant of slaves married into British royalty and now has the title of Duchess. Imagine going back in time and telling Meghan’s 3 or 4 great grandmothers in the 1800’s, who were slaves or newly emancipated,that their great granddaughter in the 21st century would marry British royalty and be a Duchess. I don’t think they’d believe you. Or if you told Meghan herself when she was 15 or 16 yrs old that she’d marry British royalty one day, I don’t think she would have believed you either.
This reminded me of some themes in the sermon today. But tuck Meghan Markle in the back of your mind, as we move right into the 1 Samuel 16 passage – which is the anointing of David. David does not become king at this point; rather he is identified as the future king to follow Saul.
At first, we could think of this as just a nice Old Testament story with perhaps some type of “moral of the story” for us. But it is so much more than that!
Few biblical figures are as important in the history of redemption or God’s eternal plan for this world – as David. We know more about David than any other biblical figure.
The name of David is mentioned about 600 times in the Old Testament and about 60 times in the New. Forgive me, I like trivia, but the point is that David is prominent.
Matthew 1 verse 1, the very first verse in our New Testament, states: “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:”
The very last chapter of our New Testament, Revelation chapter 22, verse 16 states: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
Our New Testament opens and closes presenting Jesus as the Son of David. In Matthew 1:1, it is introducing Jesus at his first advent or coming. And in Revelation 22 it is about the second advent or coming of Jesus, which we await in the future.
This designation Son of David isn’t just an incidental detail of genealogy but a major item of theology – that is, it’s about God and God’s plan for this world.
The anointing of David in 1 Samuel 16 marks the dawn of ancient Israel’s glory. And moving forward to 2 Samuel chapter 7, God makes a covenant or agreement with David (who is now king) promising him a kingdom that would last forever. The right to rule would always belong to the Davidic dynasty.
Eventually, sadly, Israel fell from its glory under King David and King Solomon, and ended up in exile. Foreign nations conquer them, and they lost their nation.
At the time of Jesus, Jews were living under Roman rule. The restoration of the glories of David’s Kingdom was a burning hope for many Jews at that time. A question that a Jew would ask of anyone claiming to be the Messiah was: Is he a son of Abraham and of the house of David?
Matthew, not just in chapter 1 verse 1, but throughout his Gospel clearly identifies Jesus as both of these things. Jesus is the long expected Messiah of Israel, the only lawful claimant to the throne of David.
— I’m going to read a brief statement from Eugene Peterson from a book he wrote about David:
“Jesus, revealing God to us, doesn’t arrive on the scene out of the blue, unprecedented…The revelation of Jesus Christ is foreshadowed and foretold, anticipated and prepared for, prophesied and promised throughout nearly 2,000 years of Hebrew history. Paul refers to this centuries long “pregnancy” in his arresting phrase “when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman (Gal 4:4).”
The David story anticipates the Jesus story. The David story anticipates the Jesus story.
In 1 Samuel 16, David was anointed. God later promised David an eternal kingdom, and that is fulfilled in Christ. Jesus is the ultimate anointed one. That is what Christ means.
Christ is not the surname or last name of Jesus. Christ is a title that means anointed one. Messiah, from the Hebrew, was translated into ancient Greek as Christos. Remember that our New Testament was mostly written in Greek, and the Old Testament mostly in Hebrew. And in English, Christos is Christ.
Jesus the Christ. Jesus the Messiah. Jesus the anointed one.
These are synonymous.
— Jesus is the unique, one-of-a-kind KING.
At Christmas time, we sing about Emmanuel, and Emmanuel means God with us. When I read Revelation 22:16, it referred to Jesus as the root –AND– the offspring of David. Jesus is both the source of David and the son of David.
Similarly, once when Jesus was having conversation with some Jewish religious leaders in John chapter 8, Jesus said: “Before Abraham was, I am.”
Jesus was claiming to be God. He existed before Abraham. Jesus said in Revelation 22:13 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
But I want to move into some practical observations from today’s passage.
– This anointing identifies David as the future king after Saul.
Saul’s son Jonathan should have been the next king, and instead God chose David. Isn’t it interesting that Jonathan and David develop a close friendship? Jonathan was a tremendously loyal and supportive friend to David.
Jonathan could have been bitter, envious, or even had hatred toward David because he lost the throne, his right and privilege to be the next king. But Jonathan believed in David – and obviously perceived God’s special choice of David. Jonathon was willing to be pushed to the side, because he trusted God’s judgment. And Jonathan played an important supporting role as David took his path to kingship.
— Are we this kind of friend? It is a rather convicting question.
Another observation… I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, the person or team or position less likely to make it. But David was not even an underdog at this point – because he wasn’t even a possibility! He wasn’t even in the running!
Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel, one by one – Eliab, Abinadab, Shammah – 7 sons total. But Samuel had to ask, “Are these all the sons you have?” when he realized that none of them were the one.
Can you imagine it? David was forgotten about, overlooked. Jesse didn’t even think to mention David or to call David in from the fields. Nice. How would it make you feel to be overlooked in such a way?
David was the youngest, probably about 16 years old – and Jesse’s sons would have been presented in birth order, the oldest first. In this patriarchal culture, something called primogeniture was the norm – simply meaning that the firstborn son had special rights and privileges. Yet often God’s way was to reverse this cultural expectation.
Besides David, think of Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph – who were specially chosen by God despite not being the firstborn.
And notice in 1 Samuel 16 that David enters the story unnamed – referred to as “the youngest” and with pronouns him or he. David’s name is withheld until verse 13, the last verse in this passage. David was deemed insignificant.
Yet David was chosen, chosen and anointed.
And despite being anointed, David went right back to his sheep, and his other humble and menial tasks. There was no big change. It would still be years before he becomes king. David would eventually endure mistreatment by King Saul. Saul was out to get him, at times.
– Greatness is something many people desire, but few understand. We recognize the great only after they have achieved greatness. We see the final product, not the process it took to get there.
Not only was David overlooked as a possibility for the future king, David’s anointing was overlooked too. As the story continues in chapter 17, we see people who underestimate David’s abilities and fail to see God’s call on his life.
Maybe you are wondering how these people could be so blind?
But this type of thing happens all the time. It is sadly commonplace.
We overlook people. We fail to see their potential. We dismiss them because they don’t meet our preconceived ideas.
They are too young….or too old. Ageism is very real.
They lack social status. Their skin isn’t the right color. Prejudice is all too real. Their personality doesn’t meet our expectation – for example, quiet natured people can be gifted but overlooked because they are unassuming. We expect a more outgoing or charismatic personality type.
— We don’t necessarily do these things overtly. There can be a subconscious component, were we can dismiss people without really realizing that we are doing it.
We need to be more aware, and we need to pray for spiritual sight.
— Who are we failing to see? Whose voice are we ignoring?
Whose potential are we overlooking?
We should wonder, but more than wonder, we should be concerned about what we miss out on, when we fail to see the way God sees.
I Samuel 16:7 says: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
As I bring this sermon to a close, I want to take us back to the big picture – of Jesus the King. At Christmas time, Isaiah 9:6-7 is a popular passage: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
Those verses were partly fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus, but will reach their final fulfillment at the second coming of Jesus in the future.
When Jesus came the first time, in a similar way as David, he was not what people expected. Jesus arrived in this world in humble circumstances. He did manual labor – most likely he was a carpenter or possibly a stone mason. Jesus was pretty ordinary, and then at age 30 he began a ministry of teaching and healing that lasted about 3 years, and then he was crucified on a Roman cross. His followers’ hopes were dashed.
But we know that the story did not end there. Jesus conquered death for us. He was raised to life, bringing salvation from sin for those who believe.
But the story did not end there either. Jesus ascended into heaven, and will one day return. Right now we live in the “in-between” time. It is after the first coming of Jesus, but before the second coming of Jesus. This is the church age, where whosoever will may come to the Savior. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Christ’s Kingdom began or was initiated with his first coming, and it continues to advance as Christians live out the Gospel message in this world. But we cannot bring in the Kingdom in its fullness. That is up to God and his timing.
The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come the first time, and likewise we wait for Jesus Christ to return and reign on David’s throne eternally – establishing “justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.”
One day all the wrong in this world will be righted – when Jesus comes in great power and glory as the conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
If you have never personally trusted Christ as your Savior from sin, now is the time to believe. Don’t delay. If you are uncertain about your relationship with God, please let me know after the service or talk with Pastor Brian when he is back in town. We would be privileged to take a Bible and help you settle this matter of eternal consequence — so that you are ready when Jesus returns and you can begin to live your life for Him.