When 1 Samuel 16 begins we hear God telling the prophet Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him as king? Fill your horn with oil and go to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided myself a king among his sons.” So off Samuel went and when he arrived he had Jesse bring all his sons before him so he could see who God had chosen as king. All of Jesse’s sons walk by Samuel and when he sees his oldest son Eliab, Samuel thinks to himself in verse 6 saying, “Surely Gods anointed is here among before me.” God then responds in verse 7 with a word for Samuel that sets the tone for our message today, “Do not look on his outward appearance or the hieght of his stature, I have rejected him. For The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance; but The Lord looks on the heart.” Samuel takes this to heart and after all the other sons of Jesse walk by, he still has not heard from God about who is to be king, so he asks if all the sons are present. Confused, Jesse says, “There remains the youngest, but he’s keeping the sheep.” Samuel asked for him and as soon as Samuel sees him he hears God say, “Arise, anoint him, this is he.” Samuel got up, and in the sight of his older brothers he anoints David as king, and leaves town. Can you imagine the awkwardness here? The youngest brother just got anointed to be king of Gods people by Gods prophet while the older brothers are left standing there. Not only is this awkward, this is just plain wrong in the eyes of the brothers, but can you imagine the anger and jealousy toward their brother at this point.
From verse 13 to the end of chapter 16 we see Holy Spirit activity. The Holy Spirit rushes upon David from this time forward while at the same time leaving King Saul. Then we see what seems like a conundrum present here when David is being used of God to calm King Saul from the evil spirit that came from God. From God? Yes. This teaches us a few things.
First it is helpful to point out that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came on and came off people at God’s bidding, and this was normal operation. Anytime God wanted, He would send upon someone for a specific reason for a time only. This is why David prays in Psalm 51:11 for God not to take His Holy Spirit from him. In the New Testament this is not so. We have been sealed with the Spirit, never to leave us again. It is the deposit evident of our inheritance one day in the new heavens and new earth. (Ephesians 1:12-14)
Second, the fact that this verse says it was God who sent this evil Spirit is telling for sure. This does not mean that God is in heaven waiting and ready to crush random people with evil spirits who displease Him. It does mean that God is sovereign and nothing enters or exits your life without His permission. We see this exemplified most in the Bible in the story of Job when God allows Satan to test Job with severe trials. Job knows and even says it was God who did these things to Him in Job 2:10. Job learned in the end that God is good and God is sovereign. So when we see God sending an evil Spirit on Saul here in our text do not be alarmed, trust that whatever God is up to He has good reason for doing such things.
Then we get to chpt. 17, the most well known battle in all of Biblical history, the little boy vs. the champion of Gath, David vs. Goliath.