Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. (1 Samuel 16:13 ESV)
Saul was not a good king; in fact, he was pretty terrible.
After being made king, Saul disobeys the LORD by making a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel to make it, making a hasty vow that almost kills his son, and defies God’s command by keeping spoils of war that God forbade.
It is no surprise then that God rejected Saul as king in 1 Samuel 15.
The LORD soon sends Samuel to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem, a descendant of Judah. Samuel is to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel, and one by one, seven of Jesse’s sons come before Samuel.
But the LORD rejects each of them.
Samuel asks if there is another, and with what appears to be some reluctance, Jesse tells him that the youngest is keeping the sheep. David, the youngest of his brothers, is brought before Samuel and anointed to be the next king of Israel.
Interestingly, this practice of anointing God’s chosen servants will lead to one of the most common titles for the Serpent-Crusher: Messiah (or Christ), which means anointed one.
But absolutely, no one expected David to be anointed as king.
We are told that Eliab, David’s eldest brother, had the physical stature of a king, so that Samuel immediately assumed him to be the king whenever he first saw him. David, by contrast, was just a youth with the lowly familial chore of shepherding the sheep.
God, however, reminds Samuel that He does not see how humans see: “man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart (v. 7).”
Like Samuel, do you tend to let outward appearances guide your judgment? More pointedly, is your worship of God outward alone or does it flow from the heart?