David Anointed The New King

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When you are depressed how do you spell RELIEF? It seems that the Holy Spirit had left Saul and God allowed an evil spirit to enter him and torment him (vv. 14-15). Since he could not function in this deep depression, he asked that a musician be brought to minister to his troubled soul (v. 16). It seems that Saul was completely taken over by Satan.

One of Saul’s servants suggested David, who was an accomplished harpist and musician (vv. 17-18).  As David came to play for him, Saul had no idea that David had secretly been anointed his replacement as king.  However, in the providence of God, Saul’s invitation gave David an excellent opportunity to gain first hand information about leading a nation (vv.19-22).

The Holy Spirit empowered David to drive away the evil spirit that overwhelmed Saul (v.23). The harp that he used was a popular instrument in that day and the music it makes is still known for its soothing qualities. It played a very important part in temple worship. A few years ago, while my wife and I were in Israel, we were taken by our guide to a place where they are once again making many harps that they say will be used in future temple worship. David was an unusual person in many ways. David is brought into the palace. God looks at the inner man when He chooses someone for a particular office or task. Saul is now forsaken of God, and David is brought into court to play his harp. Although it is not yet known, Israel has a new king.


Just as David’s plans had to be put on hold while he played the harp for Saul, some times my plans have to be put on hold. Like David, I need to learn and grow during these circumstances, no matter what they may be.

I Samuel 16:14-23 (English Standard Version)

Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the LORD tormented him. And Saul's servants said to him, "Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well." So Saul said to his servants, "Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me." One of the young men answered, "Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the LORD is with him." Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, "Send me David your son, who is with the sheep." And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, "Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight." And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

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