1 Samuel 14-16…Jonathan defeats the Philistines, the Lord rejects Saul, and David is anointed King.
It was in the midst of a great national crisis that David was selected to rule over the nation of Israel. After Saul proved to be a great failure (1 Samuel 15), the Lord came to the prophet-judge Samuel and instructed him to anoint a new monarch who would replace him. At first, Samuel was afraid to follow God’s instructions because he knew that Saul would kill him if he learned there was a conspiracy to replace him. This fear is not unlike what many of us feel when we realize what we are supposed to do for the Lord’s glory but know we will meet worldly opposition.
In any case, God reassured Samuel with a plan to keep secret the true purpose of his mission in Bethlehem. So he went forth to the house of Jesse. What followed was a long process of having each of Jesse’s sons stand before Samuel one at a time so that he might discern which of them the Lord had chosen to be the new king. Certainly God could have just told Samuel to find the boy named David and anoint him straightaway, but it seems that He had the prophet go through the ritual to teach him and those who would hear and read this story a lesson. We often select charismatic people for leadership, not the “least likely” candidate. But in having Samuel choose the least of Jesse’s sons to be the king, God demonstrated that the real way to choose a godly leader in the church is to look at the heart of the person under consideration. Samuel thus anointed David according to the Lord’s will, and the Holy Spirit came on the young man to prepare him for leadership.