Page images
PDF
EPUB

death—mourned that one who might have been the chosen servant of GOD should forfeit such a privilege by his proud rebellion and disobe dience. It is very awful to think of any one who has so often rejected God's warnings and calls to repentance, that they are no longer sent to him. The next thing he must look for is the fearful sentence, “Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground ?”

THE ANOINTING OF DAVID.

God had told Saul that He would give the kingdom to another, better than him. That other was David–David the Psalmist, the loved of God, but also David the sinner, David the penitent. Perhaps at first sight some might say, Surely David fell into greater sins than Saul ever did ; how then is he to be thought better than Saul ? Yes, David was guilty of great sins, but he was also a great penitent—from the very depth of his heart he repented, and cried to his father in heaven for mercy, not for fear of punishment only, but grieving that he had displeased One so dear to him, " Against Thee only have I sinned.” And we know that the Lord's ear is ever open to the most guilty of sinners, who comes in hearty penitence and love to His Feet, crying in the words of David, “ Have mercy upon me, O LORD.”

Samuel was still mourning over Saul's hard. ness of heart, when the LORD bade him rise up and go to Bethlehem, where he should find and anoint the future king of Israel, among the sons of a man called Jesse. When the prophet reached Bethlehem, the people trembled, and asked if he came peaceably? Samuel told them that he had come to sacrifice unto the LORD, and he sanctified Jesse and his sons. Then Samuel looked upon Eliab the eldest, and said, “ Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him?" But the LORD answered, “ Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him ; for the LORD seeth not as man seeth ; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart." Then Jesse called Abinadab, and Shammah, and his other sons to pass before the prophet, but to them all he said the same, “ The Lord hath not chosen these.” ve Samuel asked Jesse if these were all his sons, and Jesse answered that there was yet the youngest, but he was keeping his father's sheep, and was not considered as anybody of importe ance. However, the Prophet desired that the young lad David might be fetched; so he was called, and came in hastily from the sheepfold. David was of a very beautiful countenance, and goodly to look upon; and immediately God's Word came to Samuel, “ Arise, anoint bim, for this is he."

Then Samuel took oil and anointed David, and Holy Scripture tells us that “the SPIRIT of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.” Thus was the young shepherd of Bethlehem chosen of God to be King of Israel, and from his descendants God also purposed to raise up the Messiah, the Prince of Peace. It was in Bethlehem that, more than a thousand years after, Christ was born.

We are not told what David thought when he was thus anointed. He seems to have gone back to his daily duties, and to have once more tended his father's sheep, without being set up, or despising his present calling on account of the future before him. He was soon to see more of royalty than had hitherto been his lot.

The Spirit of the Lord had left Saul since his last act of disobedience; and where His

:51

HOLY SPIRIT does not dwell, there, we may be sure, Satan will find room for himself and his evil spirits. Accordingly we find that when God withdrew His Spirit from Saul, He permitted an evil spirit to trouble him. Saul's servants proposed to seek out some one who played well on the harp, in hopes that the music might soothe their master ; and as Saul agreed to this, they told him of David, of whom they reported that he was “cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the LORD is with him.” Saul was pleased with the idea, and sent two messengers to Jesse, asking his son might come to him. When David came, the king was very much taken with him, and even, as we read, “ loved him greatly,” and made David his armour-bearer, and when Saul suffered specially under the attacks of the evil spirit, David's music drove it away, and refreshed him.

DAVID AND GOLIATH.

The Philistines were still a constant trouble and danger to Israel; and now it came to pass that they gathered together all their armies,

our measure.

and pitched their camp on a mountain at Shochoh, and the men of Israel camped on the opposite mountain. The Philistines had in their army a giant, called Goliath, whose height was six cubits and a span, about nine feet by

He was a very terrible warrior, wearing a helmet of brass, and a coat of mail which weighed five thousand shekels. He had greaves of brass on his legs, and a target of brass on his shoulders ; the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and its head weighed six hundred shekels of iron.

This formidable man went out into the valley that lay between the two camps, and gave himself out as the Philistines' champion. He defied the armies of Israel, and asked them to send a man to fight with him, and let which ever side won the day, remain conquerors, and the other people serve them.

Saul and all the people were very much afraid, knowing that there was none among them at all equal to Goliath in height or strength. For forty days the Philistine soldier came forth every morning and evening, and defied the armies of Israel, but no one dared to accept the challenge.

It seems that David had gone back to Beth

« PreviousContinue »