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bornness, and then he spoke JEHOVAH's judgment upon the disobedient king in most solemn words: he had rejected the word of the LORD, and now God rejected him.
Now at last Saul was overcome, and forced to own his guilt. He confessed both his disobedience and how he had sought to please men rather than God, by letting the people take their spoil; and then he entreated Samuel to forgive him, and pray with him for God's forgiveness. But Samuel turned to leave him, and Saul caught hold of the prophet's mantle, to keep him. It was rent in Saul's hand, and Samuel took up the sign, saying, “The LORD
“ hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou; and also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent; for He is not a man, that He should repent.”
Saul still humbled himself, so that Samuel went back with him to worship God. Then Samuel caused Agag to be brought forth, and slew him, saying, “ As thy sword hath made
, women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women.”
After this Samuel came no more to see Saul, though he mourned over him to the day of his death-mourned that one who might have been the chosen servant of God should forfeit such a privilege by his proud rebellion and disobedience. 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
When the pro
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, erying 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. phet 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."
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 import
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 him, 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
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
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 that 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,