A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: David is anointed King


Saul was the first King of Israel, chosen by God and anointed by Samuel. However, he had disobeyed God and displeased him. So God told Samuel, ‘How long are you going to mourn over Saul and his failure? Go to Bethlehem, to Jesse’s house. I have chosen one of his sons to be King.’

This worried Samuel. ‘If Saul hears what I am doing, he will kill me!’ he complained. God told him to say he had only come to sacrifice to the Lord and to invite Jesse and his family to join him. So Samuel travelled to Bethlehem.

The town’s elders were worried that Samuel was bringing a message to them from God because they had done something wrong. But Samuel reassured them and invited Jesse to join him. ‘Introduce your sons to me,’ he told Jesse. The eldest son was first. Samuel looked at him and thought, ‘He must be God’s choice!’

But God told him, ‘Don’t look at the appearance of a person. I look at the David annointed by Samuelreal person, inside – at the heart.’ Then six more of Jesse’s sons were seen by Samuel – and God rejected all of them.

‘Don’t you have another son?’ Samuel asked. Jesse explained that he had one more son – the youngest – who was away looking after the sheep. ‘Send for him immediately,’ Samuel told him.

As soon as he saw David, this youngest son, Samuel heard God say, ‘This is the one: anoint him as the next King.’ So Samuel anointed David, there in front of his family. From that moment on, God’s Spirit was with David. 

The story illustrates:

  • God is not influenced by someone’s appearance, but sees the real person inside and the state of their heart
  • The belief that God can give direct guidance to his followers.

Related Topics

Big Ideas: Anointing; Trinity, Holy Spirit

Bible References

1 Samuel 16:1-13
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