Tuesday in Week 2

I Samuel 16.1-13; Psalm 88; Mark 2.23-28

David is characterised as God’s own replacement for Saul.  Samuel is sent to anoint the new King, though Saul is still alive and is still reigning over Israel.  ‘Today the lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you and given it to a neighbour of yours who is better than you’ Samuel declares to Saul [I Samuel 15.28].  Not surprisingly, when Samuel arrives in Bethlehem, the ancestral town of David’s family, the town’s elders fear getting caught in the middle of a civil war between two factions.

Samuel is portrayed in this account as not knowing which of Jesse’s sons God has chosen to be King.  Saul had been chosen as King because he was ‘a handsome man in the prime of life’ who ‘stood head and shoulders taller than the rest of the people’. [I Samuel 9.2] Now, though, Jesse’s handsome, tall son Eliab is rejected [16.7] along with, one by one, all but one of Jesse’s sons.  The chosen one is the youngest, who had been sent out to the pasture to look after his father’s flock of sheep.  He is nonetheless prepossessing, ‘with fine eyes and pleasant bearing’. [16.12] He is anointed, and with the holy oil the Spirit of the lord is seen to ‘seize on David and remain with him from that day on.’ [16.13]  

Posted in Daily Reflection.