Reflection on 1 Samuel 16:1-13




Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily on David from that day forward.


The Lord tells David to go to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. He tells him to take a heifer and tell people he has come to make a sacrifice to the Lord. He is to invite Jesse and his sons to the sacrifice, and the Lord will show him which one to anoint.

So one by one Jesse’s sons are brought to Samuel. For each one the Lord tells Samuel, “This is not the one.” Finally, Samuel asks Jesse if there is another son. It turns out that there is another son, the youngest, David is out minding the sheep. When he is brought in, Jesse anoints him with oil, and the Lord fills him with His Spirit.


Anointed for the task, the Spirit of God comes mightily on David.

A human act of anointing with oil signifies the divine act of filling. David is filled with the Holy Spirit for a purpose- to be king of Israel.

Yet David must wait several years and fight for the crown. There is anointing and then there is equipping and training.

We all need to be anointed or filled with the Holy Spirit in order to fulfil the task God has appointed for us. But often the anointing leads to training which doesn’t necessarily make any sense to us.

The Lord removes His blessing from Saul, yet Saul remains as king. He gives the blessing to David, but he must wait and learn to be the Lord’s king.

There are people who receive an anointing or a calling to ministry and then immediately assume they can start the ministry straight away without further training.

There are others who train for ministry but never had any calling or gifting, trusting in their own strength alone.

Either way can be a disaster. We need the anointing and we need the equipping.


Thank you Lord for your Spirit so freely and abundantly given to all who follow Jesus. Help me to see what you have called me to, and to seek out your training for that task. Amen.


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