First Samuel 16:14-23



The leaving of the Spirit of God indicates a loss of empowerment and ability to fulfill God’s calling.  It is not an indication of the loss of salvation.

  • Empowering Spirit left Saul and he was left to deal with responsibilities without God’s fellowship and without the Spirit’s power.



“attendants” were high officials


16:16     Asymmetrical harps or lyres (kinnor) from the 1100’s to 600’s                          





“One of the servants answered” the Hebrew word here for servant is different than the previous two.  Here it is a word that means literally “young men”


The text quotes this young man as describing David with a series of two-word phrases in the Hebrew:


1)      Skilled in playing (literally: “skilled in touching the strings”)

2)      Mighty man of Valor

o       NIV “a brave man”

o       Used of Kish and translated “man of standing”

3)      Man of War

o       NIV “warrior”

o       Used to describe Goliath in 17:33

o       Used of David again in 2 Samuel 17:8 for “experienced fighter”

4)      Intelligent  Speech

o       Discerning and Articulate speech

5)       Handsome Man

6)      Yahweh is with him


David is recorded in 2 Samuel 23: 1,

 “the man exalted by the Most High,

  the man anointed by the God of Jacob,

   Israel’s singer of songs.”

David apparently was already considered:

  • A man of valor.  Why?  Maybe for having single handedly killed lions and bears?? (17:34-35)
  • A man skilled on the harp. How? Maybe people had heard him in the field’s near Bethlehem?  Maybe he had entertained in Jesse’s house



Saul wants this man David in his court.

At three key times in David’s life he was called from the sheep:

1)      at his anointing

2)      at his introduction to Saul

3)      When he went to bring provisions to his brothers only to kill the giant



No one came to a king empty handed.


Proverbs 18:16, “A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of     the great.”
Proverbs 17:8, “A bribe (gift) is a charm to the one who gives it; wherever he turns, he      succeeds.”

Proverbs 22:29, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he       will not serve before obscure men.”


Jesse gave David a donkey indicates wealth in the family



“Liked” (’aheb) is the same word used in 18:1, 3 and 20:17 concerning Jonathan’s relationship with David.  In Jonathan’s case it is translated “love”.


David became one of Saul’s armor bearers and took care of his armor, but he was not Saul’s personal body guard.

David was most likely a teenager at this time since he began to reign when he was 30     years old



Saul was becoming dependent upon the one who would replace him.

Saul found the Spirit he had lost personally was manifest to him through another person.



1 Samuel 10:5 -  In this verse the prophets where using lyres, tambourine, flutes, and     harps while they prophesied by the power of the Spirit of the Lord.  The Spirit of    God manifested in power while they were making music and prophesying.

2 Kings 3:15 – Elisha said, “Now bring me a harpist.” 

            Then while the harpist was playing “the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha” and he began to give directions under the influence of the Spirit of God.

            Elisha was seeking to get into the presence of God to receive a revelation of instruction for the people.

1 Chronicles 25:1 – “David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying,          accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals.  Here is the list of the men who performed this service: . . .”

            There are then 24 men listed.  The total number of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord was 288. 

The ministry was described in these ways in 1 Chronicles 25:

-         verse 3, “. . .who prophesied, using the harp in thanking and praising the Lord.”

-         Verse 2, “. . .who prophesied under the kings supervision.”

-         Verse 5, “All these men were under the supervision of their fathers for the music of the temple of the Lord, with cymbals, lyres and harps, for the ministry at the house of God.”

-         Verse 7, “ . . . all of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord.”


Saul may think he has simply brought in a country boy and his harp from the pastures.

God has introduced the next king, an anointed, God-fearing man who’s ability to express himself will cause thousands to follow him.

David’s music comforted Saul and the evil spirit would leave.


  • POINT:  David came to the royal palace and eventually the throne not by plan he engineered.  David let God work.  David did not rise because he was ambitious and ruthless in climbing the ladder of success.
  • David was both a Man’s Man and God’s Man
    • These two are not opposites
    • Many of the characteristics that men admire are admired by God also.  Likewise, many of the characteristics that God seeks for in men are also sought for by man.
    • Neither God nor men admire insincere, religious cowards who can not communicate. (hypocrites, mere followers of men, unable to express their thoughts, self-preserving)
    • Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.”
      • Wisdom . . . . . . .thinking, mental, problem solving, information
      • Stature. . . . . . . . physical, work, production, performance
      • Favor w/ God. . .spiritual, moral, obedient, righteous
      • Favor w/ Man. . .social, selfless, communication
  • POINT: God used situation that seemed to be merely “by chance” or “good fortune” to bring David’s name to the attention of Saul.  God was responsible for setting David in motion towards the throne
    • Men in Saul’s court knew something about David and brought him to Saul’s attention.
    • Men in Pharaoh’s court (the butler) knew something of Joseph that brought him out of prison.