I Samuel 16:14-23

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Text: I Samuel 16:14-23



As a pastor I hear many people say that they are not able to do a certain thing. Some have no musical ability, and they may bemoan their inability to sing or to play an instrument. Some may bemoan their inability to stand up and give a testimony, or to understand the Bible, or to witness for the Lord Jesus. Some people are very honest in what they say; whereas, others may say things like these to draw attention to themselves, actually to draw a compliment out of someone else. They want to hear something such as, "You do really well at that."

Those who are sincere have really convinced themselves that God could never use them because of certain inabilities they think they have. Actually, these people do not realize that one cannot accomplish something spiritual in nature in his own strength anyhow. For example, you can't witness in your own strength and be effective.

Do you remember what Moses said to the Lord when the Lord told him that He was going to send him to Egypt to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage?

Exodus 3:10-12 - 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. 11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he [i.e. God] said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

Exodus 4:10-12 - 10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

Exodus 4:13 - And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. [Basically it means, Send someone else.]

The point I wish to make in this message is this: God will always prepare you for everything He wants you to do. God will never lead you to do something for which He has not adequately prepared you, and I would like to illustrate this thought in this message in the life of David.

What is it that God wants you to do for Him in your life? We don't likely know this in advance. We may have some idea of it, but we don't know the specifics until the time comes.

Proverbs 3:5-6 - (5) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Psalms 32:8 - I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he [i.e. the Lord] delighteth in his [i.e. the good man's] way.

Just as God prepared Moses in advance for all that he would do, God prepared David in advance for all that He would do. This was true in David's life, and it is also true in our lives. God will prepare you and me in advance for whatever He wants us to do.


We concluded our last message in I Samuel with -

I Samuel 16:13 - Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him [i.e. David] in the midst of his brethren [i.e. David's brothers]: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. [Note this phrase: the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.]

Compare what is said about the Holy Spirit in verse 14 with what is said about the Holy Spirit in verse 13 -

I Samuel 16:14 - But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him [i.e. terrorized him].

In verse 13 we read that the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward; whereas, in verse 14 we read a contrasting statement, But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.

The fact that the Holy Spirit came upon David and departed from Saul says nothing about the salvation of either man. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell believers but might come and go, and the person on whom He came was not necessarily even saved. The power of God the Holy Spirit worked in those whom God selected for service.

Consider some verses along this line -

Judges 3:10 - And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him [i.e. upon Othniel, Caleb's younger brother], and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.

If you are looking for a new name for a new baby, you might consider Chushanrishathaim. Spelling and pronouncing this name correctly could prove challenging, but you could call him Cushy for short.

Judges 6:33-34 - 33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him.

Judges 13:25 - And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him [i.e. Samson] at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

Judges 14:6 - And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him [i.e. upon Samson], and he rent him [i.e. tore the young lion] as he would have rent a kid [i.e. torn a baby goat], and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

Judges 16:18-20 - 18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. 19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him. 20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist [i.e. he knew] not that the LORD was departed from him.

I Samuel 10:10 - And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him [i.e. Saul]; and the Spirit of God came upon him [i.e. Saul], and he prophesied among them.

After David had committed adultery with Bathsheba and was responsible for the murder of Uriah the Hittite, David wrote in -

Psalms 51:11 - Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

This coming and going of the Holy Spirit on various individuals all changed with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Today, the Holy Spirit permanently indwells all believers, but indwells no unbelievers.

Romans 8:9 - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 - 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Once again in -

I Samuel 16:14 - But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him [i.e. terrorized him].

The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul means that God the Holy Spirit was no longer with Saul and no longer empowering him for service.

What about this evil spirit from the Lord that troubled Saul?

Believer's Bible Commentary has stated, "Saul's affliction was a form of mental disorder caused by an evil spirit. An evil spirit from the Lord is explained by the fact that what God permits He is often said to do."

Dr. Rendell Short analyzes Saul's problem as follows:

King Saul would now be diagnosed as a typical example of manic-depressive insanity. The periods of intense gloom with occasional outbreaks of homicidal violence for no particular reason, the delusion that people were plotting against him . . . are unmistakable (Quoted from Believer's Bible Commentary, p. 309).

I Samuel 16:15-18 - (15) And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit [i.e. a distressing spirit] from God troubleth thee [i.e. is terrorizing you]. (16) Let our lord [i.e. a reference to Saul] now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player [i.e. a skillful player] on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit [i.e. the distressing spirit] from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. (17) And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. (18) Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing [i.e. skillful in playing], and a mighty valiant man [i.e. a man of valor], and a man of war [i.e. a warrior], and prudent in matters [i.e. prudent, wise, or skilled in speech], and a comely person [i.e. a handsome person, a handsome man], and the Lord is with him.

It should be noted that David was not very old when these things were said about him. He had not yet killed Goliath.

1. David was skilful in playing

Somehow God taught David how to play musical instruments.

2. David was a mighty valiant man

Somehow God taught David to be a mighty valiant man. According to I Samuel 17, while guarding his father's sheep, he had killed a lion and a bear.

A mighty valiant man is a man of valor. It means that he was a courageous, brave, or fearless man.

3. David was a man of war

David was a warrior. Apparently, this was stated of David in advance of his ever participating in a battle. God is the one Who made a warrior out of David.

4. David was prudent in matters

David was prudent, wise, or skilled in speech. Who gave David this ability? Of course, it was God.

5. David was a comely person

David was a handsome man, but Who made David a handsome man? Of course, it was God.

6. The Lord was with David

This was more important than any of the other things already mentioned. Why was the Lord with David? Because David was a man after God's own heart. He pursued after the Lord from his youth.

The Lord will be with you and me also if we pursue after Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths.


So, how do you train a person to become a king? God arranged to have David sent to the King's palace so that he might learn first hand how to be a king.

Look again at -

I Samuel 16:18 - Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.

God just happened to have someone in Saul's presence who knew about David.

It is evident that David was unusually gifted in these areas of his life. In spite of his youth, God had developed these qualities in David while David was relatively young.


1. David had no choice in the matter just as we have no choice in many, many things - v. 19

I Samuel 16:19 - Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep.

Consider that we had no choice where we went to school before college. It basically depended on where we were living, or it was something our parents decided for us.

We learned the language which was spoken where we grew up. We were taught things others thought we needed to know. You have heard people say about geometry or algebra, "I'll never need this. Why do I need to study it?" You don't know what you may someday need.

Similarly, we went to church where our parents took us. It is interesting to note that a pastor is typically the product of his home pastor and his Bible college instructors. In my case, my preaching style of standing behind the pulpit and not wandering all over the place and speaking in a deliberate manner without screaming at the people came from my pastor; but my content came from my professors. Did I know at 11 and 12 years of age that I would become a pastor or a Bible college professor? Absolutely not, but God did and He was training me in my childhood.

2. David was trained by royalty for a royal position - v. 20-21a

I Samuel 16:20-21 a - (20) And Jesse took an ass laden [i.e. a donkey (loaded)] with bread, and a bottle of wine [i.e. a skin of wine], and a kid [i.e. a young goat], and sent them by David his son unto Saul. (21a) And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly [i.e. Saul loved David greatly]. . . .

David spent time in Saul's presence during Saul's reign. What better place could there be for David to learn how to be a king than in the presence of the king?

3. David was trained as a warrior - v. 21b

I Samuel 16:21 b - . . . and he [i.e. David] became his [i.e. Saul's] armourbearer.

David learned about being a warrior by accompanying Saul in battle.

4. David stood before the king - v. 22-23

I Samuel 16:22-23 - (22) And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. (23) And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Saul did not realize that he was training his successor, but because David was in Saul's presence, David undoubtedly learned many things which would prepare him to eventually be king.


Here you are living in Fort Walton Beach, Florida in 2014. You had nothing to do with your birth, your circumstances in your early life, whether you were rich, poor, smart, not so smart, tall, short, man, or woman, or your early education. You had no control over your natural abilities or spiritual gifts.

Hence, you need to make the best of the situation you find yourself in at whatever age you happen to be and to accept what God has done, realizing that He has equipped you for doing what He wants you to do. You must also realize that He will work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Learn all you can while you can, and don't waste your opportunities. Take advantage of them instead. So now that you are getting old and can't get around too well anymore and every joint hurts and your hands are too arthritic to do the work you used to enjoy doing, what is God trying to teach you now? Could it perhaps be to trust Him more fully? Could it be to be a prayer warrior? Could it be to be an example to younger believers?

Perhaps God has you here today to hear how to be saved.

After you have been saved, you need to live 100% for the Lord and let Him control you entire life and all its circumstances. Meanwhile you need to be using every talent and ability in your life to please Him while praying for his guidance and direction.