“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” —1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV
Samuel was the first of the prophets who were raised up by God because of the solemn failure of the priesthood. Priests were successional: they succeeded one another by an established order. Not so with the prophets – they were called strictly and personally by God. But Samuel’s faithful care for Israel was not appreciated, and the people demanded a king. God allowed them their own way and gave the nation the type of king they desired: Saul, a man head and shoulders taller than all the people. He began well but rapidly declined from any purpose of obeying God. God decreed in chapter 15:26 that Saul’s reign must cease.
In chapter 16 David was anointed king by Samuel, yet he did not immediately take the throne. God allowed Saul to still reign for some time. But Saul turned viciously against David, determined to kill him. In this, David is a type of Christ – though anointed as God’s King the Lord suffers rejection while waiting patiently for the time when God will so order events that He can take His millennial throne.
Likewise today God allows human government its sway while He has purposed that only Christ can be trusted with the place of sovereign authority in the world. The book ends with the sad history of the death of Saul and his sons. Man in the flesh [natural man, without God] cannot be allowed to remain.
By Leslie M. Grant
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org