1 Samuel 16:14-23 The Anointing That Refreshes The Heart
1 Samuel 16:14-23
Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him. 15 Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you. Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp; and it shall come about when the evil spirit from God is on you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will be well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me.” 18 Then one of the young men said, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the Lord is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David who is with the flock.” 20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread and a jug of wine and a young goat, and sent them to Saul by David his son. 21 Then David came to Saul and attended him; and Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer. 22 Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David now stand before me, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.
God rejected Saul because he disobeyed God’s commands. Consequently, the Spirit receded and an evil spirit entered Saul and terrorized him. This passage shows us that the anointing cannot reside within a heart that is not wholly given to God. We also see the rise of David, a man of valor whose anointing is founded on a heart who is after God. David’s unique brand of anointing enabled him to refresh the hearts of many through music causing them to rise above their situations.
Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him – The Spirit’s departure followed God’s rejection of Saul as king and the Spirit’s kingly anointing was now firmly resident within David. Saul has lost his kingly anointing and the heavenly tide turned towards his eventual downfall. Saul no longer had the protection of the Spirit, and his dark inclinations drew evil spirits like a magnet that tormented him continually. Saul could be showing signs of depression having been rejected by God and being cut off from the fellowship of Samuel. However, Saul’s depression had its roots in an evil spirit that offered no reprieve. As God is Master of all creation; it is likely that God has given Saul over to evil to be tormented as a punishment for his rebellion. “An evil spirit from the Lord…” still maintained a separation between good and evil but connotes God’s mastery over the evil.
Let them seek a man who is a skillful player on the harp – By this time the servants of Saul were fully aware of the fact that God was no longer their ally: Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrorizing you.” By then, David was probably well known for his spiritual ability of bringing peace to all tormented by evil: “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor… and the Lord is with him.” Without a solution at hand, it made perfect sense to seek David’s assistance. The acceptable description of David portrays him as a man who is confident and bold in high stress environment (mighty man of valor), wise (one prudent in speech), cultured (skillful musician), and anointed (a handsome man; and the Lord is with him).
David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well – David first came to the fore and became well known by his ability to minister and bring hope through songs. The anointing of the Spirit manifests itself through a heart that is wholly given to God. The treasure of the Spirit overflows from David’s heart through songs infusing many with faith and hope.
- The only criterion for the filling of the Spirit is in the posture of the heart – The fruit of the Spirit: love, peace and joy is given only to those whose hearts are submitted under the loving Lordship of Christ. It is not in the length of time spent in prayer, but in the posture of the heart. The Spirit longs to fill one whose heart is totally submitted under His authority. Ironically, many who called themselves into the intercessory ministry lacked the hope and boldness in their prayers, because they have not learned to let the Spirit have unreserved dominance over them. After Saul rejected God’s Lordship over his life, the Spirit left him and he entered into a chapter of unprecedented darkness and depression. No longer he had within him the boldness, the favor, the peace and the love of God. Living under God’s authority involves letting Him control the destiny of your life; it involves letting God transform your mindset and lifestyle; it involves making sacrifices for the sake of the kingdom. Jesus taught concerning the posture of the heart in regards to eternal life,
“He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” John 12:25
- In order for spiritual anointing to grow and flourish, the anointing must reside within a heart that is after God – The anointing of the Spirit must be founded on a heart that is after God; without which, the anointing will not endure and the Spirit will recede. The anointing as it falls on different people produces varied manifestations depending on the posture of each heart. Just as the quality of the crops will depend on the type and the fertility of the soil it is planted on, the type of manifestations of the anointing will depend on the posture of the heart.
For the heart that is after God, the anointing produces the fruit of the Spirit: love, peace and joy as its primary manifestation among the gifts of the Spirit. As for the heart that is self-seeking, the anointing will not produce the fruit of love, peace and joy although it could still manifest the gifts of the Spirit. Paul weighs the importance of the fruit of the Spirit above the gifts in his teaching,
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-2
David, whose heart is fully submitted God radiates peace and love through his songs after the anointing came upon him. As for Saul, although he displayed prophetic gifts, we could not see clear evidences of the fruit of the Spirit through the way he dealt with people. When the Spirit came upon him, he became enraged and sent parts of an ox throughout the land terrorizing the people to join him in battle. Unlike David who shepherd the people with integrity of heart and skillful hands, the foundation of Saul’s anointing was not based on a heart that is after God. Hence, the manifestation of his anointing is out of character and did not endure.
- Believers must make it their absolute priority to regenerate people’s hearts before dealing with their problems – By regenerating a person’s heart, we regenerate his whole life. The goodness of God’s kingdom begins with the heart. Jesus says,
“The kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 6:45
Hence, believers must resist the temptation of dealing with external problems and needs without first addressing the internal issues of the heart. David in his younger days was known for bringing hope and peace to the people through his music. This formed the foundation of his unique style where the psalms were commonly used to encourage morale causing people to look to God while in the thick of their challenges. We can say that David transformed the nation primarily by ministering to the hearts of the people through his psalms. Likewise, believers can refresh hearts by readily speaking psalms of hope and spiritual songs. Paul teaches concerning the anointing that builds up,
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord. Ephesians 5:18-19
By planting the heart and mind with the Holy Spirit and the psalms of hope, we install divine power and wisdom that is able to overcome all difficulties.
- How do you facilitate the filling of the Spirit for someone? Some think that if an “anointed” minister lays his hands, the filling the Spirit will automatically ensue. The minister can only function as a facilitator, God sees the heart and He alone will decide if a person is ready to be filled with His Spirit. Man can baptize with water, but only Jesus can baptize with the Spirit (see John 1:33).
- How do you cause the anointing within you to grow? Reading chunks of the bible and spending protracted time in prayer carry no direct effect. But when the heart grows in love and obedience towards God, the anointing within you starts to grow. Hence, our bible reading and prayer life must carry a positive effect in changing the posture of our hearts towards Him.
Dear Lord, I understand that my heart is the foundation on which the anointing rests. Search me and reveal to me the hidden issues of my heart. Cause the fruit and gifts of the Spirit to manifest through my speech and my temperament. Fill me with your anointing and use me to refresh the hearts of many. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.