1 Samuel 16:12
And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and with of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said…
We shall now view the ordinance through which David passed, and the farther endowments bestowed on him in order to the effective discharge of regal duty. In the ordinance itself we are warned that all authority and dignity emanate from God. The ceremony as commanded in the text was highly interesting, impressive, and instructive. The unction here used was a real one. Priests had been anointed, and prophets likewise; before this occasion, however, the ceremony of kingly unction had never been witnessed except in the case of Saul.
1. The object of the ceremony, then, was first official. It intimated, by its solemnity, and its minister, that the work was of God — His design and His appointment, and, therefore, not to be disputed. This sacredness of the ceremony precluded all jealousy and contention. God had avowed David as His representative, and so declared Himself for his protection.
2. Our business now is to view natural abilities and endowments in the same light with those official qualifications. We have no miracles, they are unnecessary; we have no form or ceremony, which, by its own virtue, or the virtue of agents and ministers, can communicate to us any unusual or supernatural quality. Nevertheless, the Creator of mind is the ruler of mind; and we observe that by a train of known and ordinary circumstances, providentially directed, He has often raised to honour, and qualified with ability, the very men whom least of all and last of all we should have singled out for advancement. Our position was a gift from God, a free election on His part: our natural endowments likewise came from His special favour. There is an account demanded of our duties — our ordinary ones, our social ones. our worldly work and occupation, how far we have been faithful, and how far everything committed to our trust has been dedicated and applied to the good of man and glory of God. as God is now revealed to us. A general impression prevails with men as to moral responsibility, but the responsibility which presses on us connected with the Gospel of Christ, this is not so fully admitted. Then let us remember that if we are thus Christ's people we are so far a purpose that must be fulfilled. "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood; you are called to a regal office, see that ye fulfil it." It is this you are called to reign over sin. (Romans 6:12.) You are called to reign over the world, to overcome it in all its forms of hostility against Gad and godliness. Who is sufficient for these things, who could venture on the mere calling or appointment, without the becoming qualifications? Hence our eyes and hearts must be on the spiritual consecration. "But ye have an unction from the Holy One." (1 John 2:20.) That is our oil of consecration, and by it we receive virtually the power to sustain us in our great appointment.
3. The first influence of this unction is knowledge, the last is glory. Knowledge was the ambition of man, under the false teaching of Satan, and he found it not except in the discovery of his own guilt, and the experience of sin. Now, we know better things; we know the love of Christ, the remedy for sin, the love of the Father, the peace of faith, the abiding succour of the Holy Ghost.
4. The prophetic or typical signification of the ceremony directed in the text. David was a figure of Christ, and a striking one. He is called, He is adopted, and visibly before His household is ordained to be the preserver and king of Israel. Are we not led instantly in our thoughts to the commission and action of the Baptist? Urged on by his own predictions, and administering the rite of baptism preparative to the arrival of this Saviour, we may easily imagine with what an ardent and inquiring gaze this herald of the Redeemer's approach looked for him, to whom was turned both true and false, the expectation of the world. We can conceive his repeated disappointment when noble after noble swept along in proud array, perhaps to hear and honour his awakening call to penitence; still no recognition was afforded — no signal yet declared the promised Saviour. At last a lowly form draws near — an humble garb, a gentle mien, an unpretending aspect, which exact no worldly reverence. He is mingled, too, in the crowd of publicans and sinners, who throng the Baptist's ministry, to win some peace, some hope, to their afflicted, guilty hearts. Here is one without comeliness or external majesty, from whom the common eye would turn heedlessly away; but the spirit within the Baptist calls to homage — "Arise, anoint him, this is he." At the baptism of Christ we are told the spirit of the Lord descended on Him — the full unction of the Holy Spirit was poured out on Him. (Matthew 3:17.) Christ, then, was publicly anointed, to be our prophet, priest, and king. Let us follow a few passages of Scripture which hear upon His consecration to office.
(1) The consecration of Christ rehearses to us that our deliverer was one in whom dwelt the whole fulness of the Godhead bodily. He was no creature, but the God of creation; no inferior power of Heaven, but the Supreme Being Himself, and hence our redemption is most sure.
(2) In the consecration of Jesus Christ at the Jordan, there was a special conveyance made of qualities suitable to His prophetic office; in these qualities rest all our comforts. Hear the commission of this Saviour, and the qualities conferred on him for the fulfilment of his office. (Luke 4:18, 19.) "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me," etc.
(3) And, finally, this typical import of David's consecration was a representation of Christ's royal appointment. In the forty-fifth Psalm this royal appointment is described; there the Divine origin of Christ is proclaimed, and His perfect Deity is insisted on. His unction, too, is specified, but it is for authority and government, rather than spiritual ministry — "Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness, therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Ministry is over, and suffering, and death, and all inferiority; He sits now on the throne of glory, waiting till His foes become His footstool, waiting till the hour arrives for the judgment of a world which shall have outlived the period allotted for repentance, and yet repented not.
(C M. Fleury, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.