Read – 1 Samuel 16
Focus on verse 13
In the church today we sometimes speak of a person being an “anointed” preacher or teacher. In some more Charismatic groups people claim to have been “slain in the Spirit” often claiming that they are radically changed or at times even physically healed of some disease of ailment thereafter. While our pneumatology may differ in how we define and explain the workings of the Holy Spirit, on this one thing we could possibly all agree…when a person has a personal experience with the Holy Spirit, something changes…and while we may have different terms that we use to describe this change, and we may believe differently about exactly what happens during that experience, the evidence that we all see is that a person is different than they were before. In fact it seems that most people who have had a significant impact within the church from the days of the Acts of the Apostles to this day, they would all testify to an experience like this. This is not to say that they all had the same experience, by no means! In fact it would be rare I suspect, to find two who would describe the experience exactly the same way.
In today’s reading David is anointed with oil by Samuel and “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power”.
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah. (v. 13)
Oil is often symbolic of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. It certainly seems to be the case here. Years later the prophet Isaiah writes, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;” This is also the portion that Jesus reads in the synagogue in Capernaum after which he claims “This prophecy is fulfilled before you today” to those present.
When the Holy Spirit comes upon a person it is a uniquely personal and deeply spiritual experience that changes a person from the inside out. For some it happens nearly simultaneously with their decision to follow Jesus, with others it is much later, and for some it even seems to happen in stages over several experiences. The bottom line however is that once the experience has occurred the fruit of the Spirit begins to become evident in some way in their life. For some it is dramatic like Paul’s Damascus road event, for others it is in the quietness of their time alone with God in their study. For David, the experience emboldened him to become a fearless and cunning warrior as well as a wise leader.