SAMUEL: A KING ANOINTED
After many years of war and disobedience, the people of Israel ask God for a king to lead them. They hoped that by having a king, they would serve God more faithfully. Unfortunately, the first king, named Saul, was not a good one. He disobeyed God many times during his rule. In response, God rejected Saul as King. However, God had a plan for a new king who would be very different than Saul. He even looked different. Unlike the brawny Saul, the new king was young and inexperienced. Even so, he would prove to be much greater than Saul. His name was David. Today’s ornament depicts God’s surprising plan in choosing David as the new king. The ornament pictures a horn because the prophet Samuel poured a horn filled with olive oil over David’s head to identify him as the new king of Israel. Samuel did this as a ceremony to set David apart for the special role that he would play as king over God’s people. The pouring of oil over the head of the future king, or “anointing,” is the tradition behind the word “Messiah.” “Messiah” means “anointed one.” As they anointed David as king, they looked ahead to a greater king that God would one day send to rule as the great Messiah.
Samuel, son of Elkanah, was repeatedly called by God. When he finally recognized the LORD’s call, he remained faithful to it without fail, and proclaimed the coming of Christ the King who would have dominion over all the kings of the earth.