Anointing the King


Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies. And this shall be the sign to you that the Lord has anointed you to be prince over his heritage. When you depart from me today, you will meet two men by Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys that you went to seek are found, and now your father has ceased to care about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What shall I do about my son?”’ Then you shall go on from there farther and come to the oak of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall accept from their hand. After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, where there is a garrison of the Philistines. And there, as soon as you come to the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and lyre before them, prophesying. Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you. Then go down before me to Gilgal. And behold, I am coming down to you to offer burnt offerings and to sacrifice peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.” I Samuel 10:1-8 ESV

Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:6-9 ESV


For hundreds and thousands of years, when a new king or queen begins to rule, a crown is almost always part of the ceremony. The crown is what sets a person apart as a ruler. In Hungary the Crown of St. Stephen was for a long time put on the head of a new king. Stephen had been the first king of Hungary and had been given the crown by the pope. One time years later when King Albert of Hungary died, the people of Hungary wanted to invite the King of Poland to rule them. However, Queen Elizabeth of Hungary hoped to have a baby son soon and wanted him to be the king. So she got one of her ladies, Helen, to steal and hide the crown. When her son was born, he was crowned with the Crown of St. Stephen and acknowledged as the king of Hungary. The crown was very important to the future of her son.

In Israel, it wasn’t a crown, but anointing that set a person apart to be a king. Anointing means to pour oil on something, and it wasn’t only kings like Saul who were anointed. Moses anointed Aaron and his sons to be priests, and also all the furniture in the tabernacle that was set apart for God’s use. To be anointed meant to be set aside for God. Saul was set apart to be God’s king and to save his people from their enemies. After he was anointed, God gave Saul his Holy Spirit and changed him into a new person to love and serve God.

We often call Jesus by his title, Christ, and “Christ” is a Greek word that means “anointed one.” The same word in Hebrew is “Messiah.” Jesus was anointed by God to be our Savior. God didn’t anoint Jesus with oil, but when he was baptized the Holy Spirit came down from heaven to him and set him apart as God’s Son. He was set apart from all other people to obey God perfectly and to suffer and die for the sins of everyone. Because Jesus has made us his people, he is our King, set apart to rule our hearts and lives now and forever.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for setting apart Jesus to be our King who died for us to make us his people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.