Samuel’s Horn

The Bible frequently mentions rams’ horns as a tool in service for the Lord. The ram’s horns give the sheep protection, and are representative of strength. They were also used by people as a type of trumpet (shofar) for sounding an alarm or warning. But they were also used as containers (i.e. 1 Kings 1:39), and this verse:

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”  (1 Samuel 16:1)

Before the ram’s horn could be considered suitable as a container, the end would need to be carefully inspected to ensure there was no damage, and hence avoid any possibility of leaks. Once this had been assured, God tells Samuel to stop mourning for Saul, fill his horn with oil and go…. to Jesse’s house to ultimately anoint David as king.

Consider the following:

  • Samuel was mourning for Saul. Sometimes, we mourn over issues in our lives longer than God would have us maintain. We need to hear God’s voice in our hearts, above our own sorrows, so that we consistently walk in God’s ways, not being thwarted by our emotions.
  • The horn was representative of strength, protection, abilities, a container…… a picture of all that we are in Christ. What is our spiritual condition today? Are we mourning some loss or disappointment? Are we a sufficiently robust receptacle for all that God wants to do in and through us today?
  • God’s word to Samuel was to fill his horn with oil. We should be a people who are eager to be filled more and more with the oil of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:1). It is only by being filled, that we can undertake all that God would have us do. An empty horn is completely useless for His purposes.
  • Samuel was told to be on his way to find Jesse. Having the oil of the Holy Spirit is not the end of God’s purposes. The whole point of having more of Him, is to give away that which we have received, in order to further God’s plans and purposes (1 Corinthians 12:7).
  • A typical ram’s horn used as a container would not hold a great volume of oil. Samuel’s horn of oil was sufficient to set apart David as the greatest king of Israel. It was neither too much nor too little. It is the same for us: when we move at God’s direction and in His name, He uses all that we have, to bring about substance in others (2 Kings 4:1 – 7).

Let us find time today to assess our spiritual condition to ensure that we are ready to follow our Masters’ calling on our lives.

Bill Sayer