1 Samuel 16:7, NIV
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Samuel was sent by the Lord to anoint a son of Jesse as the next king, because of King Saul’s disobedience to God. In those days the eldest son, the firstborn, would receive the inheritance and the blessings. Eliab, Jesse’s eldest son, thought it would be him, and Samuel thought so too, but the Lord said, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart’.
What an amazing statement for us to consider today, when looking good is for many people an obsession. We are impressed by appearance, but God is not. He looks at the heart of each person. Seven of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel and God told him it was none of them. So Samuel asked, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ Even Jesse hadn’t remotely considered that David could be the one chosen to be the next king. David hadn’t been invited to the party!
David was the youngest brother and was doing a servant’s job, looking after the sheep, but God told Samuel, ‘He is the one.’ So David was anointed in front of his brothers as God’s choice for the next king and ‘the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power’! Wow! I wonder how the seven brothers reacted to their youngest brother being chosen by God as the next king?
As for King Saul, ‘Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him’ (1 Samuel 16:14). What a dreadful scripture! The judgement of God had come upon Saul. He had started off so well but ended so badly. God had judged his heart.
Does this fit in with our view of God? Perhaps we only like to think of Him doing things that we approve of! But God is a God of justice and hates sin which has not been repented of. There are serious consequences for sin, especially in a leader who has been entrusted by God with authority over others.
God chooses those whose hearts are set on Him. ‘Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart’. That’s why God chose David.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as I go through today, help me to have a pure heart. Search my heart and help me to repent of anything that displeases you. I want to have a humble and an obedient heart so that You can use me in your kingdom purposes. Amen.