The Lord Looks at the Heart

I've been reading a lot about the life of David lately.

First, I read a historical fiction book about Michael, and right after I finished that one, I read two more books from the same author, one about Abigail and one about Bathsheba.

While I realize that much of it is conjecture, it brought me into the life of David in a unique way, through the minds of his wives.  I suggest you read all three of them if you like fiction.

I've also been slowly reading through the Bible, and coincidentally or not, I have come to the life of David in 1 Samuel.

Not long after reading the story of Samuel anointing David to be king of Israel in the book Michal, I read it again in the word of God.

"Now the Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel?  Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons."

But Samuel said, "How can I go?  When Saul hears of it, he will kill me."

And the Lord said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.'  You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you."

So Samuel did what the Lord said, and came to Bethlehem.  And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, "Do you come in peace?"

He said, "In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.  Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.  He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him."

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel.

And he said, 'The Lord has not chosen this one either."

Next Jessee made Shammah pass by.

And he said, "The Lord has not chosen this one either."

Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel.

But Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen these."  And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are these all the children?"

And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep."

Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here."

So he sent and brought him in.  Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance.

And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is he."

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.  And Samuel arose and went to Ramah."

1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NASB)

This is a favorite passage of many.  It is as reminder that we shouldn't judge a book by the cover, a person by their good looks.

I find this intruiging.  I wonder what Samuel would have thought of David had he been the first of the brothers he had seen.  Would he have thought him a suitable king?

If God had wanted to, He could have sent Samuel out to find David tending the sheep, without ever crossing paths with Jesse and the rest of his sons.

But I think He was ready to prove a point. When we first heard of Saul, one of the first things that was mentioned was how tall he was, and it is mentioned other times throughout his story.  It seems that just because he was a head above everyone else, the people thought he would be a good king.

To anyone the least familiar with his story, it is obvious he was not.

And now, God allows Samuel to look over a line of men, any one that might have been first choice of the people, and He rejected every single oen of them.

And then there was David.  He was good looking, maybe more so than his brothers, maybe not.  But looks really don't matter.  It's irrelevant.  Good looking or bad looking, God is looking at the hearts of the men of Israel, the sons of Judah.  And in one heart, He found a man that wanted to follow Him, who would be a good king, and would become the ancestor of the Savior of the world.

We can't make decisions about people based on looks.  Whether good-looking or not so much, the heart tells the story.

It remind me of that movie from several years ago, called Shallow Hal.  Hal was cursed so that he saw what was on the inside of people rather than the outside.  From the outside, we could see the girl wasn't as thin as he thought she was, or the other girl's teeth weren't perfect, or she had coke-bottle glasses.  Or sometimes she really was exactly as he saw her.  At one point, he meets a beautiful woman and is repulsed by her because all he can see is the badness of her heart rather than her pretty face.

You just can't make decisions about people from what you see, unless what you see is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.

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