“But the Lord said to Samuel, ’Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7
Shortly after God had rejected Saul because of his prideful disobedience regarding the destruction of the Amalekites God instructed Samuel to go to Bethlehem in Judea and anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the next king of Israel. But Samuel was fearful to do as God commanded because if Saul learned that he had anointed a new king he would have had them both killed for treason.
But God had a plan. God always has a plan, or solution, for any dilemma we face. Every new moon the families of Israel made sacrifices and recalled and renewed their covenant with God. Additionally, at a feast following the community sacrifice, households would renewed family covenants as well. God instructed Samuel to take a sacrifice with him and celebrate the new moon in Bethlehem with the family of Jesse.
Everything went according to plan until Samuel told Jesse that God had a need for one of his sons and requested to meet them.
When Samuel saw Jesse’s eldest son, the tall and handsome Eliab, he felt sure that this was the one God had chosen to be king, but God said, “No. I have refused him. Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Jesse called the rest of his sons to come forward until all seven present had met the prophet and each one was refused by God. At this Samuel turned to Jesse and asked, “Are these all your sons?” To which Jesse answered, “There’s still the youngest but he’s out watching the sheep.” To which Samuel commanded, “Send for him. For we will not sit down to eat until I have met him.” And when Jesse’s youngest son, David, had come God told Samuel, “Arise and anoint him for he is the one I have chosen to be king over Israel.”
So Samuel anoint David King. Saul had been anointed as Nagid, judge and commander-in-Chief, but God commanded that David be anointed as Melek, king of Israel.
God chose David when he was just a young man based on the qualities present in his heart. Samuel couldn’t see into David’s heart but God could so he could guide him.
To often we make important decisions on superficial information and understandings, little better than guessing, when we ought to be turning to God so that he can guide us based upon the hidden things he can see. Young people seeking husbands and wives consult their feelings and attractions but too often given little thought to learning what God might have to offer in the way of guidance. Careers are chosen based on income possibilities, aptitude, and personal interest but once again little effort is made to learn where God might be leading.
Friends, God sees and knows the heart and the future. What’s more he has a plan that accounts for all the obstacles and barriers that will come up in life. Our plans most often go awry but God has shown that his plans are unerring; moving forward from generation to generation. Let’s chose to seek for and to follow God’s plan.