DAVID the SHEPHERD 1 Samuel 16.1-13
The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them.
How do you value people and circumstances?
This week we reflect on the fact that God’s perspective on things may differ from our own.
v 7 The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
The people of Israel wanted a King – and they got one, Saul. You can read the story in 1 Samuel 9, and perhaps get an early impression of the person he was. ‘Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land. ‘Just the kind of man to take control you might think; and don’t overlook the fact that he became king when he was 30 years old and reigned for 42 years. He was however wilful and disobedient to God, and it became necessary to replace him. Samuel took a massive risk in anointing David as the new king. His action threatened to undermine Saul’s rightful position as king and might have been misconstrued as an act of rebellion. It is not immediately apparent from a quick read of the bible that David had to wait around 15 years from this anointing to his recognition as king and his coronation.
This time, rather than anointing the tallest man, or the most able General in the army, God clarifies his plan to evaluate the man by his heart-qualities. It was here that David excelled; despite the failures we encounter later in his life he was a man who had set his heart in the right direction. In this incident Samuel needed God’s wisdom to recognise the right brother in Jesse’s family. Ordinary human discernment and processes in evaluating spiritual leadership simply can’t get beyond the outward appearance. So here is a warning – be careful how you form your opinions of other people: only God knows what lies in the heart, and that is what really matters.