Seeing the Heart
Kind and loving Father, look on my heart and see one who dearly wants to serve and honor You.
Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13
 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.”  But Samuel said, “How can I go? Saul will hear about it and kill me.” The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”  Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”  Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.  When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.”  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.”  Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.”  Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.”  Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.”  So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”  So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.”  So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power. Samuel then went to Ramah. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat standards does the Lord reject and affirm here?
This passage has spoken to me in different ways in the past. It is both a comfort and a challenge to know that God sees my heart and doesn’t judge in the way others might. It’s easy to end up feeling small or inadequate when we measure ourselves against the world’s definition of popularity, or beauty, or success. But God’s requirements are drastically different. It’s ironic that in today’s passage even the prophet Samuel assumed God would choose Jesse’s eldest son to be the anointed king. Why do you think God liked what he saw in David’s heart?
Something to be noted from today’s passage is the providence of God. We see an honest account of the humble beginnings of a figure who later becomes Israel’s most esteemed king. God provides success for whomever he chooses to use. The presence of the Spirit (13) clearly indicates God’s blessing upon David. Imagine what God could do with your life if you were totally surrendered to him!
Do you see people’s hearts or judge by appearances? Why not encourage a Christian friend by telling them about their godly characteristics.
Lord Jesus, keep me from snap, unfair judgments about others. Help me instead to see Your work in them.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.