God sees not like us through human eyes but according to his heart.
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.”
2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”
The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
4 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?”
5 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.
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”
7 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 people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.”10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
13 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 powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
This is the second time in 1 Samuel we see a story of Samuel anointing a man who is chosen by God to be King. The first one happened just after the Israelites had asked for a king like all the other nations. This anointing follows God rejecting Saul as king because he had rejected the word of the Lord. Both anointing’s occur differently, the first is quite private, Samuel sends off Saul’s servants and it is just the two of them while in this anointing Samuel has all of Jesse’s family with him. Both also describe different attributes about the person, Saul was described as handsome and a head taller than any other while David was described as glowing with health and had handsome features but was the youngest of Jesse’s children.
The part of this anointing that I find the most interesting is verse 7 where the Lord says to Samuel “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” God doesn’t have a limited point of view, he doesn’t see the way we see. In John Woodhouse’s commentary on 1 Samuel he says that “God sees according to his heart”. God chooses the next king according to his heart and will. He chooses David not because of what he looks like, although it is noted in the passage that he looks healthy and handsome, but because God has set his heart on David to be king.
In verse 13 when Samuel anoints David it says: “and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” God picks David then he gives him the Spirit of the Lord to work in him. David hadn’t been chosen because he was godly or looked like the right person but because God had chosen him and then God works in him to help him be the king he has been chosen to be. When I read this verse it reminds me of Jesus’ baptism when the Spirit of the Lord comes on him. He is the perfect King, with the heart of God, who has come to provide a far greater anointing than David was anointed with. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we are anointed with the Spirit who now dwells in us and helps us to become more like him.
Head: Are you surprised by the response of God in verse 7? Why or Why not?
Heart: Is your heart being transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit?
Hands: Who can you share the great anointing Jesus provides with today?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that you see us with your heart not with human eyes. Thank you for anointing us with your Holy Spirit who is transforming us to be more like you. Please continue to transform our hearts to be more like yours each and every day. In Jesus name, Amen.
A song to listen to: Oh Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer
Emily Andrews- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- South Bank