Man looks on the outside appearance but God knows the King he has chosen and who will succeed.
1 Samuel 16:14-23
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.
15 Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the lyre. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes on you, and you will feel better.”
17 So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”
18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen a son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”
19 Then Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.” 20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them with his son David to Saul.
21 David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers. 22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse, saying, “Allow David to remain in my service, for I am pleased with him.”
23 Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.
In 1 Samuel 16 vs 7 we read a statement from God. He said to Samuel ‘Man looks at the outside appearance but the Lord looks at the heart’. Now only a few verses later in this same chapter God gives us as readers some insight into the way that God sees. We are told of the spiritual battle going on behind the scenes. The men and women living in that time would have only seen the outside appearance. They saw an image of the king and his servant. The King (in the eyes of the world) has a better life whereas the servant is poor and the world would expect he lived a life of less abundance. But, when the spiritual world is revealed we see a different interpretation. The spiritual eyes show us that the King is bereft as God has left him. The King is poor in spirit. However the servant is rich as the spirit of the Lord is with him. God is guiding the new king, directing his every step. He is the chosen one.
The real disturbance that is happening in Saul’s life and is observable to others is that God has departed from him. It is also that God has sent trouble directly to him in the form of an evil spirit. In his hour of need and hurt King Saul does not crave and demand to see his physical wealth he calls for someone to find him spiritual peace. Interestingly it is God who does the finding for Saul and puts in place the very man that God has chosen to be there. Saul only finds the peace that he craves when he is in the presence of David, one who is anointed by the True King – God.
The real irony here is that Saul in his distress has personally called the very person for whom God’s favour is resting on. The reason for Saul’s distress is that God’s favour has left him. Isn’t it rubbing salt into his wounds to have before him the man who is God blessed, chosen and God anointed? But no we see that the presence of God gives peace to Saul. God’s very good spirit is stronger than the evil spirit planted in Saul. God is good and in his presence peace is found.
God’s purpose for young David were hidden from the eyes of those around who saw as only Man does on the outside appearance. When we see from God’s perspective we see how remarkable this episode was and how perfectly planned by a good, good God. Protecting his people putting in position his chosen one the True King.
Head: think further about how God’s master plan for the forever King (from the line of David) is evidenced here.
Heart: where do we store riches? There our heart will be also.
Hands: if you get a chance listen to some music that will calm your soul and direct your thoughts towards the True King.
Prayer: Dear God. Thank you that in today’s passage we are reminded that true peace comes from a spirit that knows, and is known by, you. True blessing does not come from worldly wealth but from the peace of knowing the true King Jesus. Help us to see as you see and to know the joy and the peace that only comes when your spirit lives within us. AMEN
A song to listen to: Oh Lord, My Rock and My Redeemer
Emma–Jane McNicol- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina