I have always considered myself to be one who enjoys the new testament stories so much more than those stories in the old testament but lately some of my best quiet times have shown a new appreciation to what I once never took the time to comprehend. Yesterday was no different as I studied 1 Samuel.
Specifically, it was 1 Samuel 16 and 17 that really stirred my heart. Before chapter 16, Saul had been king of Israel. I love how the previous chapters mentioned how God changed his heart but later he disobeyed God to the point where he no longer could hold this position which meant it was time to appoint a new king.
God sent Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king. So Samuel obeyed. The scripture tells us that when he saw Jesse’s first son, Eliab, he immediately thought based on outward appearance that he looked like he was the one that the Lord would choose but he was wrong.
The Lord said: “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.“-1 Samuel 16:7
Samuel saw the other sons and they didn’t seem fit either but then he asked for Jesse’s youngest son who was busy watching the sheep and goats which shows how Jesse didn’t even consider him initially but as soon as he came up, the Lord spoke to Samuel, “This is the one; anoint him.” -1 Samuel 16:12
David, a young boy, who wasn’t even considered by man to be ready but the Lord knew his heart. He went on to defeat Goliath even though others initially discounted him.
The story of David’s heart shows how people can easily disregard you because of your youth or appearance but because his heart was right, David was able to see himself the way God sees him. He was able to silence the voice of others in order to conquer the job that needed to get done.
I’m comforted to know that I serve a God who looks beyond the eyes of man. For him, it’s more than looks, strong personalities, he sees your heart.
I’d like to encourage you to focus more on having a pure and cheerful heart than on being outwardly adorned. God wants to use those whose heart is right for him.
Don’t ever allow the opinions of others (or even yourself) keep you from fulfilling your purpose. What if David would have allowed the perceptions of other people to keep him from facing the giant? David had confidence in knowing that God was with him so he could do not fail.
I want confidence like David that regardless of how many may discredit me, I am confident of the task I’ve been assigned. But even more, I want the ability to see people the way that God sees them. To be able to look beyond their outward appearance and focus on what matters most…..their heart.