Thursday, June 2, 2011

the measure of a man

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7

In this account of the anointing of David as a boy to be the future king of Israel, we have a look into how God chooses the person He uses. Samuel knew that one of the sons of Jesse would be chosen by God. And the very first son, Eliab impresses Samuel with his appearance. But God gives the old prophet a reminder that there is much more to this than meets the eye. God had not chosen Eliab, as impressive as he appeared on the outside. It was the same story for seven of Jesse's sons.

God wanted a man with the right heart to lead Israel. Jesse had an impressive family. Samuel was taken with the outward appearance of Jesse's sons. But God was concerned with the heart of just one of them, the youngest shepherd boy, David. And in that moment, Samuel learned the importance of the heart in God's choice for a king.

This was a moment where God made a move in a different direction. Saul had been anointed king while still a farm boy. But he was an impressive figure of a man, standing tall, head and shoulders above the rest of the people. David, though a fine looking young lad, was just a boy, so faithful to his father's commands that nobody thought to call him away from tending the sheep on the hillsides outside of town. But it was the faithful shepherd boy that God had chosen to be king.

The reason this was so was that God was looking first at the heart of the leader. And David became known as the "man after God's own heart". You only have to read the Psalms, most of which are attributed to David, to know this to be the case. David had a passionate love for God. He made art out of it. The measure of a man is his heart, and only God can truly know it. That is why we must let God speak to the heart through His Word and change the heart through His Spirit's work.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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