Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

Who is God? – Day 11

Heart Inspector

Bible text(s)

7But the LORD said to him, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7GNBOpen in Bible reader

12So Jesse sent for him. He was a handsome, healthy young man, and his eyes sparkled. The LORD said to Samuel, “This is the one — anoint him!” 13Samuel took the olive oil and anointed David in front of his brothers. Immediately the Spirit of the LORD took control of David and was with him from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah.

1 Samuel 16:12-13GNBOpen in Bible reader

Appearance, on all levels, is important to us. We have, no doubt, all experienced the situation where teams have to be chosen and each leader is choosing from a group to fill his team with the tallest, the fastest, or the most gifted. It becomes uncomfortable as fewer and fewer remain because everyone, including those remaining, knows that they are not perceived to be as proficient as those already chosen.

The sons of Jesse must have had a similar experience when God sent Samuel to choose the next king of Israel from among them, although here, one by one they were turned away as Samuel discerned God’s will.

The first of the above verses refers to Eliab, Jesse’s eldest son, who impressed Samuel greatly, but who we see was not God’s choice. In fact, His response was the same to all seven of Jesse’s sons, who must have been feeling more and more disheartened when they realised that only the youngest son David was left, and who would really want to be ruled by him? They hardly counted him a man as he was sent to only look after their father’s sheep, whereas they were soldiers called to fight for Saul, the present king.

Interestingly, when David comes in, after his father summons him from the field after Samuel asks Jesse if he has any other sons, we perceive that he is a good-looking young man; but most importantly, that he is the one whom God has chosen because of the attitude of his heart and whom He will be able to empower by His Spirit.

Later on, in 1 Samuel, when the armies of Saul are fighting the Philistines, David stands out from amongst them because he alone sees the challenge of the giant, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, as an insult to God and volunteers to fight him, whereas the other soldiers, including his brothers, are too afraid.

What does this tell us about God?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.18.8
Find us on