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  • Writer's pictureStephen Percy

Who's a handsome boy?

"The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." | 1 Samuel 16 v7b (NLT)

Phew, I can breath a sigh of relief, God doesn’t judge me by my outward appearance! He doesn’t judge me by my sporting ability either, which is just as well!

This verse is part of a passage about when Samuel was sent to anoint one of the son’s of Jesse to be king after Saul. When he sees Jesse's eldest son, he feels sure that such a fine young man must be the one God has chosen but no, he isn’t. Samuel patiently meets the seven sons that Jesse introduces to him and listens to God’s promptings that none of these is to be the anointed one. Well then, who could it be? 'Any more sons?’ he asks. ‘Only little David, out tending the sheep,’ is the reply. ‘Well, bring him in!’ says Samuel. And yes, little David is the one.

We are told in verse 12 that David also had 'a fine appearance and handsome features’ but that is not why he was chosen. The Lord was more concerned about David’s heart, in fact we are told in 1 Samuel 13:14 that the Lord had sought out a man after His own heart to be the next king. What does it mean to be someone after God’s own heart? David was certainly a sinner. If we look back over the previous few chapters we can get an understanding.

King Saul, we learn, had a habit of taking things into his own hands. He did things which kinda looked the part - making sacrifices - but which he had been given clear instructions not to and so God removed His anointing from him. How often are we all guilty of doing that? We try to look the part, maybe we go to church, maybe we read the Bible, maybe we stack the chairs after a service but are we really obedient to God in all things? Samuel is quite clear when he tells Saul in Chapter 15:22b-23a, ‘obedience is better than sacrifice.’ God wants our hearts to be sincere not for us to just look the part. Maybe I can’t breathe that sigh of relief?

Thankfully, we can read the response of David, the man after god’s own heart, when he messed up big time. In Psalm 51:10 he says, 'Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.’ May this be our daily prayer. Thank God that though the work of Jesus on the cross, our hearts can be made clean!

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