Prior to this episode, the Lord has told Samuel that Saul will no longer be king. Saul, who is described in this way: “There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he; he stood head and shoulders above everyone else” (1 Sam. 9:2). Between the choosing of Saul to be king and the time the Lord rejects him, Saul proves that outward appearances are not always an indication of worthiness, goodness, or righteousness. Standing before Jesse’s sons, Samuel assumes the Lord’s chosen one must be the tallest, best-looking one. But the Lord says, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
We get so caught up in maintaining our outward appearance and place great weight on what the world around us sees. In the same way, we might assume that a person’s appearance indicates their worthiness. How comfortable would you be if the people around you could see what is on your heart? How comfortable are you with the idea that God looks at your heart rather than at what you present to the world? In the end, God chooses David, the youngest and smallest (although we are told he is still handsome!). As the youngest, he would have the least authority and respect among his brothers, but the Lord still chose him.
What do we learn from this? Have you ever been surprised by the gifts of one who appeared a little rough around the edges?
In prayer, ask for help in seeing others through the lens of God and commit yourself to offering up the deeper parts of yourself to God and to the world.