April 11th - The Heart
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
A number of studies have shown that people who are tall and good-looking tend to get a jump on the regular folks. It serves as proof of the wisdom found in the words that God spoke to the prophet Samuel. "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Often, I have found myself falling into the trap of weighing a person's worth or potential based upon what I observe with my eyes. The results? Well, let's just say that mistakes in judgment can be disastrous.
A person can certainly be beautiful inside and out...I know, I'm married to one of those people. However, there is no real correlation between the outside and the inside. The physical and the psychological parts that compose a person may reside in the same shell, but appearance and behavior are distinct from one another.
The nation of Israel was in a pickle. They chose a King based on the outer appearance. Saul was head and shoulders taller than all the other candidates. So, Israel had a stately looking King; and the man who looked the part was weak in character. He was jealous, petty, a coward, faithless, stubborn and self-centered. He looked great, but inwardly was a cavern of darkness.
God told Samuel to anoint a new king, and God directed him to the sons of Jesse. Samuel examined the sons and was
dazzled by the appearance of each of the brother. Samuel was still basing his judgment by the outward appearance. Finally, he ran out of Jesse' sons. Or did he? No, there was the youngest son, tending to his father's sheep.
David was not the impressive according to his outward appearance. But, God, seeing David's heart, told Samuel that this was indeed the future King of Israel. In spite of David's moral failures--he goes down in history as the greatest of all of Israel's Kings.