Fooled By Appearances

I Samuel 16:1-13 “And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee. And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably? And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.”

Text I Samuel 16:7 “for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

Samuel had been sent by God to Bethlehem to anoint the next king of Israel and he already had a preconceived idea of the type of man God would use. After seeing the sons of Jessie, Samuel had found seven that met his approval, but God had found none! Man was looking at the packaging and God was looking at the person. Man was fooled by David’s age. Because David was the youngest of Jessie’s son, he had not even been considered. Paul knew that Timothy would face this problem when he wrote, Let no man despise thy youth” (I Timothy 4:12). They were fooled by David’s attire. Unlike Jesse’s other sons, David was totally unprepared for this prestigious meeting. With no time to bath, change out of his work clothes or comb his hair; David was immediately summoned. Can you imagine how he looked and smelled in contrast to all the others that have come “dressed to impress!” They were fooled by David’s attributes. While it is unclear as to what everyone else was qualified to do, it was clear that the only thing David was capable of doing was watching the sheep! Jesse said, “he keepeth the sheep.” David’s list of accomplishments consisted of playing a harp and the use of a sling; how could God ever use something like that? What could possibly cause God to choose David above the rest? While man was fooled by David’s appearance; the Master was focused on David’s affections, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will” (Acts 13:22). God chose David for his loving affection and not his lofty appearance! Would God choose you?