by Pam Cray, Children’s Pastor
After reading the title you might think this article is about a famous Christmas carol. However, you’d be wrong. Instead we’re looking at the life of a man after God’s own heart – David. In order to understand the story of David in 1 Samuel a little of the backstory is needed. Israel was always meant to a people ruled by God, but they desired an earthly king like their neighbors, and eventually God relented and gave them a king named Saul. It worked well until Saul decided he knew better than God and disobeyed. His disobedience cost him the kingdom. It was essential that the leader of God’s people follow God’s lead.
That truth is as true today as it was in the days of ancient Israel. Those who lead God’s people need to be people who follow God’s lead. If not, they are just making it up! That means the Autumn Ridge elders, staff, and lay leaders need to be people who are listening and following the voice of God each day. It also means that moms and dads entrusted with the spiritual development of their children need to be hearing and following the voice of God. Our congregation and our kids deserve it!
We read in I Samuel 16 that God already had Saul’s replacement chosen. He worked through the high priest, Samuel, to identify him. Samuel was told by God that the new king was the son of Jesse the shepherd from Bethlehem. When the first son passed by Samuel he was certain he was the chosen one since leadership was most often passed down to the first born. This is when God had to intervene to teach Samuel (and us) an important truth, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” I Samuel 16:7.
The question we have to ask ourselves is this, do we see what God sees or are we seeing the outward appearance only? Can you imagine what we miss out on when we look at the outward appearance exclusively? We could miss the blessing because we’ve written off the person based on the externals. How sad for us! How sad for God’s kingdom! We need to see what God sees, and we need His help to do it because our vision is so limited!
Each of his sons passed by Samuel and each one was clearly not the one. When the last one who was David came in from the field and passed by Samuel he instantly knew he was the one. Samuel described him as ruddy, (probably from all that sun in the fields), with beautiful eyes and handsome. He probably turned heads everywhere he went! How interested that God had just finished teaching Samuel a lesson about seeing the heart and then he describes David in terms of his externals. It just goes to show just how quickly we resort to passing judgment on people based on the outward appearance. This stuff is hard to root out! Yet, I would bet that his ruddy appearance and beautiful eyes, and his handsome were not what God was looking at when He chose David to replace Saul as king. He knew David’s heart. He knew that David would lead God’s people to follow God’s lead.
Just like Samuel, we need to give God free reign in our lives so He can root out of us our short sightedness and our judgmental spirits. We need to see with His pair of glasses. Let’s answer the question, “Do you see what I see?” with a resounding YES!