Probably everyone has a character or a story in the Bible that is their favorite and for me, mine has to be David. I have always loved reading about David's life.
I was reading this week in I Samuel 16 about when Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint the king that the Lord had told him that He had chosen. The Lord told Samuel to take a heifer with him and to invite Jesse to the sacrifice because one of Jesse's sons would be anointed king. Samuel did what the Lord asked him to do and when he saw Jesse's oldest son, he assumed that he had to be the one. (I am just picturing that he was tall, dark and handsome!) The Lord told Samuel not to look at his outward appearance, because he had rejected him. One by one each of Jesse's sons paraded by Samuel and He rejected all 6 of Jesse's sons that were at the sacrifice that day. But...guess what? Jesse had SEVEN sons and the baby boy of the family was named David. David's father was aware that a new king would soon be found and yet he had not even brought him to the sacrifice that day -- he had left him at home tending the sheep. David was obviously not his father's first choice! No one ever even thought to call David because he would never wear a crown!
Can you remember a time in your life when you felt like you weren't wanted or like you really didn't matter? Like you were someone's last choice?
I believe that Jesse, Samuel and David ALL learned something on that day. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. We can tell how men look, but God can tell what they are. We tend to make so many assumptions about people solely based on their appearances. We can be so judgmental at times, can't we? We can be driving down the street and just pass someone on the side of the road dressed differently than we are and we automatically make assumptions about what kind of person they are. Aren't you so thankful that God doesn't do that? Do you remember what you looked like when God found you? I do and I am so thankful that He was not concerned with my outward appearance. He looked at my heart! God doesn't choose any of us by accident and he didn't choose David by accident, either. He knew exactly what He was doing.
I wonder, though, if we had seen David, what we would have seen. I am afraid that I might have just seen a shepherd boy and wondered how in the world God could use him? Just think of the lessons that God had already been teaching David through his experiences of tending sheep. God had been preparing David all along.
God has also been preparing you and me. I wonder what life experiences He has allowed me to go through to better equip me for His service? What skills has He given me that will enable me to be a better servant? More importantly, am I using those skills for His glory?
David may not have thought that he had any skills that God could use . After all, he was taking care of dirty, smelly sheep! How could that equip him to be a king? But God was looking at his heart and David had a heart for the lost sheep. He wasn't the oldest or the strongest or maybe even the best looking of his brothers, but giants would fall and nations would tremble when they stood in David's way!
Things to ponder:
What life experiences has God let me go through in the past, or am I going through right now? Am I using the skills and life experiences that I have learned in the way that God wants me to? Am I learning to not look at outward appearances? Not to be judgemental? I wonder when God looks at my heart, what does He see?