Summary: When God has a work for us to do He knows where to find us and transform our lives for that work.
Seeing As God Sees
INTRODUCTION: In this scripture Samuel has been instructed to go and anoint a new king. The Lord reproved him for mourning about Saul. God said, “I have rejected him and all of your tears and mourning won’t change things. Now get over it and go and do as I tell you.” Samuel didn’t want to go on this mission to anoint another king because he feared Saul and was afraid he would try to kill him if he found out about it. Finally Samuel started out and was to go to the family of Jesse and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.” When people saw him coming they thought he was bringing bad news, but he assured them that there was no bad news. He had come to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. The people didn’t know that Samuel was looking for the Lord to point out the person who was to be anointed the next king.
When the oldest of Jesse’s sons came forward, he looked as if he would surely be the right one. He was good looking--tall, dark, and handsome--and looked as if he would fill the king’s role perfectly. Samuel said, “He must be the one.” But the Lord said, “Don’t look on his outward appearance. God sees differently than man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.” Eliab was not the one. Abinadab was not the one. Neither was the next one or the next one. On the outward appearance they all looked like excellent candidates for the next king, but none was chosen. Seven sons walked by and none of them was the one God had chosen.
Jesse was asked if he had any more sons and he replied, “Yes, there is one tending sheep out in the fields.” They sent for him, and when he came in, the Lord spoke to Samuel and said, “He’s the one. Anoint him.” On the surface, this son may not have looked like the best choice. The others were older and may have had more qualifications. Yet God saw His choice in a different way from what we normally see things. It didn’t mean that all of the other brothers were not good people, but they were not chosen for this particular job.
What does this scripture say to us today? It points out several things that apply to us as well as to David.
1. The Lord Knows Where You Are: We often wonder, “Lord do you even know where I live? Do you see my struggles and concerns? Do you hear me when I pray? Are you concerned about my job and my family?” It doesn’t take much to discourage us. At times I feel that we really wonder if God knows where we are. Especially during times when we are going through pain or trouble we may be tempted to doubt. I think this is more common than we think among Christians. “Has the Lord abandoned me?” we wonder.
This account points out to us that the Lord knew where to find David. He was out on the hillside somewhere tending sheep. We don’t know what his goals or his aspirations were at that point in his life. We don’t know at that point exactly what his thoughts were about God.
There are many clues given throughout the scripture concerning David’s character. Acts 13:22 gives us one major key, “and when he had removed [Saul} God raised up David to be their king and said, I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart which shall fulfill all my will.”
Is God looking for anything different today? I don’t think so. He is looking for a person of any age whose heart is turned toward Him--David once said in the Psalms, “as the heart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1). David seemed to be always reaching out toward God even though he made mistakes and often was depressed. Yet he always came back to seeking the Lord with all his heart. God saw this quality deep down in him and was pleased with his desire to seek Him.
The Lord “seeth not as man seeth but the Lord looketh on the heart” (verse 7). God knew exactly where David was and how to get him where he wanted him to be.
Does the Lord know where you are today? Does he know how to get you where he wants you to be?
ILLUSTRATION: When I was going through the candidacy process I would say, “Nothing is opening up.” Walter would say, “The Lord knows where he wants you. He’ll open up the door when He’s ready.” And I didn’t believe it. I thought, “Oh, Walter’s just saying that to make me feel good.”