By the time of 1 Samuel 16, Samuel is one of the most holy men of all of Israel. He is recognized as a prophet of the Lord. He already anointed Saul as king and judged him on account of his disobedience. Samuel is God’s prophet and messenger in some of the most important matters of state. In light of this, one would expect Samuel to have razor sharp discernment in terms of the things of God. However, we must realize that he is just a man.
After the rejection of Saul, God sends Samuel to anoint another king. So, God sends him to the house of Jessie. Jessie’s first son comes out, Eliab and Samuel says: “Surely this Lord’s anointed is before him.” (1 Samuel 16:6) Samuel probably said this, because Eliab looked like a king – tall, handsome, and he probably possessed other features and qualities that the world would certainly prize. All were surprised, when he was not the Lord’s anointed. God teaches a valuable lesson that we would be wise never to forget. “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
We should probably not be too hard on Samuel, because Jessie did not even have David present. The last thing on his mind was that David could be anointed king. He was just a boy. Little did they know that God grooms and uses boys and make them into men. Is this not what happened to Samuel as well, as he was only a boy ministering before the Lord in the temple? In light of this point we can learn two very important lessons for the modern church.
First, we need to focus on the younger generation and encourage and love them, so that they would know God. This is a pressing concern in the church today. What I see too often is parents pushing their kids to excel in the world and pay little attention to the things of God. If we continue with this, then we will most likely have successful children in the world’s eyes, but spiritually weak children who will do little for the Lord. The best thing that parents can do for their children is to show them who Christ is by their own lives.
There is another lesson. We need to understand that what makes people great in the sight of God is not their natural talents, but their hearts. Too often the church makes a mistake by looking and “going after” people with great talent in the service of God. Of course, God can use these people, but what is far more important than natural talents is a heart that is humble and sold out of God. In the end, it is not about the resources of people, as if God needed them! It is about the resources of God. It is about the faith of people who know this and depend on his grace for all things. This makes all the difference.Tags: 1 samuel, heart