God Knew David’s Heart
God surprised everyone when He picked David to be the next King of Israel. It made no sense to anyone except the Lord. You know David now as the brave teen who kills Goliath. He is remembered as the mighty man of God who destroyed the enemies of God. He was called the man after God’s own heart. Yet, in the beginning, even his own family had a very different view of him. David was the overlooked son of the family. He is the runt of the litter who does not get much respect. He would have been the last one chosen for anything important by man’s standards. Yet, God specifically chose David to be His man and His King.
Why was that and why is it great news for you and I?
When push came to shove, God knew David’s heart. He may stray at times, but when it came down to it, David would always do what God said to do. This faith and obedience to God is immensely more important than any earthly qualification. It is God working through a willing heart who moves mountains, not the person themselves.
God works miracles with the simplest of people willing to trust to Him.
Man Chooses by Appearance
Samuel was a prophet of God. He was sent to find the man who would be the new king of Israel. King Saul stopped listening to God and refused to repent each time that he was confronted. He made excuses and deflected blame instead of feeling actual sorrow. So God put the plan to replace Saul in motion. He sent Samuel to David’s family to choose a new king. An interesting thing happens when Samuel arrives.
David’s family included a total of eight sons. Samuel arrived to examine them and find the king. David’s dad, Jesse cooperated and brought out the boys – but only seven of them. He then paraded them before the old prophet with the expectation one of these seven would be king. David’s own father leaves him out of the process.
Samuel is immediately impressed by Jesse’s sons. They look like kings should, tall and strong. He saw the oldest, Eliab, first and judged his appearance. Samuel thought the king choosing is over. Eliab looked like the type of man who would look good on horseback leading his men into battle. He appeared to be God’s mighty warrior. Since Eliab looked the part and his selection made perfect sense to Samuel.
Yet, God’s standard for choosing His leaders is very different.
God Looks at a Man’s Faith
Samuel was impressed by Eliab’s physical appearance. God sees Eliab’s heart and is put off. God rejects him immediately. What is the problem? Eliab’s heart was not with the Lord. He looked great but was not dedicated to being God’s man. No deal! God says these men are not for me. Six more of Jesse’s sons were brought before Samuel and are rejected by God. Each one does not have the heart God sought.
Please note, these guys were blessed in every way the world judged talent, skill, and capacity. They were the coolest, funniest, and had the best resumes, but they are not men after God’s own heart. They would do their own thing in their own ability rather than follow God. They would walk by sight and not by faith.
They were rejected because they had no faith in God.
The process got so bad Jesse runs out of sons. It looked like Samuel has struck out. Each of Jesse’s sons passed by and each was rejected. Finally, it took Samuel asking, “Happen to have any more sons?” for Jesse to even consider David. Jesse has no regard for the qualities in David that will make him a great King of Israel. David is exactly the man the Nation of Israel needs but not even his dad realizes it.
Samuel and Jesse looked for the wrong type of king. This is what led Israel to originally ask for King Saul. His main characteristic was that he was tall and handsome. He was the tallest man around therefore everyone agreed he would be a great king. Makes sense, right? Man looks on the outward and judges according to what we think is important. Not so with God!
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
You saw the same warped logic of man recur when Israel judges her true King, Jesus. They judged Jesus by their own ignorant rebellious standards. They looked for an Eliab or Saul when the Son of David stood before them. They wanted a king who would lead a rebellion rather than the One sent directly from heaven. They are looking for the king that they want rather than the king they need.
God Loves David’s Heart
It is easy to talk about David’s heart conceptually. You hear that a ton in church, have a heart for God, have faith in God! But what does this look like?
A great example of this took place while David is still a young man. God displayed clearly why He loved and valued David. He also shows you why He rejected David’s more impressive brothers.
You know the story of David and Goliath. David used his sling to fell the giant warrior of the Philistines. We tend to focus on the climax of the story and it is truly miraculous. Yet, there is much more to the account.
Do you remember what happens before David arrived and faced Goliath?
Goliath spent days taunting the Israelites. He challenged King Saul and his army to single combat to decide the outcome of the battle. The Israelites refused. They cowered in fear before him. The very men who Samuel thought looked like they should have been king were included. His oldest brother Eliab sees Goliath and his heart fails him. The same happens to the other brothers. They simply do not have the same faith in God as David. They may be taller, more handsome and stronger but they are not men after God’s own heart like David. Their judgment and actions have very little to do with God and his power, much like King Saul.
In contrast, David was appalled by Goliath. He as disgusted by the work of the enemy. He knew Goliath’s taunts we not only for the men but for God Himself. David’s heart loved what God loved and was outraged by what God despised.
How dare Goliath oppose the Army of God!
David’s Brothers Lack Faith
David’s brothers were correct in their assessment. They knew their strength was no match for Goliath. That was true just as your strength may not be enough to lead you to victory in your current battle. So what made David different? He is still just a teenager at this time – even weaker than his brothers – so he can’t win on his own. He knew he was not alone, though. It is the reason God picked him. David knew there was nothing special about him by himself. But with God, there was no one who could stand against his attack.
It was God’s battle to fight with God’s weapons and God’s power. David simply trusted God to do what He said H would.
David was a man after God’s own heart. David trusted God no matter the odds. This is simply faith that God is God and David is not.
How are you judging yourself for God’s service?
Are you like Samuel and seeing the outward appearance?
Do you feel like because you are not tall, strong and handsome like Eliab, you have nothing to offer God?
Are you valuing people that are impressive in the eyes of the world but God may reject?
Are you following Jesus and Him alone?
Why am I NOT Growing in Christ? A Hard Hitting Answer. For a Sermon on this issue, go here Jesus Comes First
Do you trust what the Lord says? That He is looking for a few good men and women whose hearts are with Him. His power is still more than enough to destroy even the scariest giants in your life today. You just have to trust in Him and do what He says.
Where is your heart today? Where is your hope today? Where is your trust today?
Are you David or are Eliab?
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