CHOSEN BY GOD
by Ronnie Mutina
I love the scriptures that tell about David being chosen by God. In 1 Samuel 16, I was looking at the scriptures of Samuel coming to Bethlehem to find Godís chosen man to take Saulís place as leader or king of Israel. I covered the fact that Samuel was given an assignment by God even while Samuel was mourning over the fact Saul had lost his leadership role.
In verse 7, after Samuel has introduced himself to Jesse and told them that he wanted to sacrifice with them, we find the LORD gives instruction to Samuel again. "But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."
Samuel was just like any other man. Even though he was a prophet who followed the LORDíS instruction, he was still a man that looked upon a manís countenance. Countenance, in the Hebrew meaning, means appearance, whether handsome, looks, etc. Itís always amazed me that men would look upon a manís worthiness by his outward appearance or first impressions. Man has no right to judge a person by his looks. Iím reminded of the movie, "Home Alone 2," where Kevin is lost in New York. He is in central park and meets this lady who lives on the streets and feeds pigeons. His first impression was to scream and run, but his foot got hung in between two rocks. She calmly came around, while he was screaming, and reached down on pulled his foot out of the rocks without even saying a word. Kevin still ran, but quickly came to a stop and turned around and met this woman. His first impression was, she scary; but he soon found out that this woman would be a friend to keep.
Samuel had to have reservations about David when he first saw him. Verse 13 recorded that David was "Ruddy and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to." He was a red head; thatís what ruddy means. However, he was still a very good Ė looking young man, according to Samuel. Many Jews would have probably rejected him because of his hair color, but God didnít reject him. Why? The reason is simple; the LORD judged his heart rather than his outward appearance. There are big lessons to be learned here by all of us. There are 3 simple truths we can learn from this.
OUTWARD APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING TO OTHER MEN
Granted, God already knew that even Samuel would have probably rejected David. After all he was just a plain shepherd boy with no leadership training? David had been trained by God to do a job, whether David knew it or not. David was a leader of sheep, a defender of sheep, and a caretaker of sheep. This job wasnít always easy, but David was more than up to the task. But, lets think about outward appearances for a little. In todayís world we have people who are hypocrites, which means pretenders. Jesus even warned us of it in the gospel of Matthew 7:15. Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheepís clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." Unfortunately, many Christians are called hypocrites simply because they hide Jesus in their lives. They, in my opinion, are hypocrites. However, in my opinion, they are hypocrites to this lost world. They are pretending to be something that they are not any longer. When Jesus saves, HE makes them a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). However, there are pretenders in church too. They act like Godly people in church, but inwardly they are wolves looking to destroy anyone they can. Usually, when people say they donít go to church because there are to many hypocrites, they are simply saying, "I donít want to go to church because I might be seen for what I am." BULLETIN ALERT: If this is your case, Iíve got an important announcement. God already knows who you are and what you are. Wake up and smell the coffee. Why do I say that? He knows your heart, because thatís what he looks at. David was a very good-looking young man, but what if he had been ugly? God was still looking at his heart, not his looks.
OUTWARD APPEARANCES CAN BE DECEIVING TO US
I have often wondered if David knew his destiny. I donít think he did. I believe he loved the LORD with all his heart, and was willing to do whatever God wanted him to do. Today there are people who consider themselves to be Christians who do not know Jesus personally. Jesus talked about this in Matthew 7 also. In verses 21 Ė 23, Jesus said, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name do many wonderful works? And the will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Unfortunately, many people, whom God deals with, may be thinking HE is dealing with them about being called to preach, becoming an active teacher, etc., and all HE is trying to do is tell them, "YOU NEED ME! YOU ARE LOST!" People are deceived into thinking that because they have gone to church all their lives and may have been baptized when they were smaller that they are for sure saved. Now, I donít want to leave an impression that Jesus canít save young children, because Jesus can do anything, but fail. However, Iím of the opinion that if a person does not understand what sin is, how can he know that he needs to be saved? The only way a man can understand what sin is, is to listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ in which Holy Spirit uses HIS WORD to get manís attention. HE chose the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe (1 Corinthians 1:21). Just because a man goes to church all his life, may participate in activities, and even teach or preach, doesnít mean that he is saved. He has to know JESUS CHRIST personally as his SAVIOR.
OUTWARD APPEARANCES SHOULD REVEAL OUR HEART TO A LOST WORLD
Now granted, Samuel did not question the fact that the LORD had chosen David to be Saulís successor. He anointed David as the LORD directed him. If we look at Davidís life, we can see that even when David failed the LORD his heart was true to HIM. Samuel told Saul that David was, "A man after Godís own heart," and he was. Jesus talked about people hiding their candle. In Matthew 5:14 Ė 16, Jesus encourages HIS children by saying, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven." What encouragement this is! We should allow God to be seen in our lives daily. This is something that we all fail at doing. There are many things in the Bible said about the heart. Most of the stuff said about the heart is not good. However, if Jesus possesses your heart, and you seek HIS will, the good from HIM compresses the bad in our hearts. David was judged by His heart and God knew what kind of King David would make, the mistakes he would make, and the great strides he would make, but the key to Davidís success was that he followed the LORD. May we always follow HIM the way he desires us to, and may we always allow our hearts to reveal Christ in our outward appearance.