Bonus Content from August 25th (1 Samuel 16:1-13)

The following question was submitted after the Aug 25 sermon.

Question:  After asserting that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart,” why are David’s outward traits pointed out instead of his heart in verse 12? Answer:  First, let me say that God’s Word doesn’t tell us why God focuses on the outward appearance of David rather than the inner traits of his heart.  But I can speculate about it for you and will after I finish this initial part of my answer to your question.  Second, I think God has already told us the INWARD DESCRIPTION of the heart that He [God] was looking for. This occurred when the prophet, Samuel, informed Saul that God was displeased with his sin … and God has rejected Saul for “a man after His own heart“ 1 Sam 13:14. God tells us even more about this INWARD DESCRIPTION after David’s life is over. We find this in Acts 13:22 when David is described as not only “a man after my [God’s] heart …”  but is further described as “who will do all my [God’s] will …”  These two verses were the foundation for the points of the message where I described how David’s heart for God manifested itself in David’s life and in the life of God’s kingdom people at that time. As far as why David’s outward appearance is described rather than David’s inward traits, I think the outward was focused upon because it is our natural, (fleshly) nature to focus on people and events from a “worldly, outward” perspective rather than an “invisible, inner, spiritual” opportunity to glorify God.  Even Samuel … (a godly man, great prophet of God, and who served as the last Judge of Israel) … suffered from this affliction.  CONSIDER how impressed Samuel was with Saul’s physical appearance. 23 …. he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. 24 And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!” 1 Sam 10:23-24.  Since kings were expected to lead their armies into battle, the physical appearance and abilities of a warrior-king mattered.  CONSIDER again when Samuel was examining the sons of Jesse to anoint the next king.  Samuel was initially focused upon Jesse’s eldest son who was the most physically impressive of the sons. But just looking at David, no one would think he would be a great warrior-king.  He was young, ruddy, and handsome, (I Sam 16:12). He was not an impressive person to anoint as the next king. Yet, he was the perfect choice because of God’s Spirit and power that came upon him, because he was chosen … his heart was after God’s heart.  He was a person willing to do God’s will. Like Saul, we so often see the natural outward appearance of people, events, and experiences.  But God wants us to see and focus on the inward, invisible, spiritual opportunity people, events and experiences present so that we can respond to it rightly.