A Daily Word from the Word for Thursday, October 10, 2013
“For the Lord does not see as man sees: for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7
1 Samuel 16:1-13 gives us an amazing glimpse of people through God’s eyes. The prophet Samuel was sent by God to Bethlehem to anoint a king who would replace Saul. When Samuel arrived, he looked up Jesse to present his sons before him. As Samuel went one by one through all seven of Jesse’s sons, He didn’t find the one who would be king.
Imagine the scene: Jesse, the father, is all excited knowing that one of his sons is about to be anointed king. He brings all seven out, brimming and about to burst with anticipation. As the first son presents himself to the Prophet, Samuel says “No.” Wow, so the first son is probably feeling major disappointment; however, the remaining six are even more eager and hopeful! As the remaining six present themselves, one by one, they each hear: “Nope, nope, not this one, or this one, neither this one.” Now the only remaining son, the seventh, is probably ecstatic. “Wow,” he probably screams to himself, “I can’t believe its me!” This son’s father is probably saying “I knew it all along! How proud I am!” But as this seventh son comes to present himself, Samuel remarks “The Lord has not chosen these” (verse 9).
Come imagine with me, the silence and utter confusion that must have confiscated the situation as Samuel uttered those last words! All the sons were probably dumbfounded. Their father stupefied. As the uncomfortable silence lingered for what must have seemed like an eternity, Samuel said to Jesse “are all the young men here?” Jesse, reluctantly replies “there remains the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” I can hear the tone in Dad’s voice “Well Sam, if you must ask, I do have one left. He is a scrawny kid, really not much use; as a matter of fact, I didn’t even bring him because there is no way you would have even considered him, and I didn’t want to waste your time. I know how busy you are being a prophet and all. This son is only good for tending sheep. Sheep is about all he can handle. He is kind of the black sheep of the family anyway.”
Samuel directed “bring him to me.” As this scrawny shepherd approached, the Lord said to the Prophet “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” The story concludes with Samuel taking the horn of oil and anointing young David “in the midst of his brothers.” I bet there was some major hating going on among the brothers and Dad!
Jesse and his seven sons thought they had the situation all figured out. They even tried to present only the pieces that they thought were under consideration rather than asking God what and who they should present. Jesse initiated the proposed solution because he chose to look at the outcome through his own eyes; instead of putting on God’s glasses to see the details which would satisfy the best outcome—God’s outcome. And then, Jesse was even keeping a son back thinking that God wasn’t big enough to see what he was keeping from view!
Isn’t this us, sometimes (maybe more than sometimes), my brothers and sisters? We go to God seeking His counsel, His wisdom; but not really seeking His direction. And on top of it, we act like we are playing a card game, and even try to stack the deck! We really are looking through our own eyes and not God’s if we think we can pull a fast one past our Heavenly Father! It is kind of like, when we ask a person for advice on a particular matter; but really, we have no intention of actually following that advice. Or, we ask for their advice but we leave out key pieces of information (kind of like Jesse leaving out a key piece of ‘information— his son), because we really want to make sure that the person whose advice we are seeking agrees with us. We, the children of God, are a trip sometimes! Thank God that He is merciful and longsuffering toward us!
Both uses of “sees” and both uses of “looks” as used in this verse all come from the same Hebrew word raah (pr. raw-aw) which means “to advise self, consider” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). How sobering are the words “advise self.” When we look at things, situations, and circumstances through our view, our lens, we are really advising ourselves! No wonder why we get into so much trouble! So after we dig ourselves into a hole because we didn’t call on God first, or we did but then didn’t follow His direction, we cry out to our Father “Help! I made a mess! Clean it up for me, Daddy!” And as any good parent does, God comes on the scene and attempts to rescue us yet again, until the next time.
The Hebrew word for “outward appearance” is ayin (pr. ah-yin) meaning “to think, countenance, affliction.” Isn’t that what we do as humans? We “think” rather than calling on God who actually “knows.” We look through our eyes; and many times what we deem an affliction, which would disqualify a person or solution, is really the very thing or person that God deems the course of action, the key to the strategy, the answer! That is God saying to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.” And this is why Paul concluded “therefore, I would rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then I am strong!” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
This is why God caused David to be a great King. And is the reason, despite David’s bout as an adulterer and a murder, God, after all this, still declared David a man after His own heart! (Acts 13:22). What God looks at when he sees us gives us the answer. The word “heart” as used here comes from the Hebrew word leb (pr. labe) which is the “feelings, will, and intellect.” To say David messed up is an understatement; but he always put his relationship with God first and foremost; which made him, in God’s eyes, a man after God’s own heart. And family, God’s eyes are the only eyes that really matter.
Let us say, like David and like Jesus “Father, not my will, but your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” (Luke 22:42, Matthew 6:10). “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). For when we fix our eyes on the Father, as Jesus did, then we see ourselves, others, and life through our Father’s eyes; and our God exclaims of us “Arise, anoint my child; for this is the one!”
Father, we thank You for Your Story, of which we are part. Father, help us to stay focused on Your Story; help us to focus more on You and less on us. For when we are focused on You, then our hearts are turned toward you, and our wills are submitted to Your Ultimate Will. And when this happens, we flow so effortlessly in Your Amazing Spirit, and nothing can touch us because we are soaring on eagle’s wings, Your Wings! Father, we call You right now to do this supernatural work in us, and to create in us a deeper desire to spend more time with You, and to spend more time in Your Most Holy and Lovely Presence. In Jesus Name, we pray, and we thank You that you have done this for us. Amen and Amen!
Take action! Challenge your thinking! Choose to start seeing your world and everything in it through the Eyes of the Father. Choose to submit your will, your authority, and yourself to the Father. Choose to make God, Your Holy Father, Lord over you and over every area of your life. Forsake the will of the world for the Will of The Father. And continue to fight the good fight of submitting to Your Most Perfect and Loving Father; for God, your Perfect View, has already given you the victory!
If you have never received Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do it today, right now, by saying this prayer out loud: “Jesus, forgive me for my sins. I am sorry. I truly desire to be saved and reconciled back to God, my Father, through You. I receive Your sinless Blood as payment in full for my sins—past, present, and future. I now call You my Lord and Savior, and invite You to live within my heart, and to permanently live within me. I make You Lord over me and over my life from this moment on. Amen.” Congratulations! You are now a child of God, made whole and made new, by the Blood of Jesus Christ!
God tells us that we are blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2). Be a blessing to someone by sending them this word of encouragement. If God did not already put someone in your spirit and on your heart that needs to read this uplifting message from above, simply ask your Heavenly Father who to bless on today. Forward this message right now by email, facebook, or twitter.
Jesus is coming soon!
May God Bless you and keep you always.
With warmest regards,
And, in service of The Most High King,
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All references to Hebrew and Greek words and meanings, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance © 1990 by Thomas Nelson Publishing. All dictionary references are taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary © 2013, unless otherwise noted.