1 Samuel Series #7

“What God Looks At” - 1 Samuel 16:1-13

i.   introduction

A.  Turn to 1 Samuel 16

B.  Beauty

1.     The beauty industry is one of the most profitable in our nation

2.     From cosmetics, to fashion, to magazines, to health spas our culture seems driven by the desire to make one’s self beautiful

3.     When you stop to think about it, each day most people spend a significant amount of time on their appearance

4.     I’m a member of a local health club

a.      interesting to watch people that come to work out

b.     people come for one of two reasons

1)     either come to get in shape simply because they enjoy the benefits of being in condition

2)     or they come because they want to develop a beautiful “bod” others will admire

3)     it’s not hard to tell who’s there for this second reason; they love to stand in front of the mirror after they’re all pumped up and bulky and flex

4)     and, they usually wear clothing aimed at exposing their chiseled physique

C.  True Beauty

1.     But you know what?

2.     True beauty has very little to do with one’s physical appearance

3.     True beauty is determined by the content of a person’s heart

4.     We’re going to be taking a look at this in our study this morning

ii.  TEXT

A.  Tie In

1.     You’ll remember two weeks ago we saw  how Saul had failed to wait for Samuel and took matters into his own hands at Gilgal

2.     As a result Samuel told Saul that he had lost the kingdom

3.     In 13:14 we read these words

{3:14}  “But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”

4.     In Ch. 16 we read how the time to anoint a new king over Israel had come

5.     God told Samuel to go to the little village of Bethlehem and select from the sons of a man named Jesse a new king to rule over the nation

6.     Samuel went, taking along his horn of anointing oil and a cow to offer as a sacrifice

B.  Vs. 4-5

{4} So Samuel did what the LORD said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”

1.     It was right for them to tremble

2.     Often in his career as religious leader of the nation, Samuel had had to be severe in his judgment

3.     Bethlehem was not one of the normal stopping points of Samuel as he made his way around the nation

4.     So the elders are concerned that he has come for some special judgment

5.     As he approaches, they ask the purpose of his visit

{5} And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.

6.     Samuel tells them he’s come for a special sacrifice

7.     He wants to make sure word is sent to the house of Jesse and he invites them specifically

C.  Vs. 6-10

{6} So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.”

1.     God had already told Samuel that the new king would come from the sons of Jesse

2.     So as Jesse’s household arrived, Samuel likely asked him to introduce his sons

3.     Samuel was thinking that as each one was introduced, God would speak to him when the right one came forward

4.     The first to be introduced was of course the eldest, for the eldest was considered the greatest and best of the sons

5.     Jesse’s firstborn was Eliab

6.     And Samuel’s immediate response was to follow the cultural traditions of the day and jump to the conclusion that Eliab would be the one God chose

a.      after all, he was the eldest

b.     and apparently, from what we read of Samuel’s response when he saw him, he was a tall, good looking guy

c.      “Surely, this is the one!”

d.     in other words, he looked like a king!

{7} But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his 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.”

{8} So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”

{9} Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.”

{10} Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.”

7.     After Eliab, Jesus introduced the rest of his sons, each according to their birth order

8.     As each was introduced, Samuel strained to hear the voice of God, but it never came

9.     Finally, as the last of the seven was introduced, Samuel turned to Jesse and said, “None of these are the one I am looking for.  These are not God’s choice.

D.  Vs. 11-13

{11} And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.”

1.     Samuel knew God had told him a king would come from Jesse’s sons and so he concluded there must be another that was not part of this group

2.     He asked, and sure enough discovers that there was one more

a.      he was the youngest

b.     and so, because he was the youngest, he was the least important

c.      in fact, he was so unimportant that he hadn’t even been invited to the sacrifice

d.     he had chores to attend to - he was keeping the family’s sheep and was in the field with them

e.      Bethlehem is located on the rolling hills south of Jerusalem

1)     it is easy to see in all directions from the village

2)     as they spoke, Jesse pointed off into the distance at a hillside where David was tending the flock

f.       Samuel tells Jesse to send a message to this young man to come

g.      they will delay the sacrifice till he comes

{12} So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”

{13} Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.

3.     This young shepherd boy was none other than David

4.     His appearance was unusual for that time and place

a.      we read that he was ruddy

1)     means reddish

2)     means he was a red-head, with a fair complexion

3)     this was considered a mark of real beauty in that time when most people were of a dark complexion with dark hair

b.     his eyes were also of a light color, in contrast to the dark eyes of most people - again; another sign of beauty

5.     As soon as David was introduced, the Lord spoke to Samuel and confirmed that this indeed was His choice for the new king

6.     Samuel poured out his oil on David’s red-head and as it dripped down upon his face and clothing, the Spirit of God came upon him and empowered him to lead the nation into it’s golden age

iii. conclusion

A.  The Lesson

1.   In the time that is left to us today, I’d like to take a closer look at two vs. = 7 & 12

2.   In v. 7 we read

{7} But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his 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.”

3.     Samuel’s problem was one of perspective

4.     He was judging purely from man’s perspective

5.      And according to that perspective, Eliab was a great choice

6.      You see, man is impressed by appearance

a.      and Eliab was a big, strapping, good looking example of manhood

b.      he would have filled Saul’s shoes well because Saul was a big, good looking guy too

7.     But God reminds Samuel that appearance is not the critical issue

8.      Samuel must learn to see things, not from man’s perspective, but from God’s

a.      and God is not impressed by appearance

b.      He looks at the heart; He sees what’s inside

9.     As we all know, looks can be deceiving; but God knows what were really like because He sees the real us that locked inside this body

10.  We all know people who are beautiful on the outside but ugly on the inside;

11. As well as those who aren’t much to look at but who, once you get to know them, turn out to be truly beautiful people

a.      their beauty isn’t found in their face or form,

b.     but in their personality and character

12. God saw Eliab’s heart and knew he wasn’t fit to lead the nation

a.      very simply, he didn’t have a king’s heart

b.      Israel had already had it’s choice for a king

c.      God gave them the kind of king they wanted

d.     someone physically impressive = Saul

e.       but Saul proved himself to be a poor king because he didn’t have a king’s heart

f.       now God would give them a king who was His choice

g.      He would give them a man with a king’s heart

h.      a man who would faithfully lead the people

i.        rather than use his position selfishly, as Saul had done

13. In Ch. 13, God said that He was looking for a man after His own heart

14. He found that man in young David

a.      He looked at David’s heart and found it to be in tune with His own

b.     and because David was in tune with God,

c.      He would make a great king

15. Now, it just so happened that David’s heart was not only right, but he was a good looking kid too!

{12} So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!”

16. Physical beauty doesn’t qualify a person to be used by God, but neither does it disqualify them

17.  The point is - from God’s perspective, it is a non-issue

18. The beauty He sees is the beauty of a heart yielded to Him

B.  Learning To See As God Sees

1.     Oh that we might learn to see as God sees

2.     Oh that we might come to learn what is truly beautiful

3.     If we would spend as much time on the preparation of our hearts as we do on the preparation of our faces and clothes - how much better it would be

4.     People go to the gym and spend hours pumping iron and working out just so they can get that buff, chiseled look

5.     But it is all so impermanent - it passes so quickly

6.     If they would spend the same amount of time working on the issues of the heart, bringing their thoughts and will into conformity with God, how much better it would be

7.     Because a heart work-out bears eternal reward

C.  Checking Our Priorities

1.     You know what the bottom line lesson in all of this is for us?

2.     We need to stop and take a serious look at our priorities

3.     How much time do we really spend on appearances to the neglect of the internal

4.     How much time do we spend pumping up this aging, decaying, temporary flesh compared to preparing our hearts to live with God for eternity?

5.     Do we have the heart of a faithful king or the heart of a selfish peasant?

6.     When God looks at me, what does He see?

7.     He sees my heart!