April 2, 2017

A Lesson on Outward Appearance


1 Samuel 16:7 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.”

In a culture that thrives on how we look and what our status is, how can we be grounded in the truth of what God considers important and of value? I have a perfect example in the story of God choosing David to be king of Israel. In this lesson we find out what God is looking for when it comes to the depth of character He desires.

When the prophet Samuel was sent to anoint a king to replace Saul and Jesse parades his sons before him, God refused one who Samuel thought he would choose. By doing this, God makes a very important statement about outward appearance versus what is in our hearts. Samuel took one look at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” God quickly corrected Samuel’s error in assumption. A few verses later, it is clear God has chosen David, and he is anointed to be the next king in Israel.

In the very next chapter, we see a close up look at David’s heart when he declares the battle is the Lord’s! Without hesitation he goes to fight Goliath. We see his strong faith and confidence in the Lord, and we see his deep courage in living out that faith when he takes on the giant with a slingshot and five stones.

When I read in the Bible that God is more interested in our inner beauty than our outer beauty, I am encouraged. If my value was only placed on my outward appearance, this world wouldn’t attribute great value to my life. When I speak of outward appearance, I am not merely referring to physical appearance, but also the outward things we do to make it appear that we are of great value. We place much of our own value on the material possessions we accumulate and the credentials and status we acquire. 

I’d rather be rich in faith than rich in the things of this world. I’d rather acquire the riches found in sitting at the Lord’s feet than the wealth that accumulates in a big bank account. When God looks at my heart, I want Him to see what He saw in David—a steadfast devotion and confidence in Him and the courage to fight the battles of life knowing our battles belong to the Lord. 1 Samuel 17:45-47