Handpicked by God

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 16 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 16

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)  “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”

Over and over in Scripture God reveals to us the truth of Isaiah 55:8-9: His thoughts are not our thoughts nor are His ways our ways. The story of David’s anointing in 1 Samuel 16 is a perfect example of this.

Our passage opens with the prophet Samuel receiving instructions from the Lord for anointing a new king. Saul, the king the people of Israel had chosen for themselves, has been rejected by God because of his disobedience, and now the Lord is ready to reveal His choice of king.

I love how God stresses an important point to Samuel before sending him to choose a king from the sons of Jesse. God clearly tells Samuel to anoint the one He Himself indicates. (1 Samuel 16:3) It’s as if God is announcing that His choice might not make a lot of sense to Samuel. God isn’t asking Samuel to make a personal judgment call; He’s sending Samuel to obediently carry out God’s good and perfect will.

As Jesse’s oldest son, Eliab, stands before Samuel, God reminds Samuel once again not to trust his judgment. Samuel feels certain the tall, good-looking man standing before him is God’s chosen king. “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).

One by one Jesse’s sons pass before Samuel, each receiving a “no” answer from the Lord. I can imagine Samuel’s confusion when he reaches what seems like the end of Jesse’s sons and there is no king to anoint.

Samuel turns to Jesse and asks, “‘Are these all the sons you have?’ ‘There is still the youngest,’ Jesse answered. ‘But he is tending the sheep’” (1 Samuel 16:11).

Now, I don’t want to make assumptions about what was going through Jesse’s mind as he replies. But I suspect there were thoughts like: Well, yes, I have one more son — the youngest, David. But he . . . doesn’t look like a king, doesn’t act like a king, doesn’t smell like a king. So, I didn’t invite him.

To his older brothers, he was young … possibly even a pest. To his father, Jesse, he was just another son. To onlookers, he was a mere shepherd boy. But to God, David was the one destined to be king of Israel. And not just any king. He was from the bloodline from which Jesus would come.

Overlooked by everyone else. Handpicked by God.

We can’t gloss over why David was picked. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us God chose David to be king because of his heart. God didn’t need a man who simply looked and sounded the part of a king. What good is being tall in stature if you have a heart short on honor and humility? And of what use is a sparkling smile from a well-formed mouth if that mouth refuses to form a word of worship to God?

No. God didn’t need a king who looked impressive to people. He wanted a king who would press in to Him. A king like David who, although he would prove himself far from perfect, would be quick to repent and follow the heart and directions of his God.

David wasn’t the obvious choice to anyone. But God’s method, reasoning and rationale are not within the same framework as man. God intentionally chooses the lowly and seemingly weak to exemplify and fulfill His glorious purposes.

What hope for us when we feel weak and unusable. What peace for us when we feel overlooked and undervalued by this world. God doesn’t look at us the way the world looks at us. He doesn’t even look at us the way we look at ourselves.

Let’s keep our hearts pure and humble, friends. Let’s serve faithfully right where we are. And trust that God sees us. God made sure David stepped into the purposes He had for him, and God knows right where to find us for every purpose He has handpicked for us too.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I’m grateful that even when I feel overlooked, I can rest in the fact that I am handpicked by You. Help me live my life for an audience of One. And help me keep my heart pure as I daily walk out the plans and purposes I have in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More Moments:

Despite being chosen by God and anointed by Samuel, David did not immediately become the king.... Read More

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