The Lord looks on the heart.
Israel cried out for a king. They wanted to be like the other nations. Can you imagine rejecting God by telling Him, through your choices, that you don’t want Him to rule over you? Well, that is what they did. God warned them what would happen, they wouldn’t listen, so He gave them a king. Saul stood a head above the rest. He looked like what they wanted, a man’s man. When it came time for Samuel to anoint the king they had to find Saul. He was hiding……You have heard, “If you can’t find something nice to say about someone, say nothing.” I’ll try not to mention him again, we had to step over him moving on to the next king of Israel, David.
David, the youngest son of Jesse is from the tribe of Judah the inheritor of the scepter promise. God was about to fulfill Isaac’s blessing to Jacob, that carried on to Judah, by establishing an everlasting kingdom. Samuel was about to pick the oldest son of Jesse when God stopped him with these words. “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:13) God chose David, Jesse’s youngest son
Before there was such a thing as being “born again” there have been men and women with faith in God. This young shepherd never went to seminary to study God. I doubt that he had read the Scriptures for himself. He only heard the stories about the Great I AM. He heard and believed. The apostle Paul tells us, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
We have seen the faith in Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses who experienced God first hand. Not so the young shepherd, he only heard the stories. Thomas, one of the apostles, was the last to see the risen Lord. He did not believe Jesus was resurrected until he saw Him for himself. “Then He said, ‘Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’ Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My LORD and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” (John 20:27-29) David was blessed.
From Shepherd to King
David’s personal relationship with God changed when Samuel anointed him with oil. “…. the Spirit of the LORD came mighty upon David from that day forward.” (1 Samuel 16:13) He talked with God who answered him throughout his forty years as king. The Spirit of the Lord prophesied through David as he wrote more than seventy psalms. Looking back it is easy to understand the one that spoke of Christ’s betrayer. (Psalm 41:9) “Brothers and sisters, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus;” (Acts 1:16) David’s psalms contain prophecy yet to be fulfilled.
Even though God’s Spirit remained on him there were times of sin. Once, the nation suffered because of him. (2 Samuel 24) Another time God took his son away. (2 Samuel 11-12:24) Each time he sorrowfully repented and bore the consequences of sin. “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, but My loving-kindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” ( 2 Samuel 7:14-15)
Are we not like David, without seeing Jesus we believe what we have heard? And because we do believe God’s Spirit has been given. Like David we are blessed as the children of God. He will chastise us as needed, but never ever depart.
God reveals His plans for David.
David wanted to build a house for God and the prophet Nathan told him to “do all that is in your heart; for the LORD is with you.” (2 Samuel 7:2) That same night the Word of the Lord came to Nathan. David was not to build God’s house, God’s plan was to build a house and a kingdom for David. “And your house and your kingdom will be established forever before you; your throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:16)
There is more that God has promised in pages I have yet to write, a view of a kingdom to come. The photo is of King David’s tomb in Jerusalem. “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.” (Acts 2:29)
To be continued.