Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 77 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading 1 Samuel 16 today and our focus is on how God sees people. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in South Africa, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Scotland, United Kingdom, Gujarat, India, New York, New York, Tucson, Arizona and Eugene, Oregon. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan
Tonight our family celebrated St. Patrick’s day a bit after our Zoom church gatherings and Bible studies. We had Irish beef stew, plus imported Irish Dubliner cheese, Irish soda bread, and while we ate, we listened to one of my all time favorite songs, “Fields of Athenry.” Right at the end of the song, from out of nowhere, our 9 year old daughter Phoebe piped up and said, “I want to be in a place where nobody cares how you look or whether you are fat or skinny.” Now – where this came from, I have no idea – but we can all share that sentiment, can’t we? Considering our Scripture today, it struck me as a significant thing to say and a good introduction. In 1 Samuel 16, we see the prophet Samuel charged with anointing the next king of Israel. God has rejected King Saul, because King Saul rejected God’s council and rules and ways too many times. Saul, as you remember from yesterday, was a striking man – tall and regal looking. David was also an apparently handsome man, but not really what Samuel was expecting. Let’s read the chapter and see God’s choice for the next king of Israel.
Here’s our verse of the day:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
We would do well to remember this principle, as we humans are far too often driven by what we can see – how somebody looks, the confidence they have, etc. God tells us, however, that the internals – the thoughts, the emotions, the intentions – that is what God sees. The very opposite of an Instagram/Snapchat mentality.
Here’s New York pastor Tim Keller on Samuel’s mistake here:
Saul was a giant. Saul was huge. When Samuel had anointed Saul, he said, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed.” He anointed Saul. Even though he was in grief and he said, “Oh, my word! Saul turned out to be such a disappointment,” Eliab goes by, and Samuel is making the same mistake. He’s looking at the outside.
This is very, very New York, by the way. There is no place I’ve ever been in the world where outsides are more important, where people make snap judgments. There’s also no place where you just get barraged every day walking down the street with images of absolute beauty. Not only are they in the pictures and in the ads and so on … I was just looking at them on my way over here. They come at you from every place, in all the ads, in all the windows and all that.
A lot of them are alive and walking around on the streets in New York. The people whose pictures were taken are walking around. People put enormous amounts of time and incredible amounts of effort and a tremendous amount of money in practices which, as you know, can destroy your health for this incredible appearance.
God comes to Samuel, and he says, “Samuel, when are you going to learn? The outside doesn’t matter a bit. Money, beauty, power, stature, size, it doesn’t matter a bit. It’s character. It’s substance. It’s the spirit. It’s the heart.” He looks through all of them and finds out none of them are there. He turns to Jesse. It’s astonishing, is it not? Jesse knows one of his sons is going to be anointed king. Jesse brings all of his sons and doesn’t even think to bring David, the little one, the youngest one.
Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
I also like the parenting insight that Spurgeon sees in this passage. Look, I know I go to Spurgeon a lot on this podcast, but when you’ve got the Michael Jordan of preachers on the team, you get him the ball as much as you can, right?
He who was retiring and pious was but little esteemed at home. Parents make great mistakes when they undervalue good children because they do not happen to be brilliant and pushing. Despised ones should be comforted when they remember that the Lord knows all about them, and will bring them forward in due time. Verily, there are last who shall be first.
C. H. Spurgeon, The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1964), 240.
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for March: Hebrews 7:25 “Therefore, [Jesus] is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.”
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