1 Sam 16.7
The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
It is easy to judge others as we have seen that on the news in recent weeks people making judgements based on their appearance for some superficial characteristic however God is the one who judges our hearts and our intentions. We often judge ourselves by our intentions and we judge others by their actions. When it comes down to it, it’s only God’s judgement that matters.
Our scripture and story this morning comes in the story of Samuel. Samuel was a profit and a judge in ancient Israel. he was responsible for anointing king Saul to rule over Israel he also anointed David a Young shepherd boy whom the Lord had chosen as king over Israel.
Saul was the great pretender, he was chosen initially a he was head and shoulders over most others, he looked like the right person for the job. However he wasn’t the right person in his own right, following on the coat tails of others. The three main leadership roles in Israel was the prophet priest and king, the argument was often that God was meant to be the only king, and God choose intermediaries such as prophets to represent God to the people, and priests to represent the people towards God. Then judges to deal with disputes among the people. The system not perfect had its place. Part of the problems was that the system relied upon human beings who like we know today don’t get things right. The people demanding a king, so Samuel obliged appointing Saul.
Saul got into trouble on a few occasions, with the prophets he prophesied seemingly only had the gift when others were with him, he also attempted to make offerings like a priest and even abused his power as king. When the test of Goliath came, a champion was asked to face the challenge, perhaps the one who was head and shoulders above the rest should have been the one to rise up. There is even the comical story when David tried to put on Saul’s armour, which clearly didn’t fit. Saul lacked in so many areas when it counted he didn’t have what it took. God deserted him, and you see the torment he faced, even in desperation going low than low to a witch to seek guidance.
Therefore Samuel’s job was to look for his replacement so when he went to the house of Jesse to choose one of the sons to replace him he could’ve chosen any number of the brothers but not scrawny little David who was left out in the fields not even invited to the feast.
1. God chooses us
God is interested in the condition of our hearts, not what we look like on the outside. Knowing that you have been chosen by God, Jesus said to his followers I have chosen you to represent me, to do what I do, to go where I can’t go and be who i am to the people you meet. Peter writes
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9-10.
God saw david while he was in the field with the sheep, doing the ordinary mundane things, doing whatever it took to fulfil his one job, looking after the sheep, being faithful in what he was asked even when no one else was looking. A great friend of mine would always say. Don’t worry about what you do for God, just make sure God knows where to find you. When it counted David stood up to Goliath, confident in his knowledge that God was with him.
Jesus disciples may not have looked like a scholarly bunch, well versed in the scriptures and had their problems too, but Jesus saw something in them, something he could make into his disciples and would then after his resurrection and their endowment of spiritual power would go on and change the whole world.
2. A willingly heart
God chooses us but we have to be willing to follow. Even those first disciples heard the call, they followed.
David, like Saul made some mistakes too, yet he was known as a man after God own heart, who did all God’s will. The willingness of David the integrity he showed at time, even when given the opportunity to kill Saul and take the throne, he refused as not to touch the lords anointed. When it came to pass on the torch to his son Soloman.
“And you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve him with single mind and willing heart; for the Lord searches every mind, and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will abandon you forever. Take heed now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary; be strong, and act.”
1 Chronicles 28:9-10
Great advise for anyone, single minded willing heart, this was a theme Moses said time and time again in Deuteronomy. If you keep my words faithfully and keep your hearts towards God, the blessings will come to you and you will be fruitful.
Willingness seems to be a key in seeing God at work in our lives, if we pray like David create in me a heart for you alone, May he give you all a heart to worship him and to do his will with a strong heart and a willing spirit. Jesus too prayed, when faced with the cup of suffering, for the willingness and strength to do all God called him to do.
3. Prophet Priest and King
The people of Israel were seeking a king, someone to lead them, wanting to be like the culture around them. God wanted to be the only king that they needed, the position of prophet was essential for them to know the ways of God and priest in order for them to be represented to God, in the sacrificial system.
While david came close to these, as did Moses, there was an expectation of a messiah, who would embody all three and lead the nation. Many spoke of this expectation throughout history. When the hour of their visitation came many didn’t see it. Jesus on his way into Jerusalem laments over the city.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
Jesus we know, like a great prophet came to bring God’s word, and to represent God to all humanity, he didn’t come to do his own will but to show us what God is like, healing and restoring humanity. He also represented humanity in a priestly manner to take own sins upon himself and presented his own blood on the mercy seat so that all who beloved in him would be forgiven and restored. We read this in Hebrews. Finally he is God as king on the throne of grace, leading us and making provisions for us all to be part of his kingdom, and eventually will rule all the nations.
God is looking for us to show our faithful allegiance to him as King and our hearts directed towards him and him alone.
God is his grace is welcoming us and making it possible for us to be in his presence, our responsibility is to be willing and obedient to his word.
By faith we enter into God kingdom and by faith we submit to Jesus as king.
By faith we submit ourselves to God’s judgement knowing that his judgments is righteous and true.
By faith we accept what Jesus has done for us as high priest wiping away all our sins.
By faith we take the words of Jesus as the very words of God and order our lives accordingly.
Revelation says that all nations will come and worship God and king, because God alone is righteous and true. To those he will grant the right to join him on his throne and his kingdom will know no end. Not only that but we given the robes of righteousness and dwell with us for eternity.
to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
God is looking at our hearts, not on our outward appearance
Do we believe that God is with us?
Do we have a heart of faith?
Do we believe in Jesus Christ as our prophet priest and king.