When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord‘s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16: 6-7
First impressions are incredibly important. It determines whether you get that job, impress your crush, or create a deep friendship. This includes a primary survey of your appearance, how you carry yourself, and how you interact in social situations to name a few things. Within minutes, a complete stranger can make a judgment call on you as a person. Now that’s downright frightening. First impressions can be very intimidating when futures are at stake.
If you continue to read this passage of 1 Samuel, you’ll see that this is the first appearance of David, the future king of Israel a.k.a. the man after God’s own heart. Since King Saul was not fulfilling his duty, Samuel the prophet was sent by God to find a new king for Israel. The only clue that God told Samuel was that the new king would be a son of Jesse.
Jesse called his sons one by one, and the first seven were all rejected. Samuel actually had to prod Jesse by asking if he had any more children. Jesse didn’t even consider his youngest son David as an option. Instead, he had David tending the sheep during this whole encounter! Once David was brought before Samuel, God immediately picked him. I wish I could have watched their faces as all of this occurred. Who expected the runt of the family to be chosen as King of God’s people?
There are no such things as first impressions with God. He doesn’t make hasty judgments about people. He looks at the hearts of His image bearers and sees EVERYTHING. He sees your past, your present, and your future. He sees every piece of thread that He personally weaved together to create your tapestry of life! When you read through the Bible, God constantly chooses the person that you least expect.
In return, when Jesus entered the human realm, He came as a baby and grew up in a normal, low income family in a normal town. Who would have imagined such an upbringing for the Messiah? When He was on the earth, no one noticed Him for 30 years! Even his own siblings didn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God. They thought He was bonkers. Needless to say, they were quite surprised and had a change of heart when He rose from the grave.
I am so grateful that God sees beyond the exterior or the façade that we try to portray to the world. Even though He sees our desires, scars, every last blemish, and everything in between, He still calls us to Himself and offers an eternal relationship with Him. How awesome is that? God chose David to be King of Israel, but God is calling YOU to be His precious child and personal ambassador to the nations. I hope you accept the best offer of your life.