I’ve always loved 16:7, especially once it became clear that God had not exactly given me the height of a basketball player. My wife is even shorter than I am, and early on in our relationship she laughingly referred to her height. My response: “You know what you are, sweetie? A dime among pennies!” Oh yes, major points earned that day!
I think about that phrase whenever I read this story. Samuel had been instructed by God to officially anoint the man whom he had chosen to be the next king of Israel. When the people were introduced to Saul, they apparently were impressed by his height (10:23), particularly since they were seeking a king to lead them into battle. They wanted a leader who could intimidate the enemy and give confidence to the troops, so it appeared that Saul was their man. Unfortunately, it looked like Samuel had fallen into this trap as well, considering his response to the eldest son of Jesse and the Lord’s mild rebuke to the prophet.
Instead of looking for someone physically impressive, the Lord was looking for a “man after his own heart” (13:14). What does this mean, exactly? It means that David sought the Lord; he desired to think like him, to like what he liked and hate what he hated. This certainly didn’t mean David was sinless, but it did speak of the general direction of his life.
What about us? Ours is a society which is infatuated with beautiful people, and I can’t think of a more meaningless criteria with which to judge someone. We tend to be dazzled by how well a politician speaks in public, and we don’t pay nearly enough attention to the merits of his proposals. Even in the Christian world, we’re often impressed by how big a church building is, or how many attend it, or how big the budget is. I’m not saying that having a big church building or million dollar budget is necessarily bad, but this may not be all that important to God. If I really want to be a man after God’s own heart, then that means I need to realign my priorities to his. What’s important to me should adjust to what’s important to him. It seems that my Lord has to continually remind me “I don’t look at the things man looks at. You look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.”
Father, please change my perspective, my outlook, my viewpoint. Please give me a heart after yours.
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