King David Judged By What Was Inside
Saul was the first earthly king to rule over Israel. But Saul had disobeyed God and displeased God, so God made up His mind to replace Saul with a new king.
God directed the prophet, Samuel, to go to the house of Jesse and to anoint one of his sons to be the next king of Israel. And that is what Samuel did. Jesse introduced Samuel to his oldest son, Eliab. And Samuel thought, “This is the man; he is tall and strong and has the look and demeanor of a king.” He was about to anoint Eliab as king when God said, “No! You see what’s on the outside; I see what’s on the inside. Eliab is not My choice!” Next, Samuel was introduced to Abinadab, to Shammah, and to three other brothers. None of them met God’s approval. Samuel threw up his hands in despair, starting to doubt God’s directions. Then turning to Jesse, Samuel asked, “Do you have any other sons?” “Yes, I have another son, David,” Jesse replied. But he is young and inexperienced; he is not the one you’re looking for.” As the young David appears, God says to Samuel, “He’s the one I have chosen to be the next king of Israel; anoint him.” And that is how David became the most popular king of Israel.
God chooses — Samuel and most others saw David as being too young; he’s just a kid — what does he know? David was the smallest of all the brothers; he was also much too handsome; plus, David had an artistic streak that was looked down on. God, however, saw David’s inner self: his depth of character; his devotion to God; his loyalty in serving God; all the talents and skills necessary to rule over Israel. God sensed David’s strengths, physical and spiritual. David had the outer strength to kill the giant, Goliath. David had the inner strength to rely on God’s power to defeat the enemy. God saw David’s bravery — only David was
God sensed David’s strengths, physical and spiritual. David had the outer strength to kill the giant, Goliath. David had the inner strength to rely on God’s power to defeat
brave enough to face Goliath; he saw what needed to be done, and he did it. God knew that David could relate to all kinds of people, common people and royalty alike. David also had a vision for the future of Israel; to create a great army, and to build a Temple, honoring God. Finally, David had the ability to show mercy and compassion for his enemies; David could have killed King Saul many times over and become the new king; he didn’t, because David had the patience to wait on God to work everything out.
David, in spite of everything, sinned against God. He lusted after Bathsheba; he had her husband murdered. Yet, God used David for 40 years; those years were times of peace and prosperity — the Golden Age of Israel.
Finally, King David stands as the example and the ancestor of one yet to come — King Jesus.
David is a reminder to us that (a) God chooses leaders; (b) God uses imperfect, sinful, and even ungodly people as leaders to accomplish his divine purposes here and now; (c) God judges all of us by what’s inside of us, not what’s on the outside of us; (d) God’s decisions, choices and judgments are always right. Praise be to the Lord God!