Note: NEW SERIES. This is part of a 3-week series. Check back next Monday for week 2!
“When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Here he is! God’s anointed!” But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7
Between beauty pageants and reality TV shows, a person’s appearance can turn them into a celebrity almost overnight. In Western society, we have become almost obsessed with how we look. We buy the latest trends to be “in-style” and visit the plastic surgeon to prevent aging. However, the challenge of “looking the part” started thousands of years ago.
Samuel was searching for the next King of Israel. He had in mind how the next King should look. When he saw Eliab, he was filled with relief. It seemed that the task of finding a new leader was going to be easy. Eliab was the first in line, and he looked the part. Samuel could imagine him sitting on a throne and leading the people. However, God unexpectedly said no. Samuel wasn’t looking at Eliab through God’s eyes. When God looks for people to serve Him through leadership, He peers into a person’s heart. He cares more about their desire to please God than their stately stature. If God cares more about the heart, wouldn’t we be well served to spend our energy developing character instead of chasing after the newest fashions? From the very start, God knew the determination, resolve, and heart condition that the role of King would require. He understood that just having good looks wouldn’t enable someone to make the tough decisions ahead. Whether you look like a leader or feel like the last person in line, rest assured that God is more concerned with matters of the heart.