We are working through 1 Samuel still each night in our Bible reading. The most profound chapter for me was last night, which was Chapter 16.
We read about David being anointed to be king. Several parts of the commentary stuck out to me about him being a man after God’s heart.
Specifically, this is what I have been mulling over: (all quotes from enduringword.com)
For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. This was both a statement of fact, and an exhortation to godly thinking.
- First, it was a statement of fact. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. Even the best of men will look at the outward appearance. At the moment, Samuel was guilty of it. We must understand that we can’t read the secrets of another’s heart and we often do only judge on outward appearance. “The world is full of idolatries, but I question if any idolatry has been more extensively practiced than the idolatry of the outward appearance.” (Blaikie)
- It was also an exhortation to godly thinking. God told Samuel, “Your natural inclination is to only judge on outward appearance. But I can judge the heart that you can’t see. So look to Me and don’t be so quick to judge a person only on their outward appearance.” Samuel needed to know his natural inclination to judge only on outward appearance, but he didn’t have to give into it. He could seek the LORD and seek God’s heart and mind when looking at people.
And there he is, keeping the sheep: David was called for this great anointing when he was out keeping the sheep. David simply did his job and was faithful in small things and what his father told him to do.
- Keeping the sheep was a servant’s job. The fact that David was out keeping the sheep showed that the family of Jesse was not especially wealthy, because if they were wealthy a servant would be keeping the sheep. But they were not affluent enough to have servants.
- Keeping the sheep meant you had time to think. David spent a lot of time looking over the sheep and looking at the glory of God’s creation. God built in him a heart to sing about His glory in all creation (Psalm 19:1-4 and Psalm 8 are good examples).
iii. Keeping the sheep took a special heart, a special care. It meant you knew how sheep needed the care and help of a good shepherd. You learned that you were a sheep and God was your shepherd. During these years, God built in David the heart that would sing about the LORD as his shepherd (as in Psalm 23).
- Keeping the sheep meant you had to trust God in the midst of danger. David had lions and bears and wolves to contend with and the sheep had to be protected. “The country round Bethlehem was not a peaceful paradise, and the career of a shepherd was not the easy life of lovesick swains which poets dream.” (Blaikie)
- .David’s years keeping the sheep were not waiting time; they were training time. David was a great man and a great king over Israel because he never lost his shepherd’s heart. Psalm 78:70-72 speaks of the connection between David the king and David the shepherd: He also chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
We talked about being a person after God’s own heart. The difference between Saul as king and David as king, was that Saul had his own interests in mind and David had God’s. May we all live that way. We then talked about the phrase, “keeping the sheep” and how that applies to us. Our we doing the same in our lives? Good stuff.
I cherish the time each evening with my family as we not only read but discuss the entire Bible, chapter by chapter. Is there any greater gift to each other? One day, may my children look back and remember not the material items we provided, but this gift. The gift of his Word.
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