Saturday, October 13, 2012

Do Not Look At His Appearance

Last evening I was reading 1 Samuel 16, which is about when Samuel goes to Bethlehem to anoint David.

What stuck out to me was verse 7 when Samuel was looking at Eliab and wondering if he was the one God wanted anointed. It says, "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.""

I've heard that verse a lot, and it does comfort me sometimes when I worry about how I look. It's nice to know that God is more concerned with how our heart looks rather than our outward appearance. But last night it made me think and wonder.

In verse 12, David is brought to Samuel and it says, "So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance..."  If God is not concerned with the outward appearance, why does talk about David's appearance?

I had always assumed that Eliab was a good looking man and that was why God was telling Samuel not to be concerned with his looks (though I believe it mentioned that Saul was a good looking man as well, and quite tall).  But I got to thinking, that even if Eliab was a good looking man, his heart may not have been in the right place and that was what God was concerned about.

I'm still stumped with regards to the whole outward appearance thing though. We're told that Saul and David were good looking, and I assume Eliab as well...but then we are told that the outward appearance doesn't matter. If that doesn't matter, why is it mentioned at all?

Yes, God is concerned with the heart, and obviously, from reading this book of the Bible, we find out that Saul's heart was not in the right place, and David's was. This is ultimately what is more important, but why mention looks at all if they weren't important? What does it matter if any of them were handsome or not?

This is just one of those "things that make you go hmmm?" moments for me last night.

Do you find yourself concerned with outward appearances, either of yourself or others?