1 Sa 15-16; Jas 2-3; Psalm 32
‘Do not look on his appearance . . . the LORD does not see as mortals see, the LORD looks on the heart’
Certainly here is one of the pivotal incidents in the Old Testament narrative, the anointing of David as King over Israel.
The story of David in many regards dwarfs the Old Testament and of course its ripples comfortably traverse the 400 year ‘silence’ of the inter testamental period. So that Jesus is proclaimed by some as ‘Son of David’. The hopes for the restoration of the Davidic line, the Messianic fervour runs all the way through to the Gospel announcements.
However it is full of what to our tidy minds are ambiguities and challenges to us.
First of course there is the story of David himself. We may well be left asking, if the LORD looks on the heart, does he not see David’s fall from grace? Of course this story is more than echoed in Jesus’ call of the disciples, especially Peter and Judas . . .
And then the stunning challenge to us, the the LORD does not see as we do. How often we look on the externals of a person, their education, their knowledge, their family life in order to judge who might well lead the flock of God. But can we really see into the heart? Of course we like to think that we can. We readily reduce people to what we think is their essence, for judging them is surely this. But can we see the heart?
I think not
This story should give us much pause. If the family of David cannot perceive his heart, how can such judgement be made? If the LORD sees the heart of David and yet still calls him to kingship, what does that say of such calling?