1 Samuel 16: 1-23

2 Samuel 11 & 12, 1 Kings 9 & 11 (Not all of it!)

When God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to look for the new king of Israel amongst
Jesse's sons, he instantly looked to Eliab, the tall, dark and handsome guy, the eldest and most 'eligible' of all the sons. But God said no. And Samuel, being wise enough to shut up and trust the almighty God when He said that 'people look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart' (1 Samuel 16:7), obeyed Him. Then Jesse's youngest, forgotten son was sent for (reminds me of Cinderella a bit!) and he came, probably a bit smelly from being in the fields and hanging around with sheep so much, the youngest of them all. And God chose him - the most unlikely one!!!

It's a familiar story and I really love it - especially verse 7 - we all love that verse. But what I want to focus on, is that God chose David because of his heart, despite the fact that he wasn't perfect. Now David, being human, had two parts to his soul - the part that liked to satisfy his own desires, then the part that was after God. God wanted David for king because He knew David would be a great man of faith - you only have to turn a page to chapter 17 to see how he killed a giant bloke with a little stone, trusting God to protect him when he wasn't wearing standard battle armour. David spent time with God and he was a man after God's own heart. Unfortunately for David, he was far from perfect. God knew that in times to come, David would mess up big time. We all know about David's downfall - how he had sex with another man's wife - Bathsheba, then got her husband Uriah killed in battle (2 Samuel 11). But hang on a minute - God knew all this at the time that he chose David on that day when Samuel was in Bethlehem. Yet He still chose him? Why? God looked at David's determined heart and loved him.

At the same time, God wanted David to stay pure. He didn't, and although God forgave him, and still used him for king, David's sin had consequences. The Bible tells us about how Bathsheba fell pregnant as a result of their affair, upon which David had Uriah killed, then their baby died (2 Samuel 11-12). We have to be aware that although God chooses and uses us imperfect humans, our sin has consequences. It hurts us, it hurts God, and often it hurts others.

God is looking at your heart; what does He see? Does He see a heart that is trying, that is fixed on Him, so much so that it despises that sin that is causing you to stumble and getting in between you and Him? Do you hate the sin that you do, just as God hates the sin, but not the sinner? God hates the sin in your life, but He doesn't hate you. He loves you and wants to use you, and is looking for a heart in you that hates sin so much, just as David did. David asked God to examine his heart, - he was prepared to let God highlight the rubbish and get rid of it.

God just wants your heart to be totally after Him. He was angry when David's son, Solomon, turned his heart away from God (1 Kings, 11:9). Solomon was unlike his father. David's heart was God's. Yes - he sinned, no - he wasn't tall, handsome or coolest guy around, but his heart was determined. He hated his sin and was determined to get that rubbish out of his life. Stop saying that you're too stupid, too thick, too unpopular, too sinful... HATE the sin, ask God to examine you, let Him see into your heart, and be eligible.  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.