Beauty – Way to Choose a King?
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Have you ever heard that saying? Do you believe it? I do, because I’ve seen ugly people that the world says is beautiful. And I’ve seen people who didn’t have any of the characteristics the world deems as beautiful who absolutely glowed with what I think is great beauty!
Today we are going to look at Old Testament Israel and how they chose their king. Did they choose the tall, dark, and handsome guy? Or the little brother that was so insignificant that his father didn’t even think of calling him to the meeting? And who does the choosing? Whose standards are we using? We’ll find out.
The Making of a King
A king was not in the make-up of the Israelites. At least not in the beginning. They had God. And God was good for them. He took care of them. He provided for them. He protected them from their enemies. They didn’t need a king! He even kicked out all the giants and provided them their own country.
After God brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt with many awesome and amazing miracles, they settled in the Promised Land. But soon they took their eyes off God. They didn’t see themselves as perfect, like God saw them. They began to look at themselves as all the countries around them saw them. The other countries all had kings. They started thinking they were lacking something. They didn’t realize that they had it much better! To them, the grass was greener on the other side. So, they started begging God to give them a king.
So God, in His ultimate wisdom, gave them what they thought they wanted. He gave them tall, dark, and handsome King Saul. He even looked the part – in the world’s eyes. But soon, being king started to go to his head. He became arrogant and conceited. He began thinking he didn’t need God. Well, you can imagine how God felt about that! God had to replace Saul with someone who would still know that God was in charge.
Samuel, the prophet, got word from God to go and anoint the new king of Israel. But all God told him was that it would be one of Jesse’s sons. So, Samuel went to Jesse and asked to meet his sons. Traditionally, the eldest son had all of the status. So, of course, Jesse assumed the king would be his oldest son. So, out comes Eliab, the oldest. He was tall, handsome, and probably had great, bulging muscles. I can picture him flexing as they look him over. But, just between us, I think he had a bit of an attitude problem. He probably had gotten a lot of attention because he was so good looking. I imagine from God viewpoint, He saw a pride problem.
At first glance, Samuel probably thought that this must be the guy!
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for a man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
So, Samuel continued his search, going through each one of Jesse’s sons. However, God kept rejecting them. Finally, Jesse remembered that he has a younger son, David. Can you imaging that? He had forgotten all about the scrawny little guy who was out tending the sheep. So, he reluctantly sent for him.
“And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” I Samuel 16:12-13
David went on to become the greatest king in Israel’s history.
What Does God See When He Looks at You – Beauty?
Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And it is God who is beholding you! In God’s grand plan, it is His opinion that counts. The world’s praise only makes us prideful and unacceptable in God’s eyes. Our true beauty; what God sees in our heart, is what really matters!
God can use us when we are humble and focused on Him. He has an amazing plan for each of us. We must keep our eyes off of the world and off ourselves. Stay focused on God and seek to fulfill the plan He has for us.
It’s just like God to reject what the world thinks as beautiful and strong and to use what man sees as ugly and weak. That brings the focus onto God and His might.
“And He [Jesus] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” II Corinthians 12:9-10
You see, when we accomplish something in our own strength, we get the credit. When we accomplish something impossible, something we could never do on our own, God gets the glory. When we are unattractive (in man’s view), that is when God can really shine through us. So, if you think God can’t use you because you are not pretty enough or strong enough, think again!
My challenge to you today is to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself:
- What do I see? Really think about it.
- What imperfections and weaknesses are holding me back from serving God?
- What does God see? Take time to think about that. Remember, He is looking at your heart.
- How can I take what God sees in me (my inner beauty – my heart) and use it, in spite of the weaknesses and imperfections I see in myself, for His glory?
- How can I allow God to help me do something that I used to think was impossible?
- How can I give God credit for it?
Please leave us a comment. Let us know how you did on the challenge. As always, we love hearing from you!