The life of David in the Bible is one of the more popular stories in the Christian faith. Other than Christ, I would guess there have been more messages about him than any other character within the Word of God.

His story shows that there is a huge difference between the way we observe and judge with our natural senses and the way God perceives everything through his perfect spiritual wisdom. The key to our success is learning to see as God sees.

Let's begin in 1 Samuel. Samuel, a powerful prophet, was told by the Lord to select a new king to replace Saul, who had disappointed God. There was a man named Jesse who had eight sons. God told Samuel that one of Jesse's sons would be the new king and to listen carefully to God's voice. When Samuel looked upon the oldest son Eliab, he reasoned that surely this was the one God would want. Eliab was physically strong and impressive, and the passage also mentions that he was very tall.

However, the Lord warned Samuel against being emotionally persuaded by stature for God does not see as man sees. "For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

Jesse called seven of his sons and had each one stand before Samuel, but the Lord rejected them. Samuel asked if there were any other sons. Jesse said there was the youngest boy, who was out herding the sheep. Samuel said that he needed to see him immediately. When David stood before Samuel, he was just a teenager, and the Bible implies he had a beautiful countenance and was a very handsome young man. The Lord instructed Samuel to anoint David with oil, for he was the one. Even though David was not officially pronounced king until a couple of years later, God was planning ahead and desired that Israel would have a leader who would love him and obey his voice.

Notice that David was out taking care of the sheep. The isolation of being alone with God is where he developed a personal relationship with him. Acts 13 says that God found David to be a man after his own heart who should fulfill his will.

Being powerful in God's kingdom has everything to do with how passionate we are about doing what he says. We can look impressive in the world of religion, but this is not what God is looking for. Becoming more like Christ means we abandon our plans and ideas and surrender our will to him. We must develop our spiritual sensitivity to where we understand that God's true vessels of honor are not always the ones we would consider giants in the faith.

Speaking of giants, let us continue to realize that things are not the way they seem. In chapter 17 we read where the armies of Israel and Philistine were camped on different mountains preparing for war. The Philistines had a champion warrior called Goliath who would step forward each day and dare any man of the opposing army to fight him. He stated that if he won the fight, Israel would have to bow down and serve the Philistines, but if they defeated him, the Philistines would surrender. The soldiers of Israel were terrified of this giant as the Bible declares he was nearly 10 feet tall and was amazingly strong.

One day David was bringing food and supplies to his older brothers, who were soldiers, and he heard Goliath make his fierce challenge as he mocked and laughed. David was shocked to see how everyone was afraid. He spoke boldly, saying that he would fight, as this battle was the Lord's and he would surely deliver this giant into their hands. The soldiers looked at David as a kid who did not know what he was talking about. They scolded him and told him to go home.

The point here is that we must never judge a situation by what it looks like in the natural. As we all know, David finally convinced Saul to let him face the giant, and the rest is history.

Notice how Samuel looked to human stature; Saul and his army saw themselves defeated against Goliath; and Goliath underestimated David. Everyone in this story trusted their natural reasoning except David, who could discern through the eyes of God.

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Billy Holland