LOOK AT THE INNER, NOT THE OUTER
Though King Saul was the first king appointed over the children of Israel, he soon became a big disappointment to God. So, God sends Samuel to find another king among Jessie’s sons, as can be seen in the following verses.
1 Samuel 16:1 Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.” 2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 “Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.” 4 So Samuel did what the LORD said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice. 6 ¶ So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before Him.” 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 8 So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” 10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” 13 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. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
Like Samuel, many tend to judge a person by how they look instead of getting to know the person to see how that person really is. Sometimes people will treat a pretty person better than a perceived ugly person. Many stereotypes are made from what we see. We might automatically assume that an overweight person is lazy and a skinny person is athletic. We might assume that every man over six feet tall plays basketball. We also tend to associate certain behaviors with the color of one’s skin.
I know that it can be hard not to prejudge someone based on their appearance or by how they dress, but we must learn from the Scriptures we just looked at that it is important that we don’t prejudge someone based on his appearance. We need to do our best to get to know that person to know what they are like on the inside because that is what defines a person, not their outer appearance.
You and I have no way of knowing what great things God might accomplish through the people we meet, especially those we might prejudge by their appearance as being worthless and not worth our time. Just because someone dresses differently than you, has a different ethnic background than you, or talks different than you, doesn’t make them any different than you in the eyes of God. God shows no partiality as Peter taught in:
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. 35 “But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.
One person is not better than another because we are all precious souls in the eyes of God. As Paul said:
Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
While we may continue to struggle with prejudging people by their appearance, let us make sure that we don’t allow our prejudgment to define who that person is. Instead, let us do our best to get to know that person from the inside out because that is the only true way to know what that person is about. Let’s view every person we encounter that we don’t know as a precious soul for the Lord.