Ever wonder how much you spend in order to look pretty? How much of the family budget is siphoned off for make-up, hair cuts and styling, skin care, shampoos, conditioners, and my all-time favorite, anti-aging products? You might be surprised to know that the average spent by women annually on appearances in our country is a whopping $3,756.00! That figures out to an unbelievable $225,360.00 over an average lifetime, almost a quarter of a million dollars!
Appearances are important, and who doesn’t want to look their best? Is it not true that people tend to judge the worth and character by looking at outward appearances? Doesn’t the tastefully-dressed, attractive person tend to earn our admiration and respect? Never has that been more evident than for this current generation. Gone are the days of those hideous classroom pictures from elementary school. Take out a camera or a phone now and every little girl knows how to place her hand on her hip and strike a pose. Social media has certainly emphasized the importance of appearance to the youngest and most vulnerable among us.
The prophet Samuel was on a mission directed by the hand of God. As he sought out the house of Jesse, the Bethlehemite, Samuel had to be curious as to whom God would choose to lead the nation of Israel. King Saul had been such a disappointment in spite of the fact that he a good-looker, “a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people?” But in spite of all his outward goodliness, this tall and handsome king had been rejected by God due to his overt disobedience. Who would be God’s next choice?
Jesse’s sons would appear one-by-one before Samuel. When Eliab, Jesse’s firstborn, passed before him, Samuel was impressed by what he saw. “Surely, THIS” is the chosen one, “the LORD’s anointed.” It was then that God uttered a profound statement: “…the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” Samuel, you don’t see as I do; I am looking inwardly. Six brothers later, David, the youngest son, the one whom they had not even bothered to call, appears before Samuel. This shepherd boy, this “ruddy young man with a “beautiful countenance,” this one with a faithful heart, this “man after God’s own heart,” this singer of psalms, would be the divinely-chosen instrument of God.
Outward appearances are often superficial, for they do not reveal a person’s value, integrity, or faithfulness. Flowing from the heart “are the issues of life.” Heart examination forces us to lay our lives bare before the holiness of a mighty God. And when that cosmetic unraveling occurs, we humbly unite our voices with Isaiah, bow our heads, and whisper: “Woe is me, for I am undone.”
David was far from a perfect leader, as carelessness, adultery, and murder would eventually mar his walk before his God. But within David, God saw a man of deep, abiding faith, a man wholly committed to God, a man who would recognize his failings and bow in repentance before his God. This shepherd boy had experienced God’s love and forgiveness; he was a servant who learned to worship his God on an intimate level.
God’s perspective is always higher, deeper, and wiser than ours. He does not see as we see. All the makeup and beauty products will fail me, for he “hast searched me, and known me,” my motives, my innermost thoughts. As I scan the feed from my social media pages, with photo after photo of perfectly-posed subjects, I pray that we remember to emphasize to our children the importance of their inward appearance before a holy God.
I Samuel 17:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature. because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-3872-62b941cfef2d4' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=3872&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-3872-62b941cfef2d4' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-3872-62b941cfef2d4' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>