Tuesday, December 2, 2014

God Doesn't See as We See

God was selecting a new king to replace Saul. He sent Samuel to meet the sons of Jesse. Here is what God told Saul:
1 Samuel 16:7 "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."
Picture if you will what is perceived a great man: large stature, wide shoulders, bulging biceps, square jaw, bright eyes and self confidence. A great woman is tall, slender, smiling, has flowing hair and usually well endowed. Like the great man she has self confidence and add to that poise. Both are well-dressed and groomed. That's my stereotypes and I  bet yours are at least similar! Well, God has different criteria! Let's take a look at King David, the man who would be king, but wasn't "kingly":

1 Samuel 16:10 (ESV) "And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome.
1 Samuel 17:42 "And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance."
David had an humble job. Being the youngest, he was merely the keeper of the sheep. All the older brothers were passed by in favor David who was a youngster.  In those days the king led the army in battle. Saul had been a near giant and the epitome of a warrior. David, who was to become king, "was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome". Samuel selected a red-skinned pretty boy to be king and do great deeds. David was not what one would expect to lead the armies and rule the people.  Why did God choose David?
Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
 David was not what a king was expected to be! God looked at his heart! David was qualified for the job for which he was chosen because he wanted to please God. Being human, he failed miserably at times, but in the end, it was God whom David obeyed and loved. This young man, not masculine at all, built an empire larger than has existed before or after under the leadership of a Hebrew! What's more, this young man was chosen to be the ancestor of the greatest man who ever lived, Jesus:
Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David.
David became the standard to which all men were compared. He was great! God did good in selecting David! He didn't fit the mold. He wasn't the stereotypical king, but God looks at the heart, and as such David was a picture of Jesus who was of his seed. David did great things. He was a great king! David was long dead and the nation had been destroyed because of decadence from within and defeat from without. The nation, even the world, was ready for a new king. Who shall it be?

God used the same standard in selecting the "King of the Jews" in Caesar's time as he did in the time of the Philistines. God wanted someone who was a Goliath in heart, but not in stature. He chose Jesus.

The Jews had been in a revolution for 400 years. The Macabbee kings had become the George Washingtons of their day, bu they were gone and the Jews paid tribute and we governed by the Roman Empire. The people were ready for a king. He was to be as great as King David and restore their heritage! That's what they expected, but they got what was written on the Cross of Jesus "King of the Jews". Let's continue to look at the king they expected:

Describing David the servants said:
1 Samuel 16:8 "I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him."
It's strange! After God saw the kingly stature of David, it seems that others then saw it... and this was before he killed the giant! Doesn't it work the same today? We fail to see greatness in a person because we have been blinded by what we expect. It needs to only be pointed out and then we see!

"Comely" is an archaic word and is what is perceived to be beautiful, suitable and of proper proportion. It's the opposite of plain and homely. David was a comely king. Is that what we would expect with Jesus? Was God to use the same standard again? God sees things differently, with different eyes, than man sees!
Isaiah 53:2 "For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him."
David was a rugged pretty boy. He was young and probably of small stature, but Jesus was different. He was no David in appearance! He was "Joe Average". As "a tender plant" implies that he would be delicate in stature and form. His tone would be rough "as a root out of dry ground". He was to be a rugged carpenter, likely an indoor  worker and not ruddy at all! He was uncomely. He wasn't what one would expect him to be. His proportion was probably slight and "there is no beauty". People would not be attracted to his appearance! This is the person who God became! He didn't choose David's appearance, but he's just like most of us! Look at his name! Jesus (Jeshua, Joshua). It was as common as "Joe" is today! Josephus mentioned 24 different "Jesus's" in his Antiquities of the Jews.

Jesus, though, as did David, came out of Bethlehem. Was that to be expected? Not so! Jerusalem was a great city at the time of his birth. Like Jesus, Bethlehem was nondescript. It's name means "city of bread". It was a fertile city and the birthplace of "The Bread of Life" Jesus! Who would expect another king from Bethlehem? Few would!

As we see from 1 Samuel 16:7b "the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.", God made us in his own image. Jesus doesn't look like us! We look like Jesus!  Most of us don't fit the appearance one would expect of a king. We are not tall, strong looking, square jawed, and confident looking. We look just like Jesus!

What's different is that we may look as Jesus, but our heart is not as his! He has God's heart. Like David, Jesus was a "a man after mine (God's) own heart" because he had God's "heart" being God! He knew what to do to please God because the Son of Man had the "Heart" of God! He did God's will because he knew God's will because he was there with God all the time!

Think about Jesus. Is he what we expected?  He would be totally different because "the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance". Imagine Saul. That's our vision of a king. That's what the people wanted and God gave them that type of king, but Saul failed God. He assumed the role of priest to which he was not entitled and lost God's anointment.  He was replaced by what God wanted. A fair youth with pleasing appearance. David's countenance would not put fear in anyone. Goliath ridiculed him as did his brothers! David showed them!

Jesus showed us all too! He put his life on the line. The uncomely man who came to die for us died for us! He was melancholic because he knew his destiny. Jesus didn't want to die, but he was willing and he died for us willingly! No one dragged him to the Cross, but he dragged the Cross to his death. He didn't do what we would expect of a king. The King was a servant who washed feet and cried for us. Kings don't serve and cry in public, but Jesus did! He's not what we expected, but I'm glad that God doesn't see as we see! We have not only a "King of the Jews", but the King to which kings show bow!

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