October 13th 2009

“Is What You See Always What You Get?” 

Finally the Lord said to Samuel, “You have mourned long enough for Saul. I have rejected him as king of Israel. Now fill your horn with olive oil and go to Bethlehem. Find a man named Jesse who lives there for I have selected one of his sons to be my new king.”

1 Samuel 16:1 (NLT) 

So Samuel found the home of Jesse and invited him and his sons to join him in a sacrifice (verse 5). In verse 6 we are told that as he looked at the eldest son, Eliab, Samuel thought…“my search for the new king is over.” This young man was a warrior in the army of Israel, (chapter 17, verse 28). He was probably tall, strong and athletic and, of course, Samuel was looking at his outward appearance and thinking; “This has got to be God’s chosen king.” But God has other ideas and he tells the prophet “No, I have rejected him because I have looked on his heart and he does not have the heart of a king” (verse 7). 

We all do that, don’t we?  We jump to conclusions so quickly, go by first impressions, and base our decisions on the immediate outward appearance. But appearances can be very deceptive and we don’t always take time to discover what lies beneath the surface. Samuel saw seven of Jesse’s sons before David, and learned the value of waiting, looking and seeing what lies behind the exterior. 

You know, we have this saying; “What you see is what you get.” Meaning of course, that everything is open and above board and nothing is hidden; but unfortunately that isn’t always true. I was buying some cereal recently and was surprised to discover that the label on a packet of oats said, “Look behind the label!” In other words, find out more about our company, discover how we grow and process our product, because what you see is not all you get. Human beings are worth a closer look…that’s great advice! 

Jesse and his sons looked at David and saw a shepherd boy; God looked at him and saw a king!


Thank you our Father that you see every one of us just the way we are and you love us any way, warts and all. Grant us the courage and the ability to see others as you do and to discern the majesty and beauty within them.


Study by Cliff Neill

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