The lessons we can learn from Samuel are remarkable. He heads off to Bethlehem because God wants him to anoint a new king for Israel. He is instructed by the Lord to invite Jesse to a banquet and bring along the family. Samuel believes that the new king is among the sons of Jesse. So, Samuel does what all of us tend to do. We look at the outward appearance of someone to determine if they will fit the profile and criteria of what we believe is needed to get the job done.
Samuel asks Jesse to have his sons appear before him and with the flask of oil in hand he is ready to anoint one of the mature, good looking, and strapping lads. Eliab was the first son to pass before Samuel followed by Abinadab, Shammah and four others. None of these fit the bill because God said no.
Here’s the lesson God gave Samuel. “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical 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.” There was one more son Jesse hadn’t invited to the banquet, so just when Samuel had about given up, Jesse brought in David a keeper of the sheep. God said, “This is the one!” A young man whose heart was after God’s.