Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-35, 1 Samuel 16:1-23, Ruth 4:18-22, Luke 6:45
About the time my future groom and I started looking at rings, a story circulated through my college dorm that put many of us hopeful brides-to-be on high alert. Whether true or simply an urban legend, I can’t say. But long after my now-husband popped the question, the story has stuck with me. It goes like this…
A handsome young man decided to propose to a beautiful girl. He told her that since they were poor college kids, he could not afford much of a ring. He proposed with a small cubic zirconia, a manufactured replacement for a real diamond. But secretly, he purchased a beautiful, expensive, whopper of a diamond and planned to have it put in the setting for their wedding day. But when the blushing bride-to-be discovered her ring was a fake, she demanded the real thing. The groom was so turned off by her shallow behavior that he broke off the engagement. Only then did the girl learn that he’d planned all along to take her breath away with a real diamond.
In 1 Samuel, we find a similar tale of fake worth and diamonds in the rough. Saul had been anointed as the first king of Israel. He seemed to have it all, but it didn’t take long for his façade to crack. Saul was deeply flawed. His dependence on the Lord turned out to be counterfeit, and in 1 Samuel 15, the Lord rejected Saul as king of Israel.
Israel’s prophet, Samuel, was grieved by Saul’s failings. I imagine he might have felt like that bride-to-be, who thought her boyfriend had bought her a diamond only to discover she’d been given a chunk of glass. But God was like the groom with something better tucked away. Despite Israel’s long history of doubting God, He planned to replace Saul with a king so good he’d become the measuring stick for all other kings to come.
At the Lord’s prompting, Samuel went to the house of Jesse looking for a new king. Jesse had eight sons and he paraded all but the youngest in front of Samuel. Each time, the Lord said “no.” Samuel was baffled by God’s rejection of such strong, capable men. God’s explanation put a magnifying glass over Samuel’s heart.
“But the Lᴏʀᴅ said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lᴏʀᴅ sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lᴏʀᴅ sees the heart.’”
- 1 Samuel 16:7
David didn’t look like a king. His father thought so little of him that he didn’t even bring him in from the field. But God chose him. Beneath an unimpressive exterior, God saw treasures in David’s heart.
We can’t polish ourselves pretty enough to create our own worth. But God mines for value in each of our hearts.
Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.