Day 37


1 Samuel 16:1-13, 2 Samuel 5:1-12, 2 Samuel 7:1-29, Acts 13:21-23

BY Bailey Gillespie

Last year, I turned 30, and my best friend threw me a surprise party to end all surprise parties. It included an original song, a tropical photo booth, fifty of my favorite people, and a game that requires you to eat a donut off a string (a not-so-subtle nod to her tenth birthday, where we played the same game and I had a crumb stuck in my eye for the rest of the night). For me, that birthday signaled two things: the incredible blessing of my friends and the end of my youth. 

Turning 30 kind of makes you rethink all of your life choices. 

Although my feelings about growing older were a little melodramatic, the truth is that things were changing. My body just isn’t twenty anymore. 

I find it interesting that in 1 Samuel, the Lord rejects what the prophet believes is obvious king material—physical appeal and strength—but favors David, who is also handsome with “beautiful eyes” (16:12). The qualifying trait here can’t be physical appearance because God makes it clear in His choice that “humans see what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart” (v.7). So, why David? He had the looks and health he would need for success, but we’re also told that he had a heart that would carry out the Lord’s will (Acts 13:22). That soft heart always appears to be key to spiritual flourishing. 

Although David’s good health no doubt benefited his leadership, it was his devotion to God that helped guard him against ultimate destruction. When his youth and virility waned, along with many of the characteristics that traditionally make for a great king, he still had a heart overflowing with praise.    

Surrounded by friends and family at that surprise party, I imagine I felt a sliver of what David did when he burned with thanksgiving for God’s blessing. When I look back on my life thus far through a kingdom-oriented lens, my sorrow for things lost slowly turns to gratitude for things given. Sure, I wish my eyes didn’t look so permanently tired and my muscles moved like hot taffy, rather than a seat belt after stopping short. But when I assess the work of God in my life, and in the lives of others, it can be too overwhelming to bear sometimes. Each fine line and sore ligament serves as a testimony to the adventure of being sanctified.

People may only look at you skin deep, but our Lord sees the wild rivers of courage, affection, and sacrifice under the surface. It’s an upside-down kingdom, after all. Whoever surrenders their youth finds wisdom and maturity (hopefully)—and whoever loses their life for the sake of Christ will find it (Matthew 10:39). 

No matter what my appearance or circumstances or achievements or health status indicates, I want to echo the words of King David: “For You, Lord GOD, have spoken, and with Your blessing Your servant’s house will be blessed forever” (2 Samuel 7:29). The blessing God gave David’s lineage, that eventually gave way to Christ, continues into our lives today. We can never age out of it.

Post Comments (23)

23 thoughts on "David"

  1. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would see people as the Lord sees them; not by their physical appearance, but their heart and soul.

  2. Ruthie says:

    Thank you! I so needed this word today.

  3. Ginger says:

    “Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” We can only see the external of every person and every situation. We never completely know someone or what they are going through. Only God knows the whole person, their heart, fears, secrets, hurts and joys. I think about myself and know I wear an external shell that looks much different from the internal. I am sure we all do but God sees through. He knows me, the real me, and still loves me. “Then King David went in, sat in the Lord’s presence.” In His presence I can be all I am and know He loves me.

    1. Victoria O says:

      This really spoke to me today too. Thank you for sharing ❤️

  4. Angie says:

    Thank you Shawn for your comments about David’s beautiful eyes. A person’s eyes reveal so much, if we are willing to really look. Early in my return to teaching I was in a meeting with several administrators and made the comment that you can tell a great deal about a person by looking in their eyes. A principal I had not met before got right in my face, stared strong into my eyes, and said, “So, what can you tell me about me from my eyes?” He was poking fun at me, and showing his insecurity at the same time. Even without the words…it would have been apparent in his eyes. (I actually learned to recognize great strengths in that man and we grew into mutual admiration and respect towards each other.) When my little grandsons are edgy and short, I can look in their eyes and see that they are tired, or that they just need a hug or a big dose of Mika love. The eyes of my students speak volumes every morning. If I take the time to look and really see, their morning-their evening before, is often apparent in those eyes. Even the eyes of parents at Parent Teacher Conferences speaks volumes. What about the eyes of the people sitting in the balcony at church? The teenager who always looked at you before and now she tends to keep her eyes diverted. And, as in the eyes of David, there is a beautiful depth and shine in the eyes of someone whose heart belongs to Yahweh.
    Lord, as You give us vision – as we “see” glory or pain in others eyes, may we reach out according to your plan and your will. When You guide us to act, may we have the courage to step forward. When Your guidance is not to move forward (as it was for David regarding the temple) may we stop and offer prayer and worship. May we draw near to You and live in Your wisdom daily. And, may our eyes shine forth your love, always.

    1. Tamara Goda says:


    2. Melissa Graves says:

      Amen ❤️

    3. Victoria Lynch says:


  5. ERB says:

    Shawn Parks: Amen!!!

  6. Debbie Verdell says:

    Churchmouse, my heart echoes your words, “May I be careful in what I desire. May my reliance be on God’s word and not man’s fickle opinion.”

    1. Sarah Smith says:

      I second that!! Keeping this one as a prayer for the day!

      1. Brandy McDonald says:

        Yes!! I agree Churchmouse!

  7. Shawn Parks says:

    Do you imagine that Jesus had the same “beautiful eyes” that his ancestor David had? Do you think that these beautiful eyes could have been a family trait? What about these eyes made them “beautiful”? Perhaps the color was mesmerizing or the twinkle in those eyes captured the attention of all who gazed into them. I think, though, it was something deeper. I think it was less what a person saw looking into those eyes but more of the beauty that “saw” looking out through those eyes that made them beautiful. David saw the power, goodness, and faithfulness of God through his life as God’s chosen king. Even after David’s sin with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of Uriah, David’s eyes “saw” the truth and recognized the sovereignty of God. He “saw” God’s hand at work in his life and trusted Gods promise that a great king would descend from his lineage. The very eyes of Jesus might have resembled David’s in appearance, but most definitely were beautiful in how He saw the world around Him. The love and compassion grew from our God’s heart it could not be contained within the confines of a human body and would spill out from His eyes—-beautiful eyes! His eyes also saw the truth with nothing to hinder or distort the view. I pray that as a daughter of the King, I have the same family trait—beautiful eyes that see my God clearly and recognizes His holiness, His majesty, and His goodness, and that can see this world with love and compassion and truth so that my eyes of love may capture the attention of those who may not know my Lord but be drawn to the beauty of Christ through this family trait. Amen!

    1. Kristine Loughman says:

      I had the same thought when I read about David’s beautiful eyes! Thank you to for it so well.

    2. Lizzie T says:

      What a great thought Shawn!

      1. Janet C says:


    3. Sue Edmonds says:


    4. Kate Wells says:


    5. Cady ❤️ says:

      Rachel was described as having weak eyes

    6. Cady ❤️ says:

      Leah not rachel ! In a past discussion on SRT, leahs weak eyes meant unattractive. Now, we have her descendant described as having beautiful eyes. You have a very eloquent and deep interpretation of something previously saw as skin deep.

    7. Sarah Smith says:

      Love this !!

  8. Churchmouse says:

    The real King of Israel has always been God. An earthly king was only raised up and anointed because Israel begged for one like all the other nations. God let them have their foolish way. The order of authority was to be God, His prophet, and then the king. Saul overstepped his role and lost his reign. God’s choice of a man after His own heart makes perfect sense so that Saul’s mistake would not be repeated. David would be humble enough to listen to the word of the Lord whether spoken directly to him or through the prophet. God had warned Israel of the folly of having an earthly king. David would become the greatest king of Israel and yet he was a bit player compared to King Jesus.

    May I be careful in what I desire. May my reliance be on God’s word and not man’s fickle opinion.

    1. Melissa Graves says:


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