The Kind of Person God Seeks

Bill T. Arnold writes:

The man after God’s own heart turned out to be an unassuming boy!  Looks can be so deceiving that we actually miss the very thing that we are looking for.  God sends Samuel to find a new king.  But he would have missed David entirely because David does not look the part.  Just as David as a new messianic ruler is easy to overlook, so the Messiah was overlooked because he did not appear as people were expecting.

But this text is especially concerned with the type of person God seeks.  When you and I consider the qualities of the people around us, we are inevitablt and inescapably influenced by what we see with our eyes.  But God sees things we miss.  Because he has superior vision, we may often be surprised by the people he chooses to accomplish his purposes.  In ancient Israel, it was often the surprising choice of the youngest son instead of the expected oldest.  At various times in church history, believers have been surprised (or disturbed!) when God has called a woman to serve him in a role usually filled by a man.  Such times may cahllenge the church’s dogma and require us revisiting our beliefs about such roles.  God can also sue an unassuming childto teach important lessons needed for a given time.  He has used the uneducated, the poor and the disenfranchised.  The fact that you and I simply cannot see the human heart the way God does, thus, we may often be surprised by what God sees in others.

1 Samuel 16:1-13

1The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

2But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

   The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

4Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

5Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.”

7But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the LORD chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

   “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

   Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

   Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Questions

  1. Why didn’t Samuel want to go to Bethlehem?
  2. What did Samuel look for in a king?
  3. What was God looking for in a king?
  4. What do you look for in a friend or a spouse?
  5. What kind of character is God looking for in you?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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15 Responses to The Kind of Person God Seeks

  1. 1. Why didn’t Samuel want to go to Bethlehem? He didn’t want Saul to possibly kill him because the reason for him going to Bethlehem was to find a new king.
    2. What did Samuel look for in a king? He was looking for someone strong, someone who “looked the part” and someone who would cause intimidation upon others.
    3. What was God looking for in a king? God was looking for a king with a good heart and he did not care what his outward appearance was like.
    4. What do you look for in a friend or a spouse? I have never thought about what I look for in a friend, but now that I have I guess I just really wants friends who want to be my friends, friends who love me for who I am but are not afraid to tell me when I am wrong. I want friends who challenge me to be a better person and always reminds me to turn my eyes upon Jesus. I have never been in a serious relationship with a man before but I look for a man who loves the Lord beyond all things. I have never really looked for friends or a spouse based on appearance alone because that really has nothing to do with what a person can give you, do for you, or how much they could love you.
    5. What kind of character is God looking for in you? God is looking for me to be more humble and more open to His will. I

  2. Rebecca Langer says:

    Why didn’t Samuel want to go to Bethlehem?
    Samuel was afraid that Saul would try and kill him, becaus ehe recently pronounced judgement on Saul.

    What did Samuel look for in a king?
    Samuel looked for the man who looked big and beefy. The one who society would value as a King.

    What was God looking for in a king?
    God was looking for someone who would follow Him no matter what. He wanted someone who would seek Him with his whole heart.

    What do you look for in a friend or a spouse?
    My number one qualification in a spouse is that he love God as much or preferably more than me. I want someone who will encourage me and push me to be more in love than God than ever.
    What kind of character is God looking for in you?

    I I feel that God wasnts this same character of me. He wants my whole heart.

  3. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. He’s afraid that if Saul hears about him going to Bethlehem to find a new king (treason) he will kill him.
    2. Samuel was looking for an impressive outward appearance (tall and good looking) who looked like he would be a great king and leader.
    3. God was looking for what people cannot see–a person’s true character. He was looking at the heart, who will be after His own heart.
    4. Qualities i look for in a friend: honesty, trustworthy, reliability, kind…someone who will build each other up spiritually, emotionally, and physically. For a spouse: the reasons why i like my fiance is because he loves God, he loves his family, and he loves people, including me, the way that we are supposed to love in 1 Corinthians 13. Also, he is a good listener and leader.
    5. loving God with all of my heart and loving others.

  4. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.Why didn’t Samuel want to go to Bethlehem?
    – because he was worrying about Saul’s extreme fury upon him.
    2.What did Samuel look for in a king?
    – one’s eye-pleasing physical features.
    3.What was God looking for in a king?
    -things that people miss; “heart”
    4.What do you look for in a friend or a spouse?
    – I look for friends and a spouse who are consistant or strive to be consistant in every aspect and find joy in serving others rather than self-sentered.
    5.What kind of character is God looking for in you?
    – totall obedience?

  5. Lisa Collins says:

    1. Why didn’t Samuel want to go to Bethlehem? He was afraid that he would be killed by Saul after he finds out that Samuel is looking for a new king. Saul had recently been rejected as king any longer.
    2. What did Samuel look for in a king? Samuel was looking at the outward appearance. He was looking for a king who would be physically strong and would portray that image to both their nation and surrounding nations.
    3. What was God looking for in a king? God was (and is) looking at the heart. God wants a willing and honoring heart to proclaim Him.
    4. What do you look for in a friend or a spouse? I think we all often look for things on the outside such as looks, popularity, whether they are funny or not, if they make you “feel happy” etc. whether it is in a friend or a romantic relationship. I think we also look at the heart and on the inside, but we need to make this primary. We need people in our lives who have committed to following Christ in His every footstep no matter what that means.
    5. What kind of character is God looking for in you? I think God wants us to have willing hearts and to have humble and mold-able hearts to follow and glorify Him.

  6. Kendalle says:

    What kind of character is God looking for in you?
    Samuel truly tought that Saul would kill Him if he went to Bethlehem.
    Samuel looked if for the outward appearence was appealing.
    God looked for if the man’s heart was right.
    I’m looking for a person who will love and care for me.
    God is looking for me to be honest and clear with myself and others, while loving myself and others. It’s difficult for me to accept myself for who I truly am. When I’m told though the Bible and through the community at Moody that “I’m not get enough” it hard to do anything else besides being depressed.

  7. Amy Kringle says:

    1. He thought Saul would kill him.
    2. Someone that “looked” like a king…strong, attractive, appealing
    3. Someone who had a heart that was right before him and would serve his people
    4. Someone who sees the world a little bit how God sees the world. Someone who realizes people are broken and still loves them. Someone who is joyful.
    5. A servant heart. The same as above; who realizes people are broken and loves them because God has loved me.

  8. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He was afraid of what Saul would do if he found out that Samuel was going to anoint a new king.
    2. He was looking at how they looked on the outside. He paid attention to their features and if they looked like a king.
    3. God was looking for someone who loved Him and whose heart was fully committed to Him.
    4. In a friend, I look for someone who loves the Lord like I do or who I can share the love of Christ with. In a spouse, I would definitely look for someone who loves God and is continually pursuing Him and seeking to know Him more. For both of these, I also look for someone who shares my interests, who is honest, trustworthy, and fun to be around among other things.
    5. He is looking for my heart to be fully committed to Him and for me to be actively pursuing and deepening my relationship with Him.

  9. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Samuel did not want to go to Bethlehem because he thought that Saul would kill him if he found out.

    2. In a king, Samuel looked for someone that looked like a king and had a good outward appearance.

    3. In a king, God was looking for someone with a good heart.

    4. In a friend or a spouse, I look for someone who is trustworthy, faithful, humorous, and someone who challenges me.

    5. In me, God is looking for someone that has a desire to serve. He is looking for someone who desires to seek the Lord and wants to have an intimate relationship with Him.

  10. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. Samuel didn’t want to go to Bethlehem out of fear that Saul might find out that he was looking for a different king and kill him.
    2. Samuel was looking for someone who fits the physical appearance of a king, but the Lord changes his status on this.
    3.The Lord looks for someone with a good heart.
    4. I often look for a friend who is kind, fun, easy-going, passionate about the Lord, and though I would not usually admitt it even to myself I often look for friends who are good looking or cool, etc, and all these other shallow and worldly things.
    5. God is looking for me to be a loving and caring person wo seeks His heart and His ways.

  11. Moon Jung Kim[ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.Why didn’t Samuel want to go to Bethlehem? because of fear that Saul might kill him
    2.What did Samuel look for in a king? physical appearance
    3.What was God looking for in a king? the heart
    3.What do you look for in a friend or a spouse? trying to look for their hearts but manytimes i looked for the outward appearance..
    5,What kind of character is God looking for in you? obedience. faithfulness.

  12. aaron wright says:

    1. he was scared to death of Saul
    2. the outward appearance of the king
    3. someone who would follow Him and rely on His strength
    4. i look for humility, love, and a complete dependence on God
    5. the same

  13. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) He was afraid that Saul would kill him.
    2) Samuel looked for the most hansome, strongest, son.
    3) God was looking for the son with the best heart.
    4) I try to look at character, but I know that I spend too much time focused on appearane as well.
    5) He wants me to be saturated in Him, fully trusting and resting on Him.

  14. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.Why didn’t Samuel want to go to Bethlehem?
    He was afraid that Saul might kill him.
    2.What did Samuel look for in a king?
    appearance and strength.
    3.What was God looking for in a king?
    God looked for the son with the whole heart.
    4.What do you look for in a friend or a spouse?
    I mostly look for personality, and habit.
    5.What kind of character is God looking for in you?
    obeying.

  15. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Samuel didn’t want to go to Bethlehem because he was afraid that Saul would kill him if he found out.
    2. Samuel looked for outward things in a king.
    3. God was looking for a heart that was loving Him and following Him.
    4. I look for a friend who is honest, loyal, trustworthy, and who shares similar interests with me.
    5. God is looking for me to be a person who loves Him and follows and obeys Him.

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