1 Samuel 16:1-13
“He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, ‘Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.’” vs. 12
Samuel had a tough job. He was appointed by the Lord to pick a new king for Israel to replace Saul, the man he thought was doing a reasonably good job before he messed up. The task was made a bit more ticklish because Saul wasn’t dead yet…in the eyes of the people he was still king. Samuel’s mission could have reasonably been construed as treason. He had a number of candidates, all the sons of Jesse, but no direct guidance for making his decision. He knew he was looking for leadership qualities and that those would probably be internal, but in the end he couldn’t help taking external appearances into account. He chose the handsome son, the one with beautiful eyes. Oh, and he was a shepherd! As it turned out, that was probably his most helpful qualification. We generally use the same factors as we make our choices for rulers, companions, and even spouses. It seems wise to say that we’re looking for morality, ethics, and strong values, but in the end, appearance always turns out to be important. In David’s case the decision turned out to be relatively sound…though he might not have gotten in that Bathsheba mess if he hadn’t been so handsome. Sometimes we luck out too, and our choice turns out to be an amazing guide and caretaker…the shepherd all of us need.
Thought for the Day: What appearances do I look for in others?