"But 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.”
1 Samuel 16:7
The people of Israel begged for God to give them a king. They desired a physical king to rule their nation and lead them in war. Despite Samuel's warnings of the price they'd pay for a king, they insisted. They rejected the Lord as their king, so God gave them over to their desire. God did not give up on Israel by giving them a king. Instead, he used their request as opportunity to point them to the only true King.
Perhaps the most famous king of Israel was David, the man after God's own heart. David's life not only pointed to the true King Jesus, but Jesus was also a descendent of David. He was the branch from the shoot of Jesse.
When God sent Samuel to anoint a new king, Samuel saw the tallest, strongest son of Jesse and assumed he was the one. God reminded Samuel that he works in ways we least expect.
"People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God's words echo the prophesy about Jesus in Isaiah 53:2.
"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."
This wasn't the only instance that David directly pointed to the Messiah. David was a shepherd, pointing us to the Great Shepherd. Samuel annointed David with oil, which was a common practice in anointing kings. Jesus was anointed with oil when a woman poured oil on Jesus' feet. David was a future king born in Bethlehem, much like our Savior. Those closest to David sought to betray and kill him, just like Jesus.
God wanted to make sure, though, that we really got the picture he was painting for us. In 2 Samuel 7:16, God promises David, "Your throne will be established forever." This promise was universally understood by the Jewish people to be a Messianic promise. The Messiah would be a descendent of David's and he would rule forever.
Sure enough, over 400 years later in David's hometown, Jesus was born. He was a descendant of David.
David was a highly revered king, but he was also imperfect. When he took his focus off of the Lord, he became an adulterer and a murderer. The people of Israel were once again deeply disappointed in their king. The kings who followed would continue to disappoint.
God loved David, but he never meant David to be a bastion of kingliness. David's purpose was always to leave us wanting the True King.
He came and he will come again-this time restoring his Kingdom forever. As we celebrate Christmas, we are waiting, wanting the only true King. The waiting is hard, but the wanting is holy.
I found this horn charm from the Traditions line at Hobby Lobby and it reminded me of the horns of oil the ancient Jewish people used to anoint kings. Using it for this ornament was a no-brainer. I also added a crown charm to represent the one true king.
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