So you’re not Ken or Barbie?

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Photographer Bill
Stylist Susan Kurtz

Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:When (the sons of Jesse) came, (Samuel the prophet) looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Observation: Earlier in this book we were told that Saul, Israel’s first human king, was head and shoulders taller than any other man in Israel – and was handsome as well. One assumes he looked the part of a king. However, despite is favorable appearance, Saul failed miserably. In looking for Saul’s successor as king. the prophet Samuel sees Eliab – another tall, handsome man. Hard to blame Samuel for assuming Eliab must be the one God would choose. He was not. Instead God chose a boy named David, Eliab’s youngest brother. David did NOT look the part of a king, but no matter. As the end of the passage says, “the Lord looks on the heart”.

Application: It’s been documented that people with good looks tend to get a leg up in the world. People respond to them differently, more favorably. In my experience, this is especially true for women. I have two daughters, one 23 years old and one 17 years old. As a father I see the pressure they feel to look a certain way. As they’re finding their way in the world, they want to be accepted. I get it. But it worries me. In any case, today’s passage is good news for many of us. You don’t have to be Ken or Barbie to find the favor of God, for God wants your heart – not your looks.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, in a world that values beauty that is skin deep, give us beautiful hearts that are faithful to you. Give us the grace of your favor that we might glorify you before others. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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