Tag Archives: countenance

God’s Choice of King


 

1 Samuel 16:3-13

 

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7.

 

 

When it was God’s timing for Israel to have a godly king, He sent Samuel to a man named Jesse to find and anoint the man God wanted to govern His people. To begin the search for the next king, Samuel started with Jesse’s son, Eliab, and Samuel thought, Surely he is the Lord’s anointed. According to Samuel’s own standards of kingship, Eliab must have fit the description. Immediately, however, God made it clear that Eliab had been rejected by Him. Jesse began bringing out his other sons, one after another, but each son was denied kingship by God. Finally, Samuel asked Jesse if all his sons were present, to which Jesse responded that his youngest son—David—was out keeping the sheep. When Jesse had David brought in to stand before Samuel, it became obvious that God had chosen him to be king.

 

What had they missed? Why were they off target so many times before David? It was not only because they were searching for a king that met their own human standards, but it was also because they had an inability to peer into the hearts of Jesse’s sons. The kind of people God uses to accomplish His will are people whose hearts are committed to His will. These may not be the best or the brightest according to worldly standards, but they are people who are chasing after God’s heart, like David
(1 Sam. 13:14).

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you chase after God’s heart today?

 

Mark Clements

 

 

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Hebrew Words – Face


 

Face (Countenance) (2)

 

pāniym

 

Your face . . . is as a book, where men may read strange matters,” said Lady Macbeth to her husband. How true it is that people can often read our faces like a book. As noted yesterday, what the heartfeels, the facereveals. Let us each ask ourselves, then, what does my countenance tell others?

 

First, a “hard face” is the face of rebellion. As God sent Jeremiah through Jerusalem seeking a single person who “executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth” (Jer_5:1, July 30), we also read that “they [had] made their faces harder than a rock” and “refused to return” (Jer_5:3). Every parent has seen this face on their child, the face of defiance and revolt.

 

Sadly, most pastors have also seen this face. When the Word of God is preached, people often rebel, preferring to continue in sin rather than submit to truth. This is precisely why God told Jeremiah earlier, “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD” (Jer_1:8). Some will frown, fuss, and fume, so God needs men who will not fear the people’s faces.

 

Second, a “fallen countenance” is the face of rage. Cain is our example here (Gen_4:5-6). Spewing forth from offended pride, Cain’s anger exploded, being intended for God, whom he could not hurt, but aimed at Abel, whom he could hurt. Likewise, rebellion and rage are always a reaction against God’s revealed truth, whether or not we are even aware of it.

 

Third, a “fierce countenance” is the face of ruthlessness. Babylon itself is the model here, “a nation of fierce countenance” (Deu_28:50) that swooped down on Israel because of her rebellion. How we need to realize that God will not long tolerate rebellion!

 

Fourth, in stark contrast, is not the face of rejoicing to be much preferred? As Solomon encourages, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance” (Pro_15:13) and, “God giveth to a man that is good in his sight [pāniym] wisdom, and knowledge, and joy” (Ecc_2:26), and still again, “A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed” (Ecc_8:1). And finally, the psalmist declares, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God” (Psa_42:11).

 

Scriptures for Study: What does the hardened face indicate (Pro_21:29)? What can godly friends do for one another (Pro_27:17)?

 

 

 

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