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Skin-Deep Isn’t Deep Enough

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

I’m loving introducing our girls to some of our favourite childhood movies…we watched The Sandlot Kids over the weekend, and they all fell in love with Benny the Jet! The selfless, servant-hearted, others focussed hero, who reaches out to the lost and lonely, draws them into community and purpose, who singlehandedly confronts the fiercest of enemies and leads them into victory…sound like anyone else you know?!

Another favourite is Shrek…there’s a reason why it struck a chord with moviegoers of all ages around the world. We live in an age where people make superficial judgements based on outward appearances, and Shrek refuses to play by those rules. An ugly ogre is the hero, the damsel in distress can fight like a ninja, and it is a stupid and annoying donkey whose loyalty finally saves the day. The posters for Shrek summed up the reason for its appeal:

“The Prince isn’t charming. The Princess isn’t sleeping. The sidekick isn’t helping. The ogre is the hero. Fairy tales will never be the same again"

We’re about to start looking at the story of David on Sundays and in our City Groups. Similar to Shrek, the story of David reminds us that God doesn’t look at outward appearances at all…He is looking at the heart to find the kind of person he can use.

The people of God asked for a king, but their choice of king (Saul) hadn’t worked out so well…so God calls Samuel to anoint the next king. You may know the story well, Jesse parades his 7 eldest sons before Samuel but none of them are God’s choice. Samuel asks in confusion if he has any other sons and Jesse confesses that there is an 8th and youngest, but he is so unimpressive that his father did not even bother to invite him to the party.

Here’s the thing…

If David’s brothers had been puny and David had been strong, then it would mean that Saul’s problem was that he was too weak for God to use.

If David had been puny and his brothers had been strong, then it would mean that Saul’s problem was that he was too strong for God to use.

However David’s brothers are strong and impressive and David “was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features” too…the difference between David and Saul was nothing to do with outward appearance at all, it was all to do with their hearts.

Australians spent $143 million on cosmetics and beauty products in the year Shrek was released…in the 8 years that followed, that figure rose more than eightfold to $1.2 billion. It appears we like the message of Shrek in theory, but we have not yet taken that message to heart.

So let’s get ready for what God wants to reveal to us as we look at David’s life. In a world where people judge one another based on what they look like on the outside, and where people prefer outward comfort to the inner training school of trials, the Lord warns us that he looks at the heart…He is looking for the pure-hearted kind of person he can use.



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