God Alone Really Knows Us

1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV) … “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 sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”


Before the guests sat down to enjoy the fellowship feast, Samuel looked over seven of Jesse’s sons, thinking that the whole family was there, but he was operating by sight and not by faith.


We don’t know what Samuel’s two sons looked like, but we do know that their father admired men who were handsome and well-built. Samuel had already forgotten this mistake he made about Saul (9:2; 10:23–24). David was the eighth son and only six of his brothers are named in Scripture: Eliab, the firstborn; Abinadab, the second; Shimea, the third, also called Shammah; Nethanel, or Nathaniel, the fourth; Raddai, the fifth; and Ozem, the sixth (1 Chron. 2:13–15). David is called the seventh in this genealogy, but 1 Samuel 16:10–11 makes it clear that he was the eighth and youngest son.


Apparently one brother died without issue and his name dropped out of the genealogy. David also had two sisters: Zeruiah was the mother of Abishai, Joab, and Asahel; and Abigail, who was the mother of Amasa (1 Chron. 2:16–17). All of these men played important roles in David’s kingdom.


No doubt there was no family in Bethlehem that could boast having seven such brothers, men of strength and stature, and yet none of them was God’s chosen king! Samuel may have looked at their faces and forms, but the Lord examined their hearts. God alone can search the human heart and know what a person’s motives really are (1 Chron. 28:9; Jer. 17:10; Rom. 8:27; Heb. 4:12).[1]




[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (2001). Be successful (p. 87). Colorado Springs, CO: Victor/Cook Communications.

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