A reading from the First Book of Samuel
(Chapter 16:1,6, 6-7, 10-13a)
Saul had been chosen to be the first ruler of the united Israelite kingdom. He was anointed by Samuel, but then God rejected Saul because of his disobedience. Israel needed a new king, and God had chosen one of Jesse’s seven mature sons. All seven were presented to Samuel, and all seven were rejected. Then Samuel asked Jesse if he had any other sons, and Jesse presented David, who was only a teen. He was the one that God chose. God said, “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart.”
How do you and I see? Do we judge by appearances, or do we look into the heart of each person and not judge them superficially? Our society seems to judge mostly by appearances: “the beautiful people” and the rich and famous receive most of the media attention and accolades. We know that is wrong, but it is easy to become seduced by the appearances and wealth of the “stars” of entertainment, politics, sports, and business and miss the depth of the persons in our midst who are truly genuine if not glamorous.
“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” Jesus called himself “The Good Shepherd”. The term shepherd in his time was a symbol for extreme caring. The shepherd endured the heat of the day and the cold of night as well as the dangers of the dessert and the mountains. That kind of dedication is how Jesus cares for us today but we need to accept his care that is always there even when we do not feel it.