Can you imagine an individual in an exclusive art gallery approaching a da Vinci, van Gogh, or Picasso masterpiece and start squawking about how beautiful the frame around the masterpiece is? I am sure that your thoughts are like mine, “how foolish, how silly to even imagine such a thing!” Do you realize that most of us do this very thing in our personal lives? We focus on the frame and not the Masterpiece everyday of our life.
The following Biblical story hopefully will help make my point. The Jews in the Old Testament persistently cried out to God for a king to be selected. They wanted to be ruled like other countries around them rather than the current theocracy that God had designed. Because of their relentless cries, God allowed it. He directed Samuel, the Chief Justice, to search for a king, and he selected Saul to rule the Jews. Physically, Saul had it all. 1 Samuel 9:2 states it this way, “Saul (was) as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.” He had it all, good looks, physical stature with magnetic charisma. The bad news is that Saul’s heart was not in tune with God. Samuel grieved Saul’s failure, yet God told him to select the next king after Saul and where to find him.
One of the sons in the house of Jesse located in Bethlehem would be the next king. Reluctantly, Samuel headed that way to interview each of the sons. God instructed him “to anoint for me the one I indicate.” Jesse started parading his sons before Samuel. Eliab, his oldest, was a super impressive guy. Samuel was convinced, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” Like Saul, here was another handsome, charismatic man who looked the part. This time God scolded Saul and made a huge point, “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. 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. Let me restate this for you, Samuel looked at the frame (his appearance), but God looked at the Masterpiece…his heart. All of Jesse’s sons except the youngest were paraded in front of Samuel. None of these were acceptable to God. Finally, they had to fetch the youngest son who was out in the fields with the sheep. Once, Samuel saw David, God told him to “Rise and anoint him; this is the one. So, Samuel anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David.” David was a young man who out in the shepherd fields under the stars had developed a heart for God with whom God could paint a masterpiece. His heart was spiritually full and sensitive and was precious to God.
David wrote in Psalms 13:5&6, “I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me.” He wrote in Psalms 15:2, “Walk blamelessly and do what is right and speak truth in your heart.” These verses from the heart of David are Masterpieces.
Let’s change our focus. Rather than our priority being our appearance, let’s give our hearts to the Lord and allow Him to build a marvelous Masterpiece in our lives.