1 Samuel 16:1–11
16 And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.
3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
4 And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.
7 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.
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
God saw in David the quality of humility. The Lord had gone to the home of Jesse in spirit form. Jesse didn’t know God was there. Nobody did. God was on a secret surveillance mission in that home, and he spotted Jesse’s youngest son and said, in effect, “That’s My man!”
Why? Because, as we saw before, the Lord saw in David a heart that was completely His. The boy was faithfully keeping his father’s sheep. God saw humility: He saw a servant’s heart. If you want further confirmation of this, go to the Psalms: “I have found David My servant; With My holy oil I have anointed him” (Psalm 89:20).
It’s as if God says, “I don’t care about all that slick public image business. Show me a person who has the character, and I’ll give him all the image he needs. I don’t require some certain temperament, I don’t care if he has a lot of charisma, I don’t care about size, I don’t care about an impressive education or résumé. I care about character! First, is the person deeply authentic in his or her spiritual walk or is he faking it? And second, is he or she a servant?”
When you have a servant’s heart, you’re humble. You do as you’re told. You don’t rebel. You respect those in charge. You serve faithfully and quietly without concern over who gets the credit.
That’s David. God looked at David, out in the fields in the foothills surrounding Bethlehem, keeping his father’s sheep, faithfully doing his father’s bidding, and God passed His approval on him.
I repeat, a servant doesn’t care who gets the glory. Remember that. A servant has one great goal, and that is to make the person he serves look better, to make that person even more successful. A servant does not want the person he serves to fail. A servant doesn’t care who thinks what, just so the job gets done.
So while David’s brothers were off in the army making rank and fighting big, impressive battles, David was all alone keeping the sheep. God loved his servant’s heart.
A servant of God doesn’t care who gets the credit, just so the job gets done.
— Charles R. Swindoll