Let’s read 1st Samuel 16:6-7 and we’ll see the answer to your question. “So it was, when they came, that he LOOKED AT ELIAB and said, ‘Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.’ But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘DO NOT LOOK AT HIS APPEARANCE OR AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS STATURE, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for MAN LOOKS AT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Samuel was a godly man but in this instance he made a big mistake by “looking at the outward appearance of Eliab” and thinking “this must be the Lord’s anointed.” Obviously Eliab was a “manly man” (as people say); one who was tall and handsome, and Samuel fell into the trap of making a judgment based solely on his appearance. So, the Lord had to rebuke him and inform him that it is NOT “the outward appearance” that matters, but “the heart.” The Lord cares infinitely more about the state of one’s heart than the state of their physique!

Samuel surely should have known this from past experience. Why do I say this? Let’s read 1st Samuel 9:1-2, “There was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish…and he had a CHOICE and HANDSOME son whose name was Saul. There was NOT A MORE HANDSOME PERSON THAN HE among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward HE WAS TALLER THAN ANY OF THE PEOPLE.” Now let’s read 1st Samuel 13:13-14, “And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself A MAN AFTER HIS OWN HEART, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” In short, Saul was Israel’s first king and the people admired him because he was HANDSOME and TALLER THAN ANY OF THE PEOPLE.  In other words, they thought he would make the perfect king based solely on HIS LOOKS! But he proved to be an ungodly man who disobeyed the Lord’s commandments and thus God had Samuel announce to him that he would be replaced by another man, “a man after God’s own heart.” Of course, this “man” was David, who was not known for being “more handsome and taller than any of the people,” but his “heart was right with God” and that was God’s main requirement for one to be a king. This is a lesson for all of us NOT to put such a high premium on one’s “outward appearance,” but rather to consider their “heart’s condition.” Are they a God-fearing person who desires to obey and glorify God? This is what truly counts with God and this is the “man” He will choose for public service.

Before I close, it is interesting to note that King David is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who will one day reign over Israel and the whole world as the “Son of David” (see 2nd Samuel 7:12-13; Matthew 1:1; Luke 2:25-32; Revelation 5:5; 19:11-16; 20:4-6; 22:16). Yet just as the children of Israel chose  a king based on a man’s “outward appearance,” so they rejected Jesus as their Messiah when He came the first time because “He has NO FORM OR COMELINESS and when we see Him, there is NO BEAUTY THAT WE SHOULD DESIRE HIM” (Isaiah 53:2). “He is despised and rejected by men….He came unto His own, and His own received Him not” (Isaiah 53:3 along with John 1:11). What a sad commentary on the heart of man! But to the true believer in Christ, “He is altogether lovely” (Song of Songs 5:18). His “moral beauty” is beyond compare and He is, in every way possible, “a Man after God’s own heart.”  (429.5)  (DO)