When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” 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.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7
God chose David because he was a man after His own heart. He did not choose him by chance. He sought out a man with that kind of heart until He found one (1 Samuel 13: 14). So why did God choose Saul?
1 Samuel 10:23-24 gives us the answer.
Then they ran and took him from there. And when he stood among the people, he was taller than any of the people from his shoulders upward. And Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”
God chose someone who would impress the people. He chose a man they will follow despite the hardness of their heart. Impressed, they were, but God was not.
God sought and sought until He found someone who impressed Him. God knew that people would not be impressed by his appearance. Seriously, David could not even walk with an armor. Who would follow a king like him? No one. (1 Samuel 17:32-39).
But God had a plan. It was not about David capacities or abilities. It was all about David’s heart. For David had a heart that God could use and mold, and change and do whatever He wanted with. Goliath was not impressed and God used David to kill him (1 Samuel 17:42). Remember, David came to him in the name of the God of armies. He did not trust his strength and his agility, He trusted God. He was a man God took pleasure in.
So and Saul? The story Saul is an example of what happens when we look on the outward appearance to make a decision, when we do not see as the Lord sees. But now we know and can choose to do differently. Let’s not forget that even the Lord Jesus had nothing to attract us (Isaiah 53:2)