Riverside Community Church

A Nobody becomes a Somebody

1 Samuel 16: 1-17

I get all types of emails wanting me to open an attachment for details. The last time I did that (5-6 years ago) my entire computer froze up with a virus that cost me $500 to get rid of. It was ransom ware and they wanted me to pay a ransom in bitcoms.  I also get phone calls wanting to help me out, but in the end they are selling insurance, computer up-grades etc.  I get phone calls from a bank from a call center in India trying to get me to agree to their VISA. The phone calls at suppertime seem to be the worst.

I do get some phone calls and some emails that I just can’t decide if it’s legit or not. I think ‘if only I could see their heart’ then I could decide.

Have you ever heard of a ‘PONZI’ scheme?

Ponzi scheme;

  1. a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a nonexistent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.

Ponzi schemes are a kind of pyramid scheme which operate on the "rob Peter to pay Paul" principle. With the promise of large returns as bait, the fraudster takes in money from new investors and uses it to pay off the earlier investors until no more new recruits can be found and the whole scheme collapses, with the newest investors losing everything.

The ruse is named after Charles Ponzi, a 1920s crook who promised investors in New England a 40% return on their investment in just 90 days, compared with 5% in a savings account.

Ponzi had planned to make money by taking advantage of the difference in exchange rates between the dollar and other currencies to buy and sell international mail coupons at a profit.

His scheme was an amazing success, and by May 1920, he had made $420,000 ($5.13 million in 2017 money).

By June 1920, people had invested $2.5 million in Ponzi's scheme and by July, he was raking in a million dollars per week and rising. By the end of July, he was approaching a million dollars per day.

When the house of cards inevitably collapsed, it turned out he had only ever purchased about $30 worth of the mail coupons on which the scheme was based.

If only people could have seen through the facade and have seen Ponzi’s heart. If they could have seen the heart they wouldn’t have lost millions.

1 Samuel 16:1-13 (NIV)

16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

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.”

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.


Two things I glean from this passage of the Bible and in particular from that single statement from God People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1)   Go to God, let God lead you whenever you come into a situation when you can’t see the heart, the heart of someone, or the heart of the circumstance.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do, when you can’t see

Go to God and let Him lead.

Can you imagine what would have happened if Samuel choose Eliab and not David

 No Psalms, maybe no Israel, the Saviour was to come from the root of David


There are some things I just don’t understand,

There are some things I just can’t come to grip with,

Sometimes I look out at people and say WHAT,

And sometimes I look out at the world and say WHY.

Why me God, why this situation: Why this tribulation, why this uncertainty

Why can’t I see what to do. Why I’m lost in the desert, I’m searching for the answer, but I’m lost. Why won’t the fog lift so I can see my way, Why won’t the sun rise & bring light to my path.


What do you do when you don’t know what to do, when you can’t see:

Go to God and let Him lead.


Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.



2)  Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart 

God knows your heart

God knows your heart, your motivations, your words, your deeds, your pain, your weaknesses, your sins, your hopes, your joys, how you look when you wake up.

God knows JUST EVERYTHING, about you, your heart

From scripture we read what God said

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart,”

God knows our hearts.


1)   We need to be honest with God, not hiding, not rationalizing, not thinking He doesn’t know

There is great freedom in knowing that God’s knows all about you and still loves you and wants a relationship with you. IN FACT, if want your relationship with God to grow it starts with honesty in this relationship and then trust.


So when you find yourself not knowing what do you do in a puzzling circumstance, when you can’t see the heart. Go to God and let Him lead.

Psalm 37:5 (NIV)

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:  
He will guide you


2)  Because God knows your heart

Let God work on your heart

Don’t try to change your heart ask God to change it, to change you.

David wrote

Psalm 51:10

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.


We also read

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately wicked: who can know it?


Who can know it?                GOD knows the heart.

God knows our hearts are deceitful, we deceive ourselves often and that’s why we need the God who knows our hearts, can change us and who can create a new heart and a God who can lead us when we don’t know what to do.


Is there anything you need to admit to God, to be honest with Him about you?

Are you in a confusing situation and you don’t know what to do?

Are you dealing with a person and you can’t see their heart?


Go to God, let Him lead you. He already knows and He is just waiting for you to ask. Go to God in prayer, ask God, and then listen, wait for Him to lead.

God leads by a still small voice inside of us, by helping us understand. Just go.