“People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
While Saul was still king over Israel, God sent the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem. At God’s instruction Samuel was to fill his horn with oil and go anoint a new king – a son of Jesse. Samuel was not initially told by God that Jesse had eight sons or which son he was to anoint. So when Samuel saw Eliab, Jesse’s oldest son who was tall and good looking in appearance, Saul thought he had found the right man for the job.
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
“but the LORD looks at the heart.” Judging by this statement, God was telling Samuel that Eliab’s heart was not right with God. What Eliab looked like on the outside did not matter to God. So Samuel continued to have Jesse’s six other sons pass before him, none of which the Lord chose. Samuel then asked Jesse, “Are these all the son’s you have?”
Jesse told Samuel his youngest son was out tending sheep. So Samuel had the shepherd sent for and they all stood until he arrived. That young shepherd’s name was David. And although the Bible tells us David was in fact “glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features”, it was not his good looks God was after. Truly it was David’s heart for God that positioned him to be Israel’s next king.
…and his (Solomon) heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. (emphasis added) 1 Kings 11:4
We can understand from the stories of David in scripture that as David grew from a shepherd boy and the youngest of Jesse’s eight sons, his heart remained with God. And God being God who knows all things knew this to be true. God sought David out because David’s heart was aligned with God.
This story should inspire us to align our hearts with God. Why? Because when we open our hearts even the slightest bit to God, He rushes in and flows through us. Our bodies are warmed by Him, nourished by Him; He provides the life that sustains us. And because of the blood Jesus poured out for us, our life is promised as eternal.
Our God who created the inner workings of our hearts can not be fooled by outward appearances.
And Jesus, God in the flesh, can not be fooled either.“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Matthew 23:25
In Jesus’ time the Pharisees were committed to obeying all their religious laws. They made efforts to boldly display their religious practices for Israel to see, yet Jesus saw something deeper. He knew their acts were ignited with selfish intent. Outwardly their actions appeared righteous, but like the brothers of David, their hearts exposed their true selves to Jesus.
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. Even David, God’s choice for Israel’s king committed adultery and murder. But thankfully David came to God in prayer, just as we can too. God listens to our words through a stethoscope as we speak. Every time we confess, apologize and repent – God forgives and accepts.
And like the Pharisees, when we “act” by putting forth false actions, Christ knows. Jesus, the Judge of the living and the dead, He knows.
Inviting God into your heart is the only true reason Christian hearts beat. Offer your heart to God – TODAY!
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