Looking at looks?
But the LORD said to Samuel, “…the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
Samuel was an extremely spiritual man. The Lord had spoken to him as a young boy, he had served in priestly functions throughout his adolescence, and as he matured into manhood, it became clear his commitment to and communion with the Almighty was second to none. If there were such a thing as spiritual rank, Samuel would have been a five-star general. Yet even Samuel had to learn the lesson set before us now.
God sent Samuel to the house of a man named Jesse and told him that one of Jesse’s sons should be anointed as the new King of Israel. Jesse had several sons, but when Samuel saw the son named Eliab, he thought surely this was the young man destined to become King.
Just as Samuel says to himself, “This has got to be the guy!” God interrupts him and essentially says, “Samuel, you’re impressed with the appearance of this young man, but that’s not how I see things. I look at the inside of a person, not the outside!”
Remember, Samuel was a godly man, and yet he still fell into the all-too-human trap of focusing on a person’s looks rather than on the heart. He was easily swayed by what he saw, and so are we.
“But the Lord” always looks beyond the outward packaging to what’s inside. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t base things on what you look like but instead zeroes in on what’s going on deep inside your soul? Aren’t you glad He sees you for who you truly are?
May God help us avoid the temptation to judge a person based on his or her looks. Instead, may we make it our priority to see past outward appearances and take the time to get to know the heart.
Think About It…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?