6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”
7 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.”
I Samuel 16:6-7
I needed this reminder this morning. How about you?
God has sent Samuel out to anoint a newly appointed king to replace King Saul. Samuel enters into the home of Jesse, to find which of Jesse’s seven sons God would have him to anoint. As he enters in Samuel’s eyes behold Eliab, and from the physical appearance of this young man Samuel determines that this must be God’s chosen one. However, the Lord is very direct and clear with Samuel. “People look at superficial and visible things, but I am more interested in the eternal and invisible things… what is in a man’s heart!” (Jesse’s Paraphrase)
How often do we too look at the outward appearance of things? I am guilty. I often look at myself and think how small and insignificant my appearance is, how small and insignificant my presence is. I also am guilty sometimes of seeing others through the eyes of a man, rather than viewing them as God sees them. We can see other people’s hearts, by listening to their words and being around them. Matthew 15:18 tells us that, “the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart.”
Daily I am working to teach English to a group of 135 students here in Guatemala that many would overlook. They don’t come from the best situations. Many are orphaned, and some have been abused and abandoned. In fact, I think a worldly perspective toward these children is that they don’t really matter. Too bad. Bad luck. Unfortunate circumstances. But as I work with each of them, I am praying to have more of God’s eyes and sight to look at them and see their hearts. These precious children have so much potential for a bright future. These are the change makers, the earth shakers, the death breakers. These children, though small in appearance, stature, and life circumstance are just the ones I believe God would and does choose to make ‘kings and queens’!!
I praise God that He sees hearts! We all are sinners, and none have a perfect heart. But God looks in and sees the genuine hearts, the devoted hearts, the hearts of love… and these are the ones He uses most mightily for His glory! I am soooooo glad that God does not just see my appearance, nor my many sins, but that He also looks much deeper within me. God sees my heart, and sees the very best in me! He sees your heart, and He sees the very best in you. I pray that He will help you and me to become more like Him. Let us see the best in others, even when and though none are perfect! Let’s ask God to help us to see hearts of others… without judgement or condemnation, but rather to see the best potential that people have!