Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Does God like the look of your heart?

"The youngest one was out keeping the herd"
From "L'ancien testament",  Lucile Butel illustrator

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 16:1-23

TO CHEW ON: "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature because I have refused him. For 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

The Oscar Awards are a big night for appearance-driven Hollywood. After award night, social and mainstream media is full of comments about what people wore, how they handled themselves, who was well-spoken and who not. I wonder what God would have said to Samuel about that affair.

Actually, Samuel himself was prone to judge by appearances, thinking surely Jesse's handsome son Eliab must be God's choice, or Abinadab, or Shammah. But no. Each good-looking man was passed over until there were none left and Samuel had to get Jesse to call young David from sheep-herding.

What was the secret of David's heart that made it acceptable to God? Paul refers to this incident in Acts 13 where he says, "He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said 'I have found David the son of Jesse a man after my own heart, who will do all my will'" - Acts 13:22).

It was the willingness to do, the obedience factor, that God valued in David, and the disobedience in Saul that caused God to reject him (1 Samuel 15:20-23).

It is still an essential ingredient God looks for in people. Obeying God:
  • is the key to prosperity and success (Joshua 1:8).
  • is the basis on which we call God our God (Jeremiah 7:23).
  • is our pass into the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 7:21).
  • gives us the privilege of being part of God's family (Luke 8:21).
  • trumps our loyalty and obedience to people (sometimes even the laws of the land) (Acts 5:29).
  • demonstrates that we love God (2 John 1:6).

Every time I read this story, I come away asking, What would be God's verdict on my heart? What about yours?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to see myself as You see me. Also, please give me insight into others and a heart that values the things that You value above outward appearances. Amen.

MORE: "To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice" - Keith Green

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