21st Day – It’s the heart that counts
The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. — 1 Samuel 16:7
God alone is the king of Israel, but the people of Israel at that time asked God to anoint a human king to rule them. Samuel was really disappointed and furious. He warned them against all the disasters that a human king will bring to his people but they turned a deaf ear to him. So having given all the warnings, God granted their request by the anoint of the first king of Israel—King Saul.
However, the first kingship of Isreal was a failure. King Saul walked away from God and did what is evil in the eyes of God. So God rejected Saul and he was about to anoint a new king. He told Samuel that “I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king………You are to anoint for me the one I indicate” (1 Samuel 16:1-3). So Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, he saw Eliab, son of Jesse and he began to think, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” (1 Samuel 16:6)
I believe Eliab must be a man with outstanding appearance that made Samuel believe he was the anointed. However, God spoke to Samuel in verse 7, “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” In fact, God raised the youngest son of Jesse’s—King David who later became a faithful servant of God.
Bible have said this for many times that God looks at the hearts. Once in the history of Israel there exists a group of people called Pharisees. They were zealous about God and followed all the laws and regulations that Moses received from God. Apart from that, they even invented hundreds more to obey so that they believe they would be able to earn God’s grace. They were regarded as the model of the society, the people with high moral reputations. But God doesn’t justify them because the motivation of them doing all these great deeds was selfish.
People used to look at the appearance rather than the heart. Today, we look at the outcome more often than motivation. However, God never changes. He looked at the heart 3000 years ago, he still looks at the heart right now at this moment. As his children, we value what he values. So in everything we do, we must put our heart right first.