Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. — Luke 2:11 (NIV)
A few days ago, a baby girl has been born to my friends – Joshua and Hannah. To them, Samantha (the baby girl) is the most precious thing in this world. Imaging the joy and happiness they have when they hold their new born baby in their hands …
About 2011 years ago, a beautiful baby was born at the most humble place (a stable) in the town of Bethlehem, a town of David. His name is Christ. He is a no ordinary baby, not only to his Mom and Dad but also to the whole world: 1) His birth was prophesied by the prophet Micah hundreds of years ago. 2) Before the birth of Christ, three wise men from the far east started to follow the star appointing to his birth place. 3)At the night when Christ was born, the angels were singing in the night sky, telling the shepherds what a great thing has happened. 4) A Virgin birth, the baby is born of the HOLY SPIRIT, not of a sinful man.
This is NOT just a Christmas story, this is the truth – A SAVIOUR has been born to you and to me! “He is GREATER THAN any rulers, HE RULES THE WORLD with THE POWER OF LOVE, NOT THE LOVE OF POWER.” The greatest love of our heavenly father for us starts from this moment on …
I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will never take my love away from him, as I took it away from your predecessor. I will set him over my house and my kingdom for ever; his throne will be established for ever. — 1 Chronicles 17:13-14 (NIV)
That’s what the Lord has promised David when he asked the Lord to bless his son Solomon who would succeed to the throne. David is a faithful servant of God and God walked with him all through his kingship. David wasn’t a sinless saint, he had sometimes done what is evil in the eyes of God, but everytime he repented and took the punishment. God forgave him and even calls David as the ‘man after his heart’ because of his faithfulness. David knew that all he had came from God.He knew the kingdom of Israel cannot live without the blessing of God. So when he was about to die, what he concerned for the most was God’s promise of being the father of his son solomon. There wasn’t anything more important than knowing Solomon would be taken care of as the son of the Lord. And God gave him the promise.
But here God doesn’t just talk about King Solomon, he is talking about the other son of David—Jesus. “A Messiah will be born in the line of David”, that’s the prophecy of the birth of Jesus. In the beginning of the book of Matthew, it records a genealogy of Jesus the Messiah. There is 28 generations from David to the Messiah. The kingdom of Israel no longer exists, but that doesn’t mean God has broken his promise. The throne of his one and only son Jesus has been established for ever.
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.