Daily Devotional

September 20, 2016

God Looks On the Heart

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7

Once I attended a church service in which the preacher came to the pulpit intending to speak about appearances. He looked well put together that day—a good suit, matching shoes, hair in place—everything one would expect from a minister. However, he took off his suit jacket to reveal a giant hole in the back of his dress shirt, and sleeves which had been burned to the point that the shirt had become short-sleeved. He took off his shoes and showed socks full of holes. His point, which has stayed with me for years now, was that appearances can be deceitful.

In today’s focus verse, God was instructing Samuel about choosing Israel’s new king. Jesse presented the sons whom he believed had the most “potential,” but God told Samuel not to let outward appearances be a deciding factor in choosing His anointed one. As a shepherd boy, David was an unlikely king. Even though he was not the largest or most striking of his brothers, God knew David loved and trusted Him, and that was what mattered.

Being human, it is easy for us to look at others and, just by their appearances, decide what kind of people we think they are. However, appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes what looks good on the outside is just the opposite inside, and what seems commonplace is actually exceptional. Because outward attributes do not always reflect what is in the heart—which is what really matters—we must not judge others by what we see. We are simply to love and show kindness to every person we meet, knowing Jesus died for them, too. That makes each one very precious.

How thankful we are that God looks deeper than we do! He knows the thoughts and intents of every heart. He knows our strong points and our weak points, and He wants to help us grow in our faith. If we pray and ask the Lord, He will help us see others at a level deeper than just the exterior.

Dear Jesus, Thank You for loving me. Help me this day to show someone the love You have shown to me.