Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

“God Sees the Heart”

Categories: Congregational Bible Reading

BIBLE READING: 1 Samuel 16

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”” (1 Samuel 16.7)

What’s the first thing you notice when you meet someone? The clothes they have on? The way they fix their hair? The demeanor on their face? Naturally we form opinions based on what we see and what we think that means. But those things can be wrong and even deceiving.

When Israel asked for a king God gave them someone who looked the part. Saul was tall and handsome (1 Samuel 9.2). He courageously rallied the people and drove back the enemy (1 Samuel 11.1-11). But the honeymoon ended, and he was not the leader they thought he would be. To make things worse, God had rejected Saul because of his disobedience (1 Samuel 13.14; 15.26).

Our first introduction to David is a contrast to Saul. David was young and untested with the people. He was the youngest in his house (1 Samuel 17.14). When Samuel was sent to anoint a new king, Jesse didn’t even call him in from the field (1 Samuel 16.11). David was an afterthought because he didn’t look the part. But God saw much more in David than met the eye.

A couple of key takeaways:

  1. Be careful how you judge others. It is not those who look the part that will always work in your best interest. “Judge with righteous judgment” (John 7.24), meaning learn to see circumstances and others how God sees them and not simply by what feels or appears correct. On the other side of that coin, don’t write someone off because they aren’t what you expect. Consider Luke 7.44-47. God cares about the heart, and it takes time for you to see that in a person.

  2. Consider what God sees in you. He is not concerned with your social status. He doesn’t care what others say about you or how you are perceived by others. Before him, we are “naked, exposed” (Hebrews 4.13). God is concerned with who you truly are. But not only that he cares what you are becoming. David was not a proven warrior, but God had prepared him for the moment (1 Samuel 17.34-37). In the same way, we will face no situation we can’t manage and overcome by the grace of God (1 Corinthians 10.13; 2 Corinthians 1.9; 12.9-10).

At first glance Saul should have been the success story; but it is David’s intangible qualities that put him in the spotlight and propelled him to success. Although imperfect throughout his life, David’s heart was aligned with the LORD (1 Samuel 13.14). No one could see that except God; but God would elevate David and his kingdom eternally because of these things.