Scripture Reading: I Samuel 16:1-13
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7b)
God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a new king that He had selected for Himself (v. 1). Bethlehem was a special place. It was the home town of David and the birthplace of the greater David, Jesus Christ. Samuel was instructed to go to the family of Jesse. Jesse’s sons were brought before him (vs. 6-10). None of them was identified as God’s choice for king.
Samuel was confused and so he asked, “‘Do you have other children?'” Jesse replied, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping sheep'” (v. 11). God identified the youngest son, David, as the one God had chosen to be king.
The key verse in the passage is — “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart” (I Samuel 16:7b). Most often we evaluate others by the way they look or by their achievements — physical appearance, wealth and social position, intelligence and education, etc. But the Lord is not impressed by these things, for He looks not on the outward appearance but on the inside of a person; He looks at the heart.
The heart in Scripture means far more than the internal organ that pumps blood. The heart is the very essence of our lives. It is the source of our motives, the seat of our passions, the center of our thought processes, and the spring of our conscience.
We are told in the Bible that God searches the heart (Jeremiah 17:10), and that the heart is deceitful and desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9). But the good news of the gospel is that God gives us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:24-28). He does this when He regenerates us. Our new heart enables us to love God and to desire His will for our lives.
Above all, God wants us to have a heart that seeks after His own heart — “The Lord has sought out a man after His own heart…” (13:14). That is what God saw in David and that is what He wants to see in us.
What does God see in your heart? Are you a person who seeks after the heart of God? God searches our hearts. He knows the condition of our hearts. What does He see in your heart?
O God, give me a heart for You. Forgive me when my heart goes after other loves. I desire to give my heart to You and to love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
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