“When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” 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 16:6-7
What we see with our eyes can be very convincing. What we see, therefore, leads us to action. Like Samuel, we may take what we see and globalize our impression to the entire person, the entire situation. We considered last week that God’s ways aren’t our ways. His paths are foreign to us. He teaches us and leads us in them. God’s thoughts aren’t our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Here, we find God teaching His servant, Samuel, to be wise and discerning in his judgment of Eliab.
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” The heart is of vital importance, not only for us to stay alive and ticking, but it’s of great spiritual importance as well. From it flow the springs of life (Proverbs 4:23). From it’s abundance the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). The condition of one’s heart, before the Lord, has temporal and eternal significance. It’s on the heart of men and women that God’s gaze is upon.
Though we may try to keep up appearances, so that our lives look clean and tidy, what is true in our hearts is often much different. We’re just hanging on, we’re hurting, there are things there that no one else knows. Remember this- as those who have been redeemed by the Lamb, those whose hearts of stone have been transformed to hearts of flesh, we need to recognize the gaze of our Lord and welcome it! Jesus sees. He knows. He tenderly and faithfully binds up and heals your wounds. His Spirit convicts us of our sin, draws us to repentance, and helps us get the crud out of our hearts and lives that we would serve and worship Him as we should.
We will consider more of what it means to keep our hearts next week. Grace and peace to you!