But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” (1Samuel 16:7).
We have a tendency to look at things, and people, from the outward appearances. The nation Israel had assessed their new king, Saul, by what they could see.
Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish… 2 He had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people, (1 Samuel 9:1-2).
But Saul’s stature and good looks were not the LORD’s criteria, and did nothing to secure his position before God.
Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel?” (16:1).
The LORD sees not as we see and He sees what we can’t; for He Looks at the Heart.
Consider Him Who Looks at the Heart
“She has such a good heart,” is a comment we’ve all heard or perhaps said ourselves. However the LORD sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart; and what He sees is anything but good.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
10 I, the Lord, search the heart,
I test the mind,” (Jeremiah 17:9-10).
How do we respond to Him Who Looks at the Heart?
It can all feel so hopeless… where is the cure for the heart so desperately sick?
The cure is in Christ alone.
…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation, (Romans 10:10).
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17).
A new heart does not however equal perfection. When we think about David, the man after God’s own heart, we know he was far from perfect. The LORD is looking for hearts who recognize and understand their only hope “is Christ in you, the hope of glory,”(Colossians 1:27).
When we place our faith in Him, He Who Looks at the Heart transforms our hearts to see and know Him.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” (Matthew 5:8),
…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God, (Ephesians 3:17).
May He Who Looks at the Heart transform us through the blood of Jesus, the work of His Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
- The Blood of Jesus
- In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, (Ephesians 1:7).
- …knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ, (1 Peter 1:18-19).
- The Holy Spirit
- … and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us, (Romans 5:5).
- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.… 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; (Galatians 5:16, 22).
- The Word of God
- Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You, (Psalm 119:11).
- For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart, (Hebrews 4:12).
- Your word I have treasured in my heart,
Let us live in gratitude for His creative work in our hearts by the precious blood of Jesus as we depend upon His Holy Spirit to work through His Word, that we would “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind,” (Romans 12:2).
Let us daily pray and ask Him Who Looks at the Heart to transform us, that we would guard our hearts as we seek Him in His Word, and thereby grow in faith to love Him with all our hearts.
- Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer, (Psalm 19:14).
- Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding, (Proverbs 3:5).
- Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life, (Proverbs 4:23).
- As in water face reflects face,
So the heart of man reflects man, (Proverbs 27:19).
- “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart,” (Jeremiah 29:13).
- “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:21).
- “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment,” (Matthew 22:37-38).
- Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4).