The LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
The Lord looks at the Heart
Samuel had a difficult task before him. He was to go and anoint a new king because the current king, Saul, had abandoned the Lord. So the Lord told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse. There he would anoint the next king of Israel. So Samuel went and when he saw Jesse’s oldest son, he was impressed and thought that this fine looking young man would be the next king. That is when the Lord rebuked him with the words that our Bible devotion is focusing on today.
It is so easy to do the same thing as Samuel. It is easy to look at the appearance and make our judgments based on what we see. We can do the same thing when it comes to our relationship with God. We can look at what we do, or what we say, and begin to think to ourselves that we aren’t all that bad; especially when we compare ourselves to other people. Except “the LORD does not look at the things man looks at…the LORD looks at the heart.” In human hearts he sees a pool of selfish, self-centered sin. He sees hearts that want to dwell on themselves over everything else.
Because God saw sin-filled hearts, he determined that he was going to send his Son to take care of that problem. So Jesus came into the world to remove the sin that was inside our hearts. He did so by using his blood to wash our dirty hearts and make them pure. Then Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts as the Spirit plants and nurtures the faith that trust in Jesus. So also Jesus sends his Holy Spirit into your heart through his Word. As you trust in Jesus’ cleansing blood for your sinful heart, the Holy Spirit continues to nurture your faith by the power of the gospel.
Samuel’s trip to Jesse’s family was not in vain. The very last son of Jesse was a boy named David. As the Lord looked into David’s heart, he saw a boy who trusted in his Lord and loved him with all his heart. This is what the Lord was looking for, so he had Samuel anoint David as the next king of Israel. As the Lord looks into our hearts, may he also find hearts that trust in our Savior Jesus and are filled with love for him.
Jesus, your precious blood cleanses me of all sin. With the pure heart that you created in me, give me the ability to trust you in all things and love you above all things. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.