Saturday, October 17, 2009

God Looks at the Heart

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 ESV
A lesson for anyone who would make choices between individuals, whether it is for a future spouse, a business partner, or even a pastor, is to approach the decision with a desire to do the will of God and not to be caught up in the external qualities which are often deceptive.

This passage in the first book of Samuel is the opening scene in the account of the selection of David to become king of Israel.  Samuel bore the responsibility, as priest, of anointing a new king.  Provincial wisdom would have dictated that among the sons of Jesse (David's father), Samuel would have selected the eldest.  If the eldest were to be unsuitable for the appointment, the next best thing would have been the selection of the one with the greatest stature.  David was neither; instead, he was very young and apparently of modest stature, and Jesse had never considered bringing him before Samuel for consideration. 

Samuel inquired of Jesse if these present were all of his sons, to which Jesse replied that the youngest, David, was out tending sheep, not even a part of the action.  Samuel requested that David be fetched and brought before him.  The LORD said to Samuel, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he."

In God's purposes, traditional human wisdom is not sufficient.  God's purposes require searching the heart of those who would be leaders.

It is obvious from the life and kingship of David that moral perfection is not a necessity, though the ability to repent sincerely from moral failure (sin) IS important.  Qualities from which leadership is to be drawn are qualities deriving from the heart, that is, they derive from the driving forces within one's life: his motivations, his leanings, his loves and passions.  An honest appraisal of these attributes must be made if one is to seek the same qualities God seeks.

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