Sunday, September 14, 2008

Man looks on the outside, but God looks on the heart

Our Children's Ministry leader has often said "You'll never miss something God has for you because you're working with the kids." That is soooo true.

Case and point:

Last week's lesson was on Samuel annointing David king. God sent Samuel, always the good listener to God, to Jesse's house to annoint one of his eight sons king, under the guise of offering a sacrifice to God. So Jesse lines up the seven oldest, and Samuel goes down the line..."Ah, surely the eldest is the one." Nope, says God. "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 16:6-7; The kids sang an awesome song with the last part of the verse.)

Keep going. How about the second? Nope. Third? Nope. Fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh? Nope, nope, nope, nope.

Are you sure you don't have any other sons, Jesse?

Oh yeah, David is out watching the sheep. Hold on a minute (or an hour) while I send someone to get him.

David wasn't even on Jesse's radar screen as important enough to participate in the sacrifice--someone has to stay with the sheep. But that's exactly who God chose to lead His people.

Huh. It wasn't until I started preparing this week's lesson on David and Goliath that it hit me, that passage is relevant to me too. When David came to the battle, his older brothers scoffed him for voyerism. And when he went up to fight, both Saul and Goliath wondered why in the world God was sending a boy to do a man's job.

By outward appearances, he wasn't qualified to do the job. But David knew whose battle it really was--something that no one else seemed to realize.

Have you ever been in the situation where the new kid on the block becomes the teacher's pet? Or someone younger than you is put in authority over you? Or someone who doesn't seem qualified, either in training or experience, is put in a position that doesn't seem right, especially when there are more qualified and better trained people available? Or the new employee is promoted before someone who has paid their dues?

It sets off my "it's not fair!" alarms.

And God says, "You're looking at the wrong things. You can't see the heart."

Totally convicting.

Forgive me, Lord, for forgetting that you're the one who puts people in authority. Thanks that you see the heart, not just outward appearances like looks, degrees, and experience. Help us trust your decisions and pray for our leaders.


Kim said...

Ooohh. Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing Ann!

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

We talked about this a bit today in Bible study. We cannot know what is in a person's heart. They may not conform to what we expect of them spiritually. But what matters is the heart relationship they have with God.

Great reminder!

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