“Do not look at his appearance, or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
You know, we have been conditioned to expect God to behave toward us the same way as our parents, friends, or spouses.
For example, if our parents’ love for us was mostly conditional instead of unconditional, we expect God will hold the same standard toward us. If we value ourselves based on our appearance or achievements, we assume God’s opinion of us is also based on those things.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
First and foremost, God is a heart watcher. Today’s scripture verse reminds us of this, as God chose the tender, righteous heart of David above the hearts of his brothers, and anointed him King. Psalm 103:13-14 further states that God’s compassionate heart considers and “knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust.” Thank goodness God NEVER judges us the way we judge ourselves; rather, He applies His gracious and righteous nature to consideration of all our trials, and His arms are continually outstretched in hope of reconciliation with us through the pardon provided by Christ’s death and resurrection.
Therefore, we should never fear that God will automatically punish us when we've sinned. (Rev. 2:21) We should never run away from Him, fearing reprisal and rejection; rather, it is critical that we know and believe God wants to talk things out with us when we've rebelled against Him. We should always run to Him in repentance, believing that He wants to hear as well as heal us:
“Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
The desire to reason and reconcile still burns within God’s heart for us today.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
(Originally published May 2, 2013)