July 10, 2019
In today's Old Testament reading, God tells Samuel that "the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). In context, the prophet Samuel has gone to the town of Bethlehem because God has told him to anoint one of Jesse the Bethlehemite's sons as king over Israel. Jesse's first son, Eliab, looks like a great king - strong, tall, handsome - but God has his eyes on another son, David. Samuel had earlier prophesied that God would choose "a man after his own heart" (13:14), and it appears that David, despite his flaws and later mistakes, had the heart God desired.
This story reminds me of Jesus' words to the church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:23, "I am the one who searches minds and hearts." This truth can be both comforting and terrifying. Sometimes we don't even know what's going on in our own hearts or understand why certain thoughts swirl around in our minds. Yet God knows us better than we know ourselves and still loves us. As you enter into prayer today, take some time to slow down and ask God to show you what he sees in your own heart. Take comfort and encouragement in the good things God reveals. If the Lord shows you something that's not like his heart, ask him to change it, to make your heart more like his own, filled with love, purity, and joy.
Grace and Peace,