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God Looks on the Heart

In reading Samuel again, I was struck by something I hadn’t thought of before.

In chapter 16, when God tells Samuel to go anoint a new king, we are told that Samuel looked at Jesse’s firstborn and said, “Surely God’s anointed is standing right here.”  God told Samuel that He had rejected Eliab because God looks on the heart, not the outside as man does.

We’ve heard that before.

What hit me is who God was speaking to:  Samuel.  This is the guy who had served in God’s presence since he was a child.  He heard the voice of God as a youngster and became established as a prophet in Israel.  Scripture even says that “God did not let his words fall to the ground.”

Now, as a much older man, he had walked with God for many, many years.  He had delivered messages of instruction, judgment, reproof and blessing.  He had served as a judge over Israel for a lifetime.

Yet this man is the one who looks on the outside appearance of Jesse’s firstborn and assumes that this strapping young man obviously is the one God will choose as the new king.

It just reminded me how frail we are.  We’re never to experienced, wise or established that we cannot learn at the feet of the Master.

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