God and Country
March 30-April 5,2003
God Looks at the Heart
Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva
How do you know if a person is fit for the job?
It must have been a tough job to look over the credentials of each nominee and choose the right one among them.
Samuel, the last judge of Israel in the Old Testament had faced the same difficult task. When the Lord had rejected Saul as King of Israel, He commanded Prophet Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the new king. Bringing oil and a heifer to camouflage his real mission, he went to the house of Jesse. Then Samuel invited Jesse and all his sons to join him in the sacrifice unto the Lord.
The sons were asked to line up before him from eldest to youngest. When Samuel saw Eliab, Jesse’s eldest, he thought in himself that he might be the Lord’s anointed. He was of a right age to rule and his appearance was impressive as a king should be. He admired his manly stature so much that he blurted out, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.”
But God rebuked him and said, “Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him; for the Lord sees not as a man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Samuel had almost failed in choosing the right person had he not been sensitive to the leading of the Lord. When all of Jesse’s sons had passed before him, and all of them rejected by the Lord, Samuel asked, ”Are all the young men here?” Only then did Jesse remember his youngest son David who was keeping the sheep, so he sent for him. On his arrival, the Lord directed Samuel to anoint David at once in the midst of his brethren.
Samuel saw nothing in David that he should personally desire him to rule over Israel. But the Lord saw the anointed lad fit for the throne. For when God looked at the heart of David, he found a much stronger reason to choose him. More than mere appearance, He found a heart committed to His cause for the nation. He saw in his heart an extraordinary passion to glorify His name in Israel.
This was made clear when David won the fight over Goliath saying, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand…that the earth may know that there is God in Israel” (1 Samuel 14:45,46c).
From then on, Israel won more battles with David as their leader. In choosing a leader.
God looks beyond the superficial qualities of a man. He is fond of using men and women who are far from passing the criteria of the world. Moses, for example, was used by God to deliver His people from Pharaoh’s oppressive rule despite being known for his speech defect.
Paul’s critics scorned him for being bold in his letters but having only typical looks with inarticulate speech in person (2 Corinthians 10:10). Yet Paul penned the 13 books of New Testament and was known as the Greatest Apostle to most Christians today.
To know the right man for any particular job is really a hard task. But we can know whoever is fit for such when we learn how to look according to God’s perspective. Let us look at the heart. The condition of the heart is so important for it guarantees the needed obedience for the fulfillment of God’s glorious agenda for the nation.
Judge not by sight of the eyes or decide by the hearing of the ears (Isaiah 11:13) but judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24).