Read 1 Samuel 16:6-7
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (NLT)
You may have seen the very old Wild West movies where the dusty main street is lined with various structures: saloons, boarding houses, general stores etc. We may not have realised that these were merely facades. They looked impressive enough but had no real substance.
Appearances can be deceiving in regards to human beings too. Samuel has been sent by God to choose a new king for Israel. He immediately jumps to conclusions. Eliab looked the part: tall, handsome, well-built. But Samuel is reminded that there is more to a person than surface appearance.
We live in a society that is obsessed with appearance. We assess people by their weight or height or dress sense. And of course there is nothing wrong with looking our best, dressing well, or watching our weight. But these things are not the most fundamental building blocks of who we really are.
God goes behind and beyond what is apparent to others. He is aware that many of us adopt facades. We might look solid enough but are precariously propped up. This divine insight is both disturbing and comforting. We can’t fool God with outward displays of power, competence, self-confidence. But nor need we erect such facades to impress him or others. He knows us as we really are, not as we might pretend to be.
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