1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
God sees the heart!
Motive is important. Motive is key in our relationships with people, our spouse and God our Heavenly Father.
In 1 Samuel 16, God had asked Samuel to go to the house of a man called Jesse to anoint the next king of Israel but did not tell Samuel who he was. Jesse had eight sons and was meant to present them one after the other for Samuel to choose. When Samuel met the first, notice his exclamation in 1 Samuel 16:6 'And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him'. 'Oh this must be the Lord's anointed' said Prophet Samuel judging by his looks and appearance.
Notice God's answer to Samuel in our passage: 1 Samuel 16:7 'But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart'. In other words God is telling Samuel l see things differently...I look on the inside. God was saying to Samuel, don't judge Eliab by his appearance because I know his heart. God was also telling Samuel not to rely on sense of sight in choosing a king for Israel. Hence, do we rely on God when making important decisions like the choice of a spouse? You see, God knows and sees the heart of people. For example, Proverbs 20:6 says 'Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?' Only God knows. So we can trust him to direct us as He directed Samuel.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 further explains the state of a man's heart. 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings'. Wow! Observe what the Bible is saying here. The heart is deceitful above all things. Above all things means absolutely above all things! Because no one can see the heart of man...only God can. Physical appearance can be deceitful. Sometimes we may appear to be smiling at people but with a different motive and intention. I always humorously tell my wife that the heart of man is desperately wicked including mine without exception. This has helped me to always put my motives in check in my dealings with people, making sure my heart is kept in check.
God looks on the heart and is more interested in our motives. Matthew 15:8-9 says
'This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men'. God is saying some people lift up their hands in worship but it is vain because their heart is far from me. We might likely be around such people and observe their mode of worship and say like prophet Samuel 'wow, this is true worship'. But God says it is vain because their heart and motive is not right.
As Christians, we need to continue to trust and rely on God when it comes to daily and also life changing decisions. We need to continue to reflect and check our motives from time to time to ensure our heart is right.
Let us practise checking our motives this week and let us make every effort to ensure our motives are clean in Gods sight. Do have a wonderful week and God bless you.