Humans are visually oriented. We generally picture a person’s face in our mind when we hear their name. Yet we understand that a person is much more complex than their face or the physical form that we see.
Many readers will remember the familiar Bible story of the anointing of King David. God had instructed Samuel, the high priest, to go to the home of a man named Jesse in order to anoint the next king over Israel. After Samuel arrived, Jesse brought his sons to Samuel.
Samuel looked at the oldest son of Jesse, Eliab, and was sure that God had chosen him. However, Samuel became confused when God rejected Eliab and six of his brothers. Ultimately, young David was called in from tending sheep. He was God’s choice.
God instructed Samuel, “...for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
(Read about it in 1 Samuel 16.)
We get it. God sees the inner person.
Unfortunately we sometimes fail with regard to our own selves. Not only are we sometimes tricked by the outer ‘shell’ of others, we can easily fool ourselves about ourselves. Solomon wrote:
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the spirits.
People are expert at justifying and rationalizing and explaining things to themselves. When things go wrong, we often rationalize and consider ourselves an exception (i.e. not guilty by virtue of good intentions). In general, people tend to behave as if they are right in their thinking, their decisions, and their behavior; always ready to go on the defensive if anyone challenges.
God cuts through all the exterior. He is not impressed with the outer shell and he is not fooled by the mental gymnastics of our internal rationalizations. God pierces through to the spirit and weighs, that is, evaluates the inner man.
We are completely laid bare before God.
Find confidence and peace in this reality.
- God is just. You cannot fool God. So, God will be just with you.
- God knows you better than you know yourself...and he still loves you.
- If you are not friends with God, he knows. Don’t fool yourself. Make peace.