“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Things are not always as them seem to be. Several years ago a touring American school teacher saw signs in a Rothenburg, Germany, restaurant which said: “Death to Luther, the Saxon Hun.” She thought the local people were anti-Lutheran, until a technician explained that these were props for the filming of the “Martin Luther” move. Tourists have to be careful not to judge by what they see.
The prophet Samuel, sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as king, looked at the imposing Eliab, the oldest son and thought: “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD” (1 Samuel 16:6). But the Lord replied, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him” (1 Samuel 16:7). David was the one He wanted.
Jesus said, “Stop judging by mere appearances; and make a right judgment” (John 7:24).
The all-knowing God looks on the heart when He judges. He looks for faith there—faith in Jesus Christ, who went to Calvary’s cross to make us righteous before God. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
We take a page out of God’s book when we judge others by the standards of love, patience, and honesty as defined in Holy Scripture. This makes for right judgments.
PRAYER: Lord God, guide us into all truth, that we may know Your good and gracious will in all things where we must judge. Amen.
(Taken from “Our Journey with Jesus,” (out of print), copyright 1976, International Lutheran Laymen’s League.)
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