The LORD Looketh On the Heart

Monday, November 28, 2011

“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” (1 Samuel 16:7 KJV).

It is human nature to judge someone on the basis of outward appearance. When the prophet Samuel seeks a king for Israel, the LORD tells him to visit Jesse’s house, for one of Jesse’s sons will succeed King Saul (verse 1). When Samuel sees Jesse’s son Eliab, Samuel says, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before [me]” (verse 6).

Eliab was handsome and well built, so Samuel concludes that he must be God’s choice for Saul’s replacement. God, however, quickly discourages such thinking by speaking today’s Scripture. God is not looking for someone based on physical appearance, but rather on the condition of his or her heart.

The passage proceeds to tell us that Jesse’s remaining sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel deduces, “The LORD hath not chosen these” (verse 10). “And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children?” Verse 11 continues, “And he [Jesse] said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep.” Samuel instructs Jesse to send for that youngest son.

Young David, “ruddy and withal a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to,” appears before Samuel, “And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he” (verse 12). God did not choose David based on physical appearance, although he was handsome and “ruddy” (healthy, reddish glow to the skin). Young David was least esteemed in man’s eyes: he was the youngest, and the lowly shepherd!

So, why did God choose David? David, although a sinful man, was submissive to God’s will. Unlike Saul, David had a heart of faith, and was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Psalm 89:20; Acts 7:46; Acts 13:22). God does not see your outward appearance; He focuses on your heart, whether it has faith in Him. God can see what no one else can—the real you.

The LORD Seeth Us Not?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth” (Ezekiel 8:12 KJV).

Foolish man has deceived himself into believing that he can commit sinful deeds in the dark, and God will never see. The Jews into today’s Scripture (mistakenly) have that mindset.

In the context of today’s Scripture, the prophet and priest Ezekiel, in Babylonian exile, receives visions from God (verses 1-4). According to the succeeding verses, the LORD shows Ezekiel just how wicked his people are: “Go in, [Ezekiel,] and behold the wicked abominations that they do here [in God’s Temple!]” (verse 9).

As Ezekiel goes in, verse 10 says he sees “every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.” Despite God judging them with the Babylonian invasion, Jews in Jerusalem have drawn idols on the wall surrounding the Temple! Furthermore, seventy elders of Israel are burning incense to these idols. In today’s Scripture, God repeats what these idolaters say, “The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.” (“We are getting away with our pagan worship!”; cf. Ezekiel 9:9)

God proceeds to show Ezekiel “greater abominations [sins].” Jewesses are sitting at the door of the north gate of the Temple, the LORD’s house. Verse 14 says these women are “weeping for Tammuz”a pagan Babylonian god!

Then, Ezekiel saw “greater abominations.” In the inner court of the Temple, between the porch and the altar, 25 men have gathered. With their backs turned to the LORD’s house, they worship the sun (verse 16)! These Jews dare God, provoking Him to anger (verse 17).

Surely, God did see them and their evil deeds (after all, God is showing Ezekiel their deeds). Sinful man thinks he will escape God’s judgment, but he will not. No one has gotten away with anything… the LORD doth see us.

Oh That My Words Were Printed in a Book!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

“Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!” (Job 19:23,24 KJV).

The book of Job is perhaps the world’s oldest book. Written over 3,500 years ago, its protagonist is a believing Jew who is humbled through a series of satanic attacks (Job 1:6–2:10). Job, rebuking his friends (or “miserable comforters;” Job 16:2), declares in today’s Scripture that he wishes his words “were printed in a book!” Job knew not that the Holy Ghost would make this come to pass.

God, in His omniscience (all-knowledge), selected these events of Job’s life to become the theme for one of the books within His Book, the Holy Bible. Jewish Job was patient and faithful during his satanic attacks. How he suffered, but he refused to curse God (Job 1:20-22; Job 2:9-12)—in fact, Job worshipped God during his suffering (Job 1:20)!

From the New Testament book of James, we learn why Job is part of God’s Word. “Take, my brethren, the prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy” (James 5:10,11).

In the future, the believing remnant of Israel will have to endure suffering in the seven-year Tribulation. They need comfort and encouragement, so the books of Hebrews through Revelation address the period of time after the rapture (that is, the remainder of Israel’s prophetic program).

God preserved the words of Job in order to encourage Jews living 3,500 years in the future! WOW! James encourages the Tribulation Jewish believers to follow Job’s righteous example during suffering. Just as God brought Job through Satan’s attacks, so God will faithfully bring them through the Tribulation and into their kingdom.

This is just one proof that the doctrine of Bible preservation is necessary and forever.