Seeing As The Lord Sees.

Our reading today are 1 Samuel 16 and Revelation 6. I am focussing our attention on verse 7 of 1 Samuel 16, with a short comment on Revelation 6 to conclude.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” (v.7)
God has a point of view, and his point of view is different from the human point of view. This verse tells us that God in not LIMITED, as humans are, in his point of view. He is not taken in by outward appearances – he sees a person’s heart and sees from his (God’s) heart.
When we think about it, we know that is true. One of the reason’s that your point of view is different from mine, is that both of us have limited points of view. We have limited experience, limited understanding, limited knowledge etc. And so it is no wonder that we see things differently. But God is not limited like we are. God’s point of view is not just one different opinion among many possible opinions – he sees everything and knows everything and therefore his point of view is not limited by anything.
This verse is telling us, that when God sees, he does not just see things with his eyes, like we do, when WE look and see and take in a set of impressions (He is young, she is old, they look cranky etc). When God sees, he sees according to his heart. That is, God’s point of view is determined by his own will and purpose.
In this passage, Eliab -even with all his tallness and good looks – was not the one God intended to make king. So God did not see Eliab in the same way that Samuel did.
This understanding of verse 7 is very important for us. It is the key to understanding 1 and 2 Samuel, but even more than that it is important for our understanding of our life and relationships.
We have to remember that we are limited in our understanding – God is not and he seeks people “after his own heart” – Can you imagine how it would help us if we could look at things the way God looks at things.
This might just apply to Revelation 6, where we see the judgment of God in the last days. If you talk to people on the street about judgment – they will not accept it -it should not happen – will not happen -it would be unfair. They may think it is a contradiction of the character of God. But that is because they do not see the world as God sees it. They do not see sin as God sees it. Our God is loving, but he is also just, and sees with his heart.

Have a great day,

Peter Clark