Monday, April 13, 2009

What impresses God?

Wouldn't you like to know?

What impresses God.

Is it looks?
That has always been a powerful advantage over the ages. Never more than now, in the age of television. The very good looking are rewarded, and lauded, and given huge amounts of money, and fame. Their every movement is watched, and every event of their life recorded and broadcast.

Is it talent? In America we reward all kinds of talent richly. The best in their field are given hundreds of millions of dollars a year. God is the giver of talent. Is He impressed by talent?

Is it strength or physical dexterity? We reward people who are the best in feats of physicality, whether in sports, or the Olympic Games, or other feats of strength. Is God impressed by that?

In today's passage Samuel is sent to anoint the next king. He knows the king is going to come from the house of Jesse.

He has called everyone together to worship God. Jesse's first son presents himself. Hmmm, Samuel thinks to himself. Tall, dark and handsome. This is the one...

6 "When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, "Here he is! God's anointed!"
7 But God told Samuel, "Looks aren't everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart."

God looks at the heart!

All the sons present themselves. None of them is the chosen one.

11" Then he asked Jesse, "Is this it? Are there no more sons?"
"Well, yes, there's the runt. But he's out tending the sheep."
Samuel ordered Jesse, "Go get him. We're not moving from this spot until he's here."
12 Jesse sent for him. He was brought in, the very picture of health— bright-eyed, good-looking.
God said, "Up on your feet! Anoint him! This is the one."
13 Samuel took his flask of oil and anointed him, with his brothers standing around watching. The Spirit of God entered David like a rush of wind, God vitally empowering him for the rest of his life.
Samuel left and went home to Ramah. "

God looks at the heart.

He can use the talent. He can use the looks. He can use the strength, or bravery, or dexterity, or competetive spirit.

But what He cares about above all is the heart.

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