7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NKJV)
The context of this verse is Samuel going to Jesse’s house to anoint one of his sons as king to replace failed Saul. If we have been believers for any length of time we are likely familiar with the story of how Samuel saw the stature and looks of David’s older brothers but did not see that their hearts were not right.
Jesus looks at our hearts in releasing us in our anointing and callings. In anointing David He knew David would sin with Bathsheba and could see his other failings when He called him. He also knew that David was and would continue to be a passionate worshipper and would deeply repent of his sin. In the same manner, He knows our past, present and future failings. He is not looking for perfection to anoint our calling or none of us would ever be released, He is looking for hearts quick to respond to conviction.
Our responsibility is to pursue a godly and upright life and to turn to Him when we fail (1 Jn. 1:9). After all look at what the scriptures say.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV)
Any time there has been a failure in my walk with Him I have not heard Him say, ‘Randy, I am shocked you would do/say/think that. I never knew that was in you.’ Our lives are an open book before Him and in spite of any failings we carry Jesus desire is to bless our lives.
9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV)
The context of this verse is King Asa trusting in others for victory rather than Yahweh after Asa had already had a revival of true worship because he had listened to the prophet Yahweh sent.
If we think of the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 it should not have been a surprise to Jesus hearers. We rightly make much of how it reveals our Father’s loving heart. Yet in God’s dealing with Israel, and then Israel and Judah as divided kingdoms in the period of the kings, the story of the prodigal is repeated over and over. Even Manasseh, one of the most wicked kings in Judah’s history (2 Kings 21:1-18, 2 Chron. 33:1-20), who is described as more wicked than the Amorites (2 Kings 21:11), was blessed by Yahweh and tuned the nation when he repented.
We serve the King of kings who loves us, desires to bless us and wants to have us as friends. We can take comfort in this as we pursue His heart and walk out our callings because Jesus is shepherding our lives (Ps. 23).
A desire to bless, honour and release is how Jesus sees.