1 Samuel 16:1-13 God Judges By the Heart, Not By Appearances (October 20, 2013)
I used to work in an office setting—a friendly office where people liked to do nice things for each other—like bake. (please click on the >> below to continue reading)
Once a week, someone would bring in baking and leave it on a plate in the kitchenette. This particular week, someone baked muffins—but not just any muffins—chocolate chip muffins. I am a chocoholic. Now, the photocopier was on the other side of the kitchenette. So every time I would go to photocopy, I would pass by the plate of muffins.
Each time I’d pass by, I’d get a little hungrier, I’d salivate a little more, the cravings increased until I could no longer contain myself! I had to savour the chocolaty deliciousness—thankfully, that coincided with break time.
I rushed to the plate.
I grabbed a muffin.
I peeled off the paper.
I took a bite….
and it wasn’t a chocolate chip muffin….it was a raisin muffin. Raisins are fine, when you know they are raisins—but not when you think they’re chocolate chips.
My eyes deceived me. The appearance deceived me.
Samuel learns that God judges people by their hearts, not by their outward appearances. Samuel thought God’s choice would be Jesse’s eldest son— the ‘ripped and bronzed hottie with the six pack’ (and I’m not talking beer) who towered above his brothers. But it wasn’t. His heart wasn’t right for the job. God could see that. God’s choice was the runt of the litter, David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons. And while David at least had gorgeous eyes, it didn’t look like he had much else—he was a boy who looked after sheep.
Scripture is full of these kinds of stories—of God seeing the possible in the impossible—of God seeing hope and potential where the rest of us see nothing. That story is continued in Jesus—God’s anointed,
God revealed fully in a human body—
a broken, tortured, wounded body,
a body that bled
and was hung on a cross….
a body that was ripped from that cross, dead.
But appearances are deceiving as shown on Easter Sunday—when God revealed life through and in the risen Christ—the anointed one from David’s line.
How God saw David, is how God sees us. God sees hope and potential in each of us. God doesn’t judge us by our weight, our clothes, our skin colour, our house size, our car model, our popularity, our profession—God sees into our hearts and judges us that way. What’s more, is that God loves us despite what God sees in those hearts of ours —- AND despite what God doesn’t see there. We’re ALL flawed, imperfect beings. And God loves us, just the way we are.
***Addition*** Sometimes when I do prep for my message, I see videos that I don’t get a chance to use in the service. Even though you don’t get to see them, they influence my work on the service and my message. In this video, Cameron Russell, a Victoria’s Secret Angel, gives a TED talk entitled “Looks aren’t everything, believe me, I’m a model.” She talks very openly—with intelligence and depth about how the images of women are constructed in the media and how damaging and deceptive those images can be. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks1FEtWlzTU
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