Rev Renewal – March 19, 2020

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b)

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” they say.  This phrase came to be to push people to look beyond the cover of a book before making any judgement about what the book would be about.  If the title seemed too simple, or the graphics were nothing significant, the whole book may be dismissed.  Yet, if a person looked beyond the cover and began reading the story, they may be surprised at what they found.

The same perspective is used when people are looking for a home.  Homes that have a very rugged or “unpleasant” outer appearance, may have some great internal features.  With the home renovation industry becoming a popular option – taking a rundown home and renovating it – it is key to see beyond the wear and tear into what the place could truly offer.

Furthermore, I believe that this approach is something that can be applied to all areas of life.  It can be easy to dismiss something, someone, or some place based on the outer appearance.  It is the first impression that sets the tone.  However, when we allow that first impression to be the only determining factor, we may be missing something that can only be discovered once we go beyond that initial encounter.

When Samuel is instructed to go to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse, he believes that the son the Lord wants him to anoint is one of the older sons.  Afterall, they appear to have what is needed to be the next king.  The Lord, though, has different plans and informs Samuel ‘Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’.  While the older sons may have had the appearance that would be great for a king, the Lord knew that only David had the true heart the Lord desired.

During this very uncertain time, the outward expressions we may be encountering can leave us feeling discouraged.  So much of what we see appears to not be promising. I would encourage you to heed the words of the Lord and to look beyond the outward appearances.  Where might the Lord be directing us?  What might the Lord be desiring for us to see during this time?

The Lord knows our hearts, and the hearts of all.  The Lord is aware of all that is taking place.  We can trust in the Lord’s faithfulness during this time and that even the darkest exterior can be turned into something beautiful.

Pastor Arlyn ><>