God Looks on the Heart (1 Samuel 16:7) - Radical

God Looks on the Heart (1 Samuel 16:7)

“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.”
– 1 Samuel 16:7

This is such a powerful verse as we see God anointing David as king, an unlikely person. Just like we see all throughout Scripture and we are reminded in 1 Samuel 16:7 here that we need new eyes. We need such different eyes than we are prone to look through and than the world is prone to look through.

Oh God, we need to see as God sees which is not at the outward appearance, not at that which seems most attractive for this reason or that reason to the world. We need to see through the heart both when we look at others and when we think about ourselves, what is most important before God. This is a truth we see resounding, throughout the pages of the Bible. It is unmistakable.

Father, please make our hearts to be more like yours. May we grow in our affection for Christ and for others.

1 Samuel 16:7 Reminds Us that Our Heart Matters

What matters is our heart before God. There are so many things we can do, religious exercises we can walk through. But God, at different points in the Old Testament will say, “I don’t want these outward sacrifices, I want your heart. I want your hearts attuned to me, desiring me, loving me. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Jesus says, “Love. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength. This is the first, supreme commandment in our lives. The second is like it, love. Love your neighbor as yourself.” That will be evident in your actions but it starts in your heart. The Lord looks on the heart.

So we pray and as we pray, aren’t we just compelled to examine our hearts? And for you to examine your heart right now before God, for me to do the same, God help us to see what you see, help us to see our hearts before you. God, just as the Psalmists prays, cleanse our hearts. Help us to see anything in our hearts that is not pleasing to you. Everything in our hearts that is not pleasing to you, that is not after your heart as we’re seeing in other parts in 1 Samuel. God, we pray that you would make our hearts more like yours, that you would help us to love you with all our heart.

This Verse Leads Us to Lay Down Our Lives for Others

Today, with all our soul today, with all our mind, with all our strength. Help us to love others as we love ourselves. God, please, help us to lay down our lives for others today in love for others. God, we pray for the heart. You have created us and called us and commanded us to have and God, we pray that you would help us, with your heart in us, to see what matters around us. Help us not to look at the world through the lens of what this world says is most important. God, help us to see what you see. Help us to see what is most important and help us to live accordingly today.

God, we know this is a counter-cultural way to view ourselves, a counter-cultural way to view others. A counter-cultural way to view the world around us and our lives in it. So, please, help us to see as you see our hearts, others’ hearts before you and to live with love for you and love for others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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