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.
This verse of Scripture has taken a personal affect for me lately, which has revealed to me something very important and has become a lesson I will never forget.
The text of Scripture refers to the prophet Samuel’s mission to go and anoint one of Jesse’s children to be the next King of Israel. As Jesse brought out his seven sons to see if one of them were to be chosen by God, Samuel replied to him saying, “The Lord has not chosen these” and asked if all of his children were present. Jesse replied that he had one more son, the youngest, a shepherd who was in the field tending to the sheep.
When David arrived to meet with Samuel, the Lord said to him, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one.” (v.12). David was anointed king in front of his father and brothers, not because he was the oldest, strongest, smartest, or the best of anything among his brothers. But there was something that set him apart from his brothers to receive such a calling from God.
Commentary from Matthew Henry, regarding this passage says, “We often form a mistaken judgment of characters; but the Lord values only the faith, fear, and love, which are planted in the heart, beyond human discernment.”
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream was that his children "will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." David was just such a person chosen to be king because of the content of his character and not because of the color of his skin, or the prestige of who his father was, or because of the wealth of a family business. It was his heart.
Last weekend, one of my aunts and her ex-husband invited family and friends to gather and celebrate their daughter’s graduation from college. It was a great time for the entire family to be together which does not happen very often at all.
My aunt, who is an amazing woman taught me a great lesson without her even knowing the verse of Scripture but lives it out in her life. My cousins are black and their father is a great man who loves his children dearly. Though my aunt is divorced, she is now dating a man who is white. To me it was a surprise but I had joked with her saying, “What’s wrong? The guy you’re dating. He’s white.”
I thought my comment would have been received as a joke, but it was not. I had caused such an emotional wound to her that I deeply regretted saying those words. As she walked away from me, the gravity of my comment made me sick and extremely disappointed in myself. I realized how selfish and inconsiderate my comment was, joking as it may have been, it wasn’t. The reality of my offense widens as I look at my cousins and my other aunt who is married to a black man and my regret becomes more emotionally painful to me.
After some time, my aunt returned to the party and I apologized to her and asked for her forgiveness, which she gave. She then stated to me that she has never looked at the color of a person’s skin when it comes to relationships. Somehow I feel that if I could apologize to her and those whom I offended, everyday for the rest of my life, I would, yet I would still feel unsatisfied for the pain I had caused by my comment.
While my aunt had forgiven me of my foolishness, I had a hard time falling asleep that night. When the Lord had revealed to me the opening verse of Scripture for this blog, He showed me that those in my family, who have married or are dating a person of a different race, are attracted to them because of their heart and not because of the color of their skin.
Jesus only discriminated against sin in a person’s life. He never showed a difference in His love for one person over another.
- Jesus died because He loved Moses even though he killed an Egyptian. Exodus 2:14.
- Jesus died because He loved King David, even though he committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband Uriah, to cover his sin and her pregnancy. 2 Samuel 11:1-24.
- Jesus died because He loved the woman caught in adultery. John 8:4.
- Jesus died because He loved Barabbas, even though he was a rebellious leader and a murderer. Luke 23:19.
- Jesus died because He loved Judas even though he betrayed Him. Luke 22:47-48.
- Jesus died because He loved Peter, a close disciple of Jesus even though he had denied even knowing and being with Christ. Luke 22:54-62.
- Jesus died because He loved the soldiers who mocked Him. John 19:1-3.
- Jesus died because He loved the thieves who were crucified next to Him. Luke 23:32-43.
- Jesus died because He loved Thomas, even though he doubted that He had truly risen from the dead until he saw Him and said, “My Lord and My God." John 20:24-29.
The Bible says that God commanded His love toward us because we were sinners, not because of anything else, but because we were sinners, which is the only reason Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, NKJV).
Jesus died for the sin in you and me because He loves us. Wouldn't it be completely hopeless, if God only looked at the exterior of our lives and never acknowledged our repentance toward Him for the sins we have committed.
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 2 Corinthians 7:10, NLT.
Thank you to my family for showing me how your love is an example of God’s indiscriminate love.
Let love be without hypocrisy (Romans 12:9).
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.