Scripture Reading — 1 Samuel 16:1-13
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. — 1 Samuel 16:7
This is an election year in the United States. The presidential campaign has been interesting because the fight to become the top candidate has been intense in both major parties.
No matter what country we live in, there are always high hopes when a new person enters public office, because there is the possibility for change. During a campaign, voters try to judge which candidate is more qualified and promising because they pin their hopes on electing a change agent.
The prophet Samuel had the same attitude. He thought that Jesse’s big, tall son Eliab would be the one chosen as the next king of Israel. But he was totally off the mark, because having a willingness to follow the Lord was much more important than any other qualities.
As Christian voters, do we consider whether a candidate is a person seeking after the Lord’s heart? Do we vote only with regard to whether a candidate is likable, or can make our economy stronger, or can make our lives safer? These may be important considerations, but they are not the most important. As Proverbs 21:1 puts it, “In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” The agent can bring change for the better only if the agent is being changed by the Lord.
Heavenly Father, help us to look beyond the superficial, both in ourselves and in others, to see the qualities that are important to you. In your Son’s name, Amen.