Jehovah Looking on the Heart
1 Sam. 16:7 But Jehovah said to Samuel, Do not regard his appearance and the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For it is not how man sees that matters; for man looks on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart.
Matt. 15:8 “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart stays far away from Me.”
David suffered many extraordinary experiences throughout his life. These experiences were there to test the condition of his heart. He was despised at home. When God told Samuel to anoint a son of Jesse to be king, Jesse gathered together his seven sons but forgot David (1 Sam. 16:6-13). Yet the heart of the young man was proper. His heart did not become improper through this experience. God told Samuel, “For man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (v. 7). God was pleased with David’s heart. This is why he was chosen by God and used by Him.
After David killed Goliath, God put him in a situation where the women of Israel proclaimed, “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Sam. 18:7). One of these two sentences was a test to David, and the other was a test to Saul. Proverbs 27:21 says, “As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.” Will you be proud when others praise you a little? Will yoube jealous when others praise you less? David was not moved by the words, “David has slain his ten thousands,” but Saul was provoked by the words, “Saul has slain his thousands.” This word exposed Saul’s jealousy (1 Sam. 18:6-9). Suppose you are engaged in some work with another brother. If another man comes along and praises your brother for his work, yet says nothing about you, how will you feel? Perhaps you will feel somewhat unhappy and displeased. This slight unhappiness and displeasure proves that you are not that clean inside.
Did you not say with your mouth that you were doing this for God and not for yourself? Yet a word of praise from others provokes you. This proves that your heart is not all that clean. Every experience in our environment, particularly the way we are treated by those close to us, is a test to our heart.
Later after David became king, he suffered a severe trial as the result of a great failure. His own son sought his life; Shimei cursed him and cast stones at him. What did he say? His heart was crystal clear that the Lord had bidden Shimei to come, and he looked to God for his good (2 Sam. 16:5-12).
Do not think that negative circumstances will harm us. If our heart is not right, they will harm us. If our heart is right, they will do us good. Our circumstances expose our heart’s condition.