From the Pastor’s Desk: The Heart of the Matter

Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,

Oh what manner of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God.  And if we rest in Christ alone, we are children of God.  We are children of the kingdom.  This week, may we rest in the good and wise providence of God (as we discussed in Sunday school last week).  That not a sparrow can fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father.

A few announcements:

Next Wed (2/12) we will meet at 7:00 at Matt Brueggeman’s home for our first Vos study group.  We will cover roughly pp. 1-10.

Also, if you have some time this Saturday morning, come help Jovanni and Lina move to their new apartment.  Details to come.

Finally, this week’s devotion is a reflection from 1 Sam 16:7 on the Lord’s anointing of David as king and the many lessons we can learn.

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

The Heart of the Matter”

1 Samuel 16:7, “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

Israel had asked for a king … like all the nations that surrounded them (1 Sam 8:5). And the Lord gave them what they desired. And it was a massive failure! The story of Saul’s reign (Saul being the first King of Israel) was one of increasing pride and unbelief. Following one episode of Saul’s sin, the prophet Samuel spoke the word of judgment to Saul: “But now your kingdom shall not continue” (1 Sam 13:14a). The Lord, however, was preparing another to follow Saul. And that man was David, a man “after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14b).

The anointing of David as King of Israel is a powerful and humbling scene, and it contains much instruction for us today (1 Sam 16:1-13). Samuel, the prophet of God, is directed by the Lord to go to the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite. And one by one seven of Jesse’s eight sons pass by Samuel as Samuel waits for the Lord to declare to him the one to anoint as king. Verse 6 states, “When they came, [Samuel] looked on Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.’” Surely, Samuel considered, the eldest would be the one! But one by one they passed, and the refrain was the same, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” But one son yet remained – the youngest who was keeping the sheep (v. 11). And this youngest son – this shepherd boy – this ‘man after God’s own heart’ – was David. And the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Arise, anoint him, for this is he’ (v. 12). David was the future king of God’s choice. The great principle, however, that runs through this scene was stated earlier in the chapter: “For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (v. 7). The Lord looks on the heart. The world looks at appearance. The Lord uses what is weak in the eyes of the world. The world despises what is strong in the eyes of the Lord. The Apostle Paul echoes this same truth in his letter to the Corinthians, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the word, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor 1:26-29). And of course, the greatest picture of this truth is Christ himself – born in poverty, crucified as a criminal, despised and rejected of men … yet the wisdom, power, glory, and salvation of God, and the victorious and conquering king!!!

Brothers and sisters, may we remember that the Lord does not see as man sees, but He looks on the heart. If you are despised by the world, take heart, so was your Lord. It is those who know their own weakness that the Lord uses for extraordinary things. But we can also apply this truth in very practical ways in our lives. First, always remember that the Lord sees your love for him – he sees your desire to serve him and to follow him (even when no one else does). And the convicting flip side … he sees your secret sins, your hidden sins (even when no one else does). But finally, he also sees, hears, and knows your repentance! He hears your cry for mercy and forgiveness. And he always answers!

God bless and I look forward to worshipping with this Lord’s Day,