TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 16:1-13

If it is by appearance Eliab would have become King in Israel, his appearance almost swept the great prophet of God, Samuel from his feet; he almost equated Eliab’s appearance with God’s anointing. God later told Prophet Samuel not look at the face as He (God) looks into men appearance at the heart. Men judge by the superficial, but “the Lord looks at the heart”—the invisible, intangible, central core of our being. God sees what we love and hate, our interest or lack of interest in Him, whether or not we are genuine from our heart.

In the Scriptures, healthy hearts are called by many names including hearts of integrity, hearts that are pure, hearts of compassion, hearts that praise, merry hearts that do good like medicine, joyful hearts, hearts of wisdom, prepared hearts, and so forth. Diseased hearts are designated as hardened, obstinate, divided, deceptive, and proud. In its worst condition, the diseased heart is called blind. Robert Girdlestone discussed this word, heart in Synonyms of the Old Testament this way: “Not only does [the heart] include the motives, feelings, affections, and desires, but also the will, the aims, the principles, the thoughts, and the intellect. In fact it embraces the whole inner being, the head never been regarded as the seat of intelligence, always the heart. While it is the source of all action and the center of all thought and feeling, the heart is also described as receptive of all influences, both from the outer world and from God Himself.” What is your heart’s condition?

Not even a physician can tell if something is wrong with your spiritual heart. Man has never been able to invent an instrument that can reveal the true condition of one’s heart. However, while none of us can ever look into another person’s heart, God has given us an instrument by which we can look into our own hearts: the book called the Bible. We read, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). God performs “open-heart surgery” every day with that scalpel. When the Bible exposes the diseased condition of our hearts, we must beware of denial. Many who have heart attacks begin with denial: “This is not happening to me. This is just a bad dream, or maybe bad food!” Every pressure in the world is being exerted to woo our hearts away from God, to harden our hearts regarding His will. When that happens to us, often our first response is to deny that it is happening.

In Isaiah 29:13 the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: This speaks to those of us who have attended church services since we were children, those of us who know the hymns by heart, who know our way through the books of the Bible, who can prepare a prayer in seconds that can last for several minutes. Is our religion personal—or has it just been “learned by rote”? The first symptom of Israel’s spiritual malady was that they were going through the forms without having their hearts in what they were doing.

If you have heart trouble, probably no one else can tell. Those with the most pious sounding prayers, those who sing with such beauty, and those who hold hundreds spellbound with their words may have the most diseased of hearts. I can deceive you, and you can deceive me; but neither of us can deceive God. He saw the heart condition of the people in Isaiah’s time, and He can see the condition of each person’s heart today.

Word Affirmation: “Therefore thus saith the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale." - Isaiah 29:22 (Don't just say it, mean it!)

“ I can deceive you, and you can deceive me; but neither of us can deceive God. "