09/25/F – The Lord Sees the Heart

1 Samuel 16:1-23; John 8:1-11; Psalms 109:22-31; Proverbs 24:3-4

OT: “The Lord said to Samuel, “How long are you going to mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem because I have selected for myself a king from his sons.” …When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and said, “Certainly the Lord’s anointed one is here before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart.” …After Jesse presented seven of his sons to him, Samuel told Jesse, “The Lord hasn’t chosen any of these.” Samuel asked him, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” he answered, “but right now he’s tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse, “Send for him. We won’t sit down to eat until he gets here.” So Jesse sent for him. He had beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance. Then the Lord said, “Anoint him, for he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully on David from that day forward. Then Samuel set out and went to Ramah.” (‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:1, 6-7, 10-13‬ ‭CSB)

God selected both Saul and David. He directed Samuel to Saul, and He directed Samuel to David – but God said that David was the king that He selected for Himself. With Saul, God selected a man that the people would accept. Saul was tall and handsome and had the appearance of a king. If the people had been given the opportunity to elect Saul’s replacement, there is no doubt that David would have even been in the mix. There was nothing about David’s appearance that said, “King.” In fact, David’s father didn’t even consider him worthy to join them at Samuel’s banquet… the “red-headed step child,” if you will. As Samuel looked over Jessie’s sons, all of them looked kingly – but God wasn’t basing His decision this time on appearance. God was looking for someone with a heart after Him that could truly shepherd His people. People can only judge based on what they can see. God, however, is able to see people’s hearts. Though David didn’t look the part, he had the heart that God was after.

NT: “Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. “Teacher,” they said to him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They asked this to trap him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger. When they persisted in questioning him, he stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only he was left, with the woman in the center. When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”” (John‬ ‭8:3-11‬ ‭CSB)

The law surrounding adultery stated that both parties in the relationship were to be stoned – not just the woman, so it was suspicious that the religious leaders only brought the woman. As it states here, the Pharisees weren’t after justice – they were trying to trap Jesus. If Jesus said that the woman was to be stoned, He would no longer be seen as One who forgives sins. If Jesus said that the woman should not be stoned, He would be in direct violation of the law. Instead of passing judgement on the woman, Jesus passed judgement on the accusers. The Law also stated that the accusers were to be the first ones to throw the stones. Jesus, who could see the hearts of the Pharisees, must have known that most, if not all, of the Pharisees there were guilty (in some way) of the same sin of the woman. So, as He wrote in the dirt, He said whoever of you can accuse this woman with a pure heart… who are not also guilty of the same sin, cast the first stone. Convicted of their own sin, each Pharisee shamefully dropped their stone and walked away. In this incident, Jesus was both just and forgiving. He was not easy on nor tolerant of sin, as some may suggest, for He warned the woman to not sin anymore. But He also did not condemn the woman, for He didn’t come to the world to condemn the lost, but set them free. He did not sentence her to death because relatively soon, He would take that death sentence upon Himself. Jesus is just, and He is the Justifier.

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