Week beginning: 20th September, 2015

By | London

"When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, 'Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him.' But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.'"

1 Samuel 16:6-7 (ESV)

In 1 Samuel 16, the prophet Samuel was told by God to visit Jesse the Bethlehemite and anoint one of his sons to be the successor to Saul as Israel's new king. Naturally enough, Samuel imagined that God had chosen someone tall and impressive looking – someone who would be automatically respected.

Instead, God chose Jesse's youngest son, David, who was so unimportant that he was away "keeping the sheep". This was because "the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart" (v7b). God knew that David was a man who sincerely loved God and so, despite David's lowly stature, the Lord chose him to become king and leader of His people.

As lawyers, it is easy for us to fall into the trap of making judgments and decisions based on outward appearances. We are tempted to work harder on the cases of our wealthier clients or devote more of our time to influential people who we think will be useful to us.

Perhaps more seriously, we can become so concerned with our own image and "personal brand" within our chambers, firm or university that we forget about what really matters: the state of our hearts. This passage acts as a reminder to us that our God is a God who looks deeply into our hearts and calls us to dedicate them wholeheartedly to Him afresh.

Prayers:

1. Thank God for the gift of new hearts in Christ and pray that our hearts would be ever conformed to the will of God.

2. Give thanks for the vote in Parliament last week for the Marris Bill and continue to pray for those in authority that they will be given godly wisdom as they lead the country.