1 Samuel 16:7 “Looking at the heart”


1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”


The prophet Samuel was sent by God to Jesse’s house to look for a new king to rule over Israel. Jesse had seven sons. Samuel asked Jesse to let him meet each son, one by one. God reminded Samuel that he must not allow outward appearances to affect his selection. Israel’s first king was impressive outwardly. Saul was very tall, young and handsome and he was from the tribe of Benjamin. But we know he was not a good king and he failed as a leader of the nation. Many people today continue to judge based on outward appearances. If you go to an expensive hotel or restaurant, the staff there will often treat you better if you are well dressed compared to someone who dress poorly. But God looks at people differently. God is more interested in what kind of people we are. He looks at what kind of character we have, what we keep in our hearts and what we think.

We know someone who was looking for a future life partner. He was trying to date a young pretty girl. She was very popular with many other young men and she was never short of dates. This man tried hard to catch her attention and affection. However, she rejected him in favor of other men. The man was sad and he came to see us for advice. We told him that beauty was superficial. He should be looking for a woman of good character for a life partner, someone who loved the Lord like he did. We are glad he took our advice because he eventually found a woman who was plain looking but she had a good character and they got along well. She also became a Christian. They married and years later, looking back, he realized that following God’s advice in 1 Sam.16:7 was the right thing to do. He realized that had he married the pretty girl, their marriage would have been a disaster. She was not even a Christian and their values were not the same. He was glad that the Lord led him to find the woman whom he married and they remain happy and devoted to each other after many years of being together.

The Bible have many examples where outwardly impressive men and women amounted to nothing while people who did not look impressive were people of great value where God was concerned. David who succeeded Saul as Israel’s greatest king was a young insignificant shepherd. The Bible described David as a man after God’s own heart. Gideon was from the weakest clan in Manasseh and he was the youngest in his family. But God saw his strength of character and his willingness to trust in Him. In the end, Gideon rose to be a leader of Israel. So, do not focus on outward appearances but build up character and values close to God’s own heart.


Let us pray: Heavenly Father, you are the source of all wisdom. May we learn to be wise and focus on the heart and not on outward appearances. In Jesus Christ’ name. Amen.  



  1. How do you judge others? How much are you guided by outward appearances when you interact with people?
  2. Although what is in someone’s heart is not visible, how can you assess what is in a person’s heart? Discuss.
  3. What impresses you about someone? Is it their money, position, status, educational background, etc?