One of my favorite verses of all time:
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.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7 New International Version (NIV)
God sees differently from the world, from people, and sees what no one else can see. He sees into our hearts, minds, wills, intentions. He knows our thoughts. He knows what no one else can possibly know. I find this comforting, convicting and a calling.
First, it’s comforting.
It’s comforting to know that while others may not see us, or misinterpret our thoughts or actions, God knows our true intentions. It calms my spirit to know that God knows, cares, sees, forgives, loves. He knows, the good, the bad, the ugly. 🙂 So what have we to be afraid of?
Second, it’s convicting.
God sees the good, the bad, and the ugly, so that means He knows any sin we have committed. He knows and sees. There is no possible place on earth that anyone can hide. You may recall that Jonah tried to hide from God, but that was impossible. Neither can we hide from God.
Third, it’s a calling.
Because God sees us in this way, we too have the challenge to see others the way God does. Is this easy? By no means! In fact, it’s downright hard to see some people the way God does, yes? Without the Lord’s help, it could be nearly impossible.
I love this verse because it is a beautiful reminder that God’s vision, His economy, His way of doing things is completely opposite to the world’s ways and the world’s values. It’s upside down. God takes the complete opposite of what we expect and flips it on its head. Welcome to God’s way of seeing things. Welcome to God’s way of seeing me, of seeing you. God shouldn’t be able to look upon us; He is holy, righteous, and pure, and we are the exact opposite: unholy, unrighteous, and sinful.
But because of his grace and mercy and forgiveness, God gave Jesus as the substitute for us, so that we may become holy and blameless.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21
He is El Roi, the God who sees, the God who sees beyond what other humans see.