Things Are Not Always What They Seem

June 11, 2015
by Joel Jongkind

2 Corinthians 10:7a – Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? (NKJV)

Many years ago, we bought a brand new car. Before we did this, I had owned three used cars, and we thought that it would be nice to have a new one. We looked around at different types, but we ended up buying a new model of the same car that I had been driving for a number of years. It was beautiful: a small, economical sedan with lots of legroom and a good-sized trunk. It was robin-egg blue, and we loved it. But within a few months, we found out that it was a lemon; anything that could, went wrong very soon after we bought it. We did not keep it very long, and because of financial restraints, we had to go back to an older used one.

These thoughts reminded me of the story of when David was about to be anointed king of Israel. Samuel had received instructions from the Lord to go to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem because the Lord had said, "I have provided Myself a king among his sons." (1 Samuel 16:1b NKJV)

When Samuel arrived in Bethlehem, the elders of the town were worried, and they wondered why he was there. Samuel told them that he was there on a peaceful mission to bring a sacrifice to the Lord, and he invited Jesse and his sons to attend. He knew that he was to pick one of them to replace King Saul. The first one to be presented was Eliab, and Samuel thought for sure that this was the one.

1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (NKJV)

Jesus had a lot to say about this as well:

Matthew 23:27 – Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. (NKJV)

Isaiah prophesied the opposite about the coming Messiah:

Isaiah 53:2b-3a,5 – He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. (NKJV)

So often, we, too, look at the outward demeanour of a person, the clothes they wear, the position they hold in society, the house they live in, or the car they drive. So often, the people we are to look up to, turn out to be different than we thought them to be. So often we are disappointed in their actions and behaviour, but God looks at their hearts — and ours. It is not how we look, or how well off we are, or even what we say we believe, but rather how we behave, the decisions that we make, the words that we speak, and how we treat people that God truly sees and weighs.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we, too, try to put on an act of being important in the eyes of others, times when we pretend to be something that we are not. We pray that we will always be true to ourselves and to You in our words and actions. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A very good devotional.


    Truth indeed — about cars and people!


    Thanks Joel for the encouraging thoughts.


    A beautiful devotional Joel. Thank you for sharing.


    Wonderful devotional, thank you. Amen to your prayer.


    Thank you Joel for the reminder that God’s vision sees what ours doesn’t. Blessings.

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