But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1Sa 16:7)
God send the prophet, Samuel, to anoint a king for Israel, and he arrived with some preconceived notions of what kind of man that should be – tall, stalwart, muscular. But instead, God picked a boy, a shepherd of ruddy complexion, who spent his days guarding sheep.
This wasn’t the first time nor would it be the last time God chose someone out of the ordinary. He used a harlot to save two spies. He married a prophet to a whore. His richest, most influential king had wives from many non-Jewish nations. That king’s father, the previous king, killed a man after sleeping with his wife. (Heb 11:31; Hos 1:2; 1Ki 11:1-2;2Sa 11:15)
He used a prophet who hid in a cave out of fear. Protected a murderer. Blessed a youth who lied about being his brother. (1Ki 19:9;Ge 4:15;Ge 27:35)
Jesus had compassion on Samaritans, lepers, a woman taken in adultery. He spent time with all levels of society from a tax collector to a priest to publican. He turned no one away – not an old woman bound by disease, or a man whose daughter had died, or another who couldn’t walk at all. (Jn 4:18;Mt 8:3;Mr 14:3;Jn 8:3;Mt 9:9;Jn 3:1;Lk 19:5;Mk 5:34;Mk 5:36;Jn 5:7)
His words were very specific in regards to how we should behave towards other people. (Mt 7:3;Jn 13:34) The church is told to love, to forgive, to encourage others, and warned of what will happen if we don’t.
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: (Luk 6:37)
Yet the worst, most judgmental, people, I’ve found, come from the church.
His hair’s too long.
She has tattoos.
Her belly button … lip … ears … are pierced.
His skin’s the wrong color.
They don’t speak English.
He’s not Pentecostal … Baptist … Methodist … Catholic.
I have news for you … God doesn’t care what that person is, if they’re tall or short, Mexican, Indian, Taiwanese. He’s not looking at whether they speak Spanish or German or French.
He’s not saving only white people who drive Fords.
God can forgive someone with a skull tattoo, a lip ring, a criminal record. Jesus died for the thief on the cross, the celebrity in the news, and the man selling crack four blocks over.
Take a mix of society from any place in the world and stir them up together – minorities, politicians, religions, different social statuses – line them up in the same room and you know what? When Jesus walks in, He’s not looking at her hair or his eye color or what she used to do for a living. Nor is he impressed by Olympic medals and acting awards. He’s looking at the heart.
If God can pick a boy from a field to be king, just imagine what he can do with that person you judged as not good enough. So what you hate their clothing. So what you’d never mark your skin. So what she shaved her head bald, wears six inch heels, and curses every now and then.
God’s not sorting people to fit in perfectly organized slots by how clean they are. He’s standing in front of them with his arms open ready to forgive.
ANYONE. You remember how it goes … whosoever?
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish (Jn 3:16)
Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst (Jn 4:14)
Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die (Jn 11:26)
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Act 10:21)
Suzanne D. Williams