“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”
–Isaiah 49:16A (NLT)
Did you hear about the skeleton who was famous? He used to be some-body!
We may laugh about that, but I’d like to tell you about somebody in the Bible who was a real character. His name was Saul, and he was Israel’s first king.
The children of Israel were a lot like you and me can be–they wanted to be like the people around them. Instead of letting God rule over them, they followed their sinful desires and asked Him for a human king.
Saul was said to be the most handsome man in Israel, standing head and shoulders above everyone else. However, God didn’t choose him because of this. He chose Saul to deliver the children of Israel from their enemies, and told Samuel to anoint him king.
Travel back there with me, and listen really hard. Can’t you hear the click of cameras? Can’t you see women swooning over the nation’s latest heartthrob?
At first Saul was very humble, and he felt like the least of the least. But then his heart began to be lifted up with pride as he defeated his enemies time after time. While the Bible doesn’t say this, I bet he must have read some of his own reviews.
God eventually rejected Saul as he grew more and more evil, and He told Samuel to anoint a new king. Sam went to the house of Jesse to do this, and Jesse’s sons passed before him. There were 9 men in total. Think about what a prosession that must have been! Just picture some men who were tall, dark and handsome, like Clark Gable or Cary Grant.
They each looked like they would make a great king. The first man must have been a hunk, though, because Sam almost anointed him on the spot. But God said to Sam, “Don’t judge him on his outward appearance. I don’t judge people like you do. I look at their hearts.”
Now has anything really changed? Just think about the people we hold in high regard. Like Samuel, the people we tend to look up to are usually the glamorous people who stand out–men and women you might see on Facebook or the Internet.
One professor writes, “For the most part, attracttive people enjoy a lot of perks. Upon a first empression, highly attracttive people are presumed by others to have a variety of positive personality traits.”
This professor’s conclusion is that beauty pays. But we have already seen that true beauty comes from the heart.
In Saul’s case, God shows us that He isn’t fixated on the outward appearance. While Saul looked like he had everything together, he fell far short. Saul didn’t follow the Lord, and he was a poor leader of the people.
But let’s fast-forward to our day again. As you can see from the professor’s comments, the outward appearance is usually what makes or breaks us, according to the world’s standards. Just think about the social media that surrounds us, in contrast to God’s love.
God values each one of us, and scripture says that we are the apple of His eye. He is also our security, and the Bible goes on to say that He will never leave or forsake us.
But there is a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge, so I’d like to tell you how knowing this from my heart has made a real difference in my life. If you haven’t found that to be true, I know it can make a real difference in your life as well.
When I came to Christ, I began to realize that my life was empty without Him, and that God was much larger than anything or anyone I faced. I saw that outward limitations were nothing to God, and I didn’t have to prove myself to Him, because He already knew that I was weak.
I have learned that God’s strength makes up for my shortcommings, and I try to remind myself that life’s battles belong to Him. Because He is continually changing my outlook, I have become less and less defensive over time.
Now let me ask you: How could you not be a person of worth, when God sent His only Son to die an excruciating death, and engraving you on the palms of His hands at the cross? Then, as if all that wasn’t enough, Jesus rose again, and He walks with all of His followers, calling us sons and daughters.
God holds out his hand to you now, affirming that He loves you with an everlasting love, regardless of any of your external qualities. I wonder if you have ever taken the fact that you are God’s treasure seriously. The value that God places on each one of us is truly amazing.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.mynvm.com and click on the PayPal button. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.