Appearances can be Deceiving
May 30, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical 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.” - 1 Samuel 16:7 NKJV.
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all the young men here?” Then he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here.” So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” - 1 Samuel 16:11-12 NKJV.
You have probably never heard of the Hemeroplanes Triptolemus. It is a caterpillar that can transform itself into what appears to be a poisonous snake (Eyelash Viper). Looking at photos of the caterpillar while it is posing as a snake, you would think that it was a snake. The caterpillar is able to give itself reptilian scales and is able to snap at anything coming close which makes the imitation more believable. The Hemeroplanes can be found in parts of Central America, South America, and Africa. These snake posing caterpillars are actually moths and they feed on vine leaves. (WDRB.com 12.23.13; Wikipedia)
I have always loved the story of David, who was the youngest of his brothers and appeared to be just a shepherd boy. All the other brothers were rejected by God until finally the shepherd boy was brought to the prophet Samuel. Everyone thought David was just a shepherd boy, but he was actually the man chosen by God to be king.
People often put forward a façade when interacting with others. At times, they may appear to be a snake or a bully; at other times they may seem to be a kind loving person. I have been surprised more than once by television news personalities, celebrities, and by politicians who projected a kind Christian appearance, but were actually far from being kind or Christian. However, it is not just people on television, or facebook, or other social networks whose appearances can be deceiving. It is likely that all of us have encountered those whose real personalities are far from what they appear to be at first glance. Our own façade that we present to others may not be what is really deep down inside either.
One thing that we can be sure of when interacting with others and it is that God knows the truth about all of us. God knows because He does not just look at the outer appearance, the outer façade, but instead God looks at our hearts. What is really inside of our hearts? The truth is that we may not even know ourselves what we are capable of until we face some kind of a test.
Consider Gideon, who said this about himself, “Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house (Judges 6:15).” In other words, Gideon considered himself to be the weakest and most unlikely person in the entire nation to be used by God. In contrast, here is how God thought of Gideon, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor (Judges 6:12)!”
Do you consider yourself to be unworthy of being used by God? Do others consider you to be unqualified or incapable of being used by God? Do you think because of your appearance that God cannot use you? Do you think because of what has happened in your past that God cannot use you? Or do you think those things about someone else because of their appearance or whatever it may be? The truth is they are wrong and you are wrong because “…man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”