July 31, 2008 - Thursday of the 10th Week after Trinity

Today's Reading: 1 Samuel 16:1-23

Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 16:1-23; Acts 25:13-27

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

If the Lord sees as man sees then He would see nothing but muck, a waste bed of sewage. If He looked at you He would see your dishonor, your lust, your infidelity, your anger and your thievery. There would not be even a drop of good to be seen. If God saw you the way others see you, you would be destined to the eternal depths of hell, forever damned. Man does not see faith in his neighbor, he only sees sin.

The story could end there. God could view us as He did after the fall and we could be left with that. We’d be in a bad spot if that were the case, but God sent Jesus so that He might not have to look at us as we are. He sent Jesus so that He would not have to look at our flesh, but instead the flesh of His Son, which is perfect and holy. It’s incomprehensible, but it’s also what the Lord sees when He looks at you and me.

The Lord sees us through the blood of the lamb. Blood has been wiped across our heads and our hearts in Holy Baptism, and when the Lord comes He passes us over and sees not sinners but only those redeemed in Christ.

In today’s text the Lord sees a king for Israel in the rejected son of Jesse. He’s the little one, not big enough to play on the Judah-football team, so he tends to the sheep instead. The Lord looks to your pastor, a poor miserable sinner and lifts him high above the worldly standards of what is good and right in order to make him a pastor. David delivers his people from their enemies and makes points them to the Lord. Your pastor delivers you from your sins in Holy Absolution, declaring you right with God.

No one saw anything in little David. No one sees anything in your pastor. The Lord saw much, and thus called Him to deliver His gifts for the forgiveness of His people’s sins. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Lord, 'tis not that I did choose Thee; That I know could never be; For this heart would still refuse Thee Had Thy grace not chosen me. Thou hast from the sin that stained me Washed and cleansed and set me free And unto this end ordained me, That I ever live to Thee. (LSB 573:1)