People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
Appearance vs. heart. How often are we turned off by facial features, body type, or mannerisms? Do we listen to how things are said instead of examining what is accomplished in light of God’s word?
Appearance vs. Heart and God’s Warning
During election time, and periods of great upheaval, it is good to remember the words of Paul in Romans 13: “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” The privilege of voting for our leaders is a sacred trust, not accorded to everyone in this world.
The Psalmist writes in Psalm 2:10-11, “Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.” Our leaders haven’t always feared the Lord and neither have Israel’s. However, even godless men can accomplish God’s purposes, at times.
Appearance vs. Heart and Dangerous Actions
Scripture has much to say about those in positions of leadership. For example, Proverbs 28:2 speaks of tumultuous times, “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.” All that is required is one man who stands firm on law and order, strong, not led about by special interests.
Likewise, Isaiah 23:1 reminds us of dangerous characteristics: “Your rulers are rebels, partners with thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them.”
Sound familiar? A leader who stands up for the fatherless, the unborn, the orphans, the unprotected, deserves our support. The man doesn’t have to be appealing if his values align with God’s laws.
Appearance vs. Heart and the People’s Responsibility
To choose a leader is a solemn responsibility. People go astray when we look for leaders who make us comfortable in acts that fail to honor God. He is more interested in our character than our comfort. For example, 2 Timothy 4:3, 4 says, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
The consequence of leaders whose actions are contrary to God’s law is His abandonment. The story of the anointing of Saul as king offers a powerful example. In 1 Samuel 10:19, we read, “‘But you have now rejected your God, who saves you out of all your disasters and calamities. And you have said, ‘No, appoint a king over us.’” Yet, in one of his first acts as king, Saul disobeyed the Lord. Does a candidate promote laws that honor God or laws that allow people to follow their own desires?
Appearance vs. Heart and Objectionable Actions
A leader whose actions are contrary to God’s law will incur God’s judgment. “‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols…Woe! Woe to you, declares the Sovereign Lord” (Ezekiel 16:20, 21-23).
Each of us must examine our hearts and the stance of those we vote for prior to casting our ballot. Our choice may not be popular. All that matters is that we honor God and seek to obey the laws He put in place.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. Psalm 33:12
© Norma Gail Holtman, October 13, 2020
Photographs by Norma Gail