Tag Archives: John Newton

What do you see? (Lent 4A, 30 March 2014)

1 Samuel 16.1–13
John 9.1–12

I believe in God as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

CS Lewis

Amazing grace (how sweet the sound!)
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind, but now I see.

John Newton

When you look, what do you see?

In his quest for Israel’s next king the prophet Samuel went to Jesse’s place in Bethlehem. Jesse had eight sons; Samuel first saw Eliab, a fine, strapping young man. He would make a fitting king for Israel! After all, a king had to be worthy of respect from his men. Samuel liked what he saw.

But God saw things differently. God said to Samuel:

Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

As he went through the list, looking at one son after another, I can imagine that Samuel may have started to doubt this whole enterprise. Perhaps he wondered if he were really on a wild goose chase.

Perhaps there was a note of exasperation in his voice when he asked Jesse, ‘Are all your sons here?’

The youngest was left, the runt of the litter. Good-looking, but just a kid.

This was the one. Who’d have guessed?

‘The Lord does not see as mortals see …’

So how does the Lord see? Continue reading

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