“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the… (1 Samuel 16:7).”
We’re all just 12-year-olds in grown-up clothes. That perspective got me through a recent conference full of very important Hollywood folks. We’re all just people, right?
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to talk to strangers. On a vacation once my family didn’t know where I was. My daughter said, “Just look for a crowd and Dad will be in the middle.” I’m used to talking to strangers, but when they wield that much media influence, it puts me off my game a bit. We see the clothes, famous faces, and name tags.
Our human point of view can shift, be influenced, and we all disagree on something, but God is not sidetracked by appearances – He looks inside, at the heart. And so, His POV is right, and always right. We form opinions and views, but God has the heart facts.
And what is God’s point of view on us? God’s POV on “our facts” is clearly revealed in the Bible. He says we are made in His likeness and each person has great value as His reflection. “God created Man in His own image, male and female…(Genesis 1:27).”
But He says we’re rebels, lawbreakers, running from Him and His immense love. “All of us like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way…(Isaiah 53:6).”
That’s because we’re all broken by this rebellious, independent, and selfish attitude, what the Bible calls sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).” (Doubt it? Who do you look for first in your school yearbook or family group photos?)
And yet, He loves us anyway, which is quite astounding. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…(Romans 5:8).”
He came to rescue us from spiritual death, caused by sin that makes us unholy. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10, Romans 6:23).”
He also says that if we don’t return, that one day He’ll punish everyone who defies Him and His Word. “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished (Proverbs 11:21).”
Our punishment is just, and loving (because it protects those who love Him from harm). “Dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).”
He does not delight in our death or our rebellion. “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live…(Ezekiel 33:11).” It’s all very bad news, and thankfully really good news. I guess it all depends on our point of view on how we see God’s POV. After all, most 12-year-olds in adult clothes know best.
(If you can’t see it, look again at my flight photo above…at the top left is…a polar bear! Never saw it until weeks later!)