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Friday, August 21, 2009

"Beauty and the Beast"

Tonight my mom and I took my kids to see the musical production, "Beauty and the Beast". It was a great production, which included actors only 18 years old and under. As I sat through the performance and thought about the story, it made me think. I know it's just a fictional, fairy tale story, but it has a good moral to it at the ending. It proves that true beauty is what is on the inside, not on the outside.

In the world, a lot of importance is placed on looks. That's nothing new. In fact, looks and outward appearances were referred to many times throughout the Bible. In 1 Samuel 16, God told Samuel to go to Bethlehem and to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be the new king. It was to be the son whom God had already selected. God told Samuel He would indicate to him which son he was to anoint. When the first son, Eliab, passed by in front of Samuel, he thought to himself that this son was to be the king (1 Samuel 16:6). However, the Lord said to Samuel in verse 7, "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

One by one, each of the sons of Jesse passed by in front of Samuel. During that time, God never indicated that one of them was the one to be anointed. Samuel asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" (verse 11). Jesse told Samuel there was one more son, David, who was out tending sheep in the field. Samuel anointed David as the new king.

"So he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one.""

The Bible says that David was handsome and that he had fine features, but that isn't why God chose David. No, God chose David because he knew about the condition of his heart. He deliberately chose David because he wanted the king to be "a man after His own heart, as we see in 1 Samuel 13:14, "But now your (referring to Saul) kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD's command." He knew that David would continue to be a "man after His own heart", too. The book of Acts tells of God's confidence in David, "After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' Acts 13:22.

We can read all about David's life from then on. From time to time, David sinned. David messed up. But, David's heart was always striving to be more like God. When he had done wrong and when he sinned, he was truly repentant. He was very sorrowful because he knew that he had sinned against God. He confessed his sins before God and did all he could do to live a faithful life in service to God.

Belle, the "beauty" in the "Beauty and the Beast" production, saw something inside of the Beast. She saw into his heart and found kindness and love that no one else could see and her love for him caused him to turn back into a prince. But that's a fairy tale. God is for real!! He can look in our hearts and see what is real and what is true.

Ask yourself these questions:
What does God see when He looks into my heart?
Does He see a man/woman with a heart like His?
Or, does He see a heart that is cold, hard, and uncaring?
When I look at others, do I look at their heart or look at their outward appearance only?
When I do sin, am I truly repentant and sorrowful...realizing that I am sinning against God?

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