– George Herbert
God Sees the Heart
When Jesse was passing all of his sons before the Lord so that God would choose a king for Israel from among them, Samuel was certain that one of them would be the next king, for Jesse’s oldest sons were tall, strong, and handsome. So Samuel said, “’Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:6-7). God’s choice was the last one they would have ever considered, but David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), especially knowing that God can see into the heart and know what’s there. We can only see the face, but God sees the heart.
God Sees the Thoughts
God says that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). We must reckon our thinking with the way that God thinks because our nature is to not think like God. During the time of Noah, “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Even though God could see their sinful activities outwardly, He knew that their hearts were only thinking about evil continuously. We might see a face or someone who looks like a Christian, but God knows his thoughts, so he cannot fool God. He might fool us but not God.
God Sees the Intents
God says that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12) because there is “no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). God knows our hearts and sees our intents. Nothing in us is hidden from Him, and He will expect an account of ourselves someday.
God sees the heart, thoughts, intents, and motives in every human on Earth. The fact is that the heart is deceitfully wicked, and only God can truly know it (Jeremiah 17:9), showing that a person can’t even know his or her own heart in the sense that it is so wicked (Romans 7). However, God still had compassion on us, loved us when we were unlovable, and saved us even though we deserved His wrath. We can see others outwardly, but God alone can see our hearts.