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God looks at the heart, not the height

Several years ago, we ordered National Geographic Kids for our two grandsons and they love it (even though they are no longer kids)… almost as much as we do. This month’s August issue came yesterday and there is a page on Guinness World Records. Did you know the world’s largest ping-pong racket is twelve feet across, which is approximately the height of an average male African elephant? And you can use it in competition, if you can pick it up, since the International Table Tennis Federation doesn’t specify any size.

But what really caught my eye was the “leaning tower of ice cream.” Italian Dimitri Panciera balanced 125 scoops of ice cream on a single cone… actually it was gelato, an Italian ice cream. I wondered if he ate it before it melted?

There was another fascinating article about the longest tongues; our four inch tongue didn’t make the finals. Fifth longest was the red-bellied woodpecker’s 6.7 inch tongue. Fourth was the 12 inch aardvark’s tongue. Third was the 19 inch veiled chameleon’s tongue. Second was the giraffe’s 20 inch tongue and first place went to the 24 inch anteater’s tongue.

We seem to be fascinated by the longest and the biggest and the strongest and the fastest. But the Bible tells us that it’s… “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6)

With an election coming soon, I’d read years ago the tallest candidate almost always wins. So nothing has changed; three thousand years ago Samuel went to find a king and choose the tallest man he could find. Saul didn’t do well, but Samuel didn’t learn anything.

When the time came to replace Saul, he went to the home of Jesse and immediately chose the tallest son… but this time God intervened and 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.””

Some of us believe God raises up rulers to take care of his people and he takes them down if they don’t. He also uses rulers to bless or curse people. Some people might go so far as to say, “If he wants to bless us, he’ll raise up my candidate. If he wants to curse us, he’ll raise up your candidate.”

But the truth is, God raises up and takes down rulers according to his purposes in our world. The key truth of the entire Bible is an effort by God to enable us to reclaim his image in our lives after it was lost in the garden of Eden… it begins with our repentance, moves on to Jesus’ death on a cross for our sins and God’s forgiveness of our sins, and goes on as we grow in our faith into his image in our lives… join me in the journey.