One of the world’s largest and most recognizable producers of microprocessors for computers is the Intel Corporation. In the late 1980’s, Intel’s market share was suffering due to competitors such as Advanced Micro Devices and Zilog, who had begun selling their less expensive microprocessors to computer manufacturers. Computer manufacturers knew that if they used cheaper processors, they could produce cheaper computers, resulting in a higher share of the consumer market. Intel knew that their processors, while more expensive than those of the competitors, were also of a higher quality, and so, to boost public loyalty and increase market share, they came up with the Intel Inside campaign. If you’ve ever purchased a desktop PC or a laptop, chances are you’ve seen an “Intel Inside” sticker on it. That tells you that what’s inside your computer is of high quality. After all, when it comes to computers, it’s what’s inside that counts.
For believers, it’s also true that it’s what’s inside that counts, especially in the eyes of God. When Samuel went to Bethlehem to seek the man whom God had chosen to replace Saul as king of Israel, the first man he saw was Eliab, the oldest son of Jesse. Eliab was obviously of great stature and had an impressive appearance, because the first thought that entered Samuel’s head was, surely this is the man whom the Lord has anointed! Samuel was looking at the outward appearance of Eliab as the evidence that this was the man God had chosen. But, God told Samuel not to look at the outside, at the man’s appearance or stature. Eliab was not the one God had chosen. God doesn’t look at what’s on the outside, but rather at what’s inside. He looks at the heart. Samuel then looked at the rest of Jesse’s sons and God rejected all of them until Samuel came to Jesse’s youngest son, David (1 Samuel 16:4-12). David was anointed as the next king of Israel because God saw what was inside of David, the heart of a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
In Matthew 23:25-28 (NIV), when Jesus rebuked the Pharisees, He said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” In the eyes of men, the Pharisees appeared to be righteous and godly, but Jesus knew what was inside, what was in their hearts. And it is clear that what was inside, what really counted, was displeasing to God.
God sees the heart. He knows what is inside of us. And what God desires from us is to be like David, to be people after His own heart. God wants us to live righteously, He wants us to treat others with love and respect, He wants us to serve Him and to worship Him. But, all of that doesn’t matter if our hearts are not aligned to His. It’s what’s inside that counts!
Scripture quotations marked NIV were taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.