If you saw this at a grocery store, what would you think it was?
Some new koosh ball, right? Or a children’s toy? Or a decorative element for a new age dining set? Maybe Christmas ornaments or something to scrub your pots with?
Well, you’d be wrong. This is an image of rambutan. It’s a fruit. You peel back the outside layer and inside is a white fruit that tastes like green grapes. I had one the first time I went to Guatemala in 2007. I think they also grow in Southeast Asia.
But looking at it on the outside, you wouldn’t know it was fruit, would you?
I thought of this when I read today’s verse in 1 Samuel 16:7.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God had sent Samuel to go annoint the new king of Israel, and he ended up at the house of Jesse. And Jesse trotted out his seven sons to let Samual choose from them, and Samuel kept going and going and going until he reached the end of them and none of them were the ones God had chosen. And Samuel didn’t understand.
The oldest seven sons Jesse had were tall and handsome and atheletic and strong. They would make a perfect king. So why was God rejecting all of them?
And this was God’s answer. He didn’t care what each of these boys had on the outside. What mattered to Him was what was on the inside. And when Samuel asked if these were all the sons Jesse had, Jesse admitted that the youngest son was out with the sheep and because he was the youngest, they hadn’t bothered to call him. So they brought the youngest son in, and Samuel knew right then that the youngest son was the one God wanted. The youngest son was named David.
So many times I think I am like Samuel. Since the outside is all I can see, I tend to make judgment calls based on what my eyes are telling me. But that’s wrong. Becuase people are more than what they look like.
Just like the rambutan fruit, someone may be strange looking on the outside but may be sweet on the inside. Many times peoples’ appearances contradict what is actually going on in their hearts, for better or for worse. And in either case, it’s not our job to judge them based on what they look like. It’s our job to love them because Jesus loves them and because God made them the way they are.
So the next time you catch yourself making a judgment call about someone you don’t understand or about someone who looks different than you do, think of the rambutan and remember that God doesn’t care what’s on the outside. God only cares about the heart. That’s all that matters to Him. So that’s all that should matter to us.