You Can’t Tell from Outward Appearances

  1. We have another long list of mostly evil kings of Israel.
  2. In the list are two kings who usurped the throne. They each plotted a conspiracy and overthrew the king and took the throne themselves.
  3. One of them ruled just one month before his conspiracy turned on him and he was killed.
  4. The other reigned for twenty years.
  5. Another one of the evil kings forced a tax to pay off his enemy asking this other king to back off to fortify his own royal position. He rules for ten years.
  6. This seems it could serve as another reminder that we can’t tell from outward seeming success of what’s going on in the heart.
  7. The one reigns ten years, but he’s bribing others to hold onto his position.
  8. The one reigns twenty years, but he wasn’t placed there by God, he stole the throne.
  9. Just because a ministry has grown and has seeming lasting success, doesn’t mean God set up the ministry, anointed its leader, or is present and guiding it. He may have nothing to do with it.
  10. Or, it could be like with Jeroboam, and the Lord is only helping out because of His children who are present, even if the leaders are themselves lawless.
  11. God has His good purposes being worked out, which may be just letting them make their bad choices and waiting patiently for them to realize that He’s not with them and turn to Him for saving.
  12. With individuals, we can’t tell by their outward success either. Not even if it’s ministry “success.” No one’s stories of miracles or God leading them here or there, telling them to do this or that, impress me to believe they are true believers.
  13. It’s the stories of times with the Father and how He’s changed them and is currently changing them, stories of the transforming work of the Spirit in their lives. That’s what shows me that someone belongs to Him, along with demonstrated love. God can show who are His. We just have to look with God’s eyes that look not on the outward appearance but at the heart.