Devotions By Jan

The Oyster Toadfish

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Scripture for Today: I Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things that man looks at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

We saw some interesting fish at the Wood Hole Aquarium in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, this Oyster Toadfish among them.  He was so ugly that he fascinated me!  He had a face only a mother could love!  But these fish have proven quite useful.  Biologists have sent the oyster toadfish into space to study the effects of gravity on our balance system!  These experiments were part of an effort to understand motion sickness, important for the astronaut.  And one benefit of their grotesque appearance is the fact that humans do not readily eat them, although they taste good!

Today’s verse reminds us that outward appearance is not the most important value.  Samuel was to choose the first king for the Israelites under God’s direction.  Samuel was naturally drawn to the tallest most handsome son of Jesse.  But the Lord reminds Samuel that appearance is not everything but the heart is.  As with many of the Lord’s principles, we get this one totally backwards.  The appearance and image is everything whereas the hidden unseen heart takes second place.

I am so influenced by what is on the outside.  If someone has their hair, make-up and clothes together, I automatically think that everything is in order on the inside.  I can easily adopt this attitude towards myself as well.  Then comes the surprise of conviction when the Lord taps me on the shoulder and tells me that my heart is ugly with sin.

Lord, make me beautiful on the inside where You are looking.

 

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