The Bible clearly tells us that God loves us all (John 3:16, 1 John 4:9), but as we read his Word we see that certain people have a special place in God’s heart – certain people stand out from amongst the rest.
Moses, Caleb, David, Ruth – were a few that God spoke of very affectionately. What was it that made them stand out from the crowd? What made them special in their generation? Did these people lead perfect lives? Was it that they were as close to sinless as humanly possible? Certainly not!
Moses was a murderer (killed an Egyptian; Exodus 2:12) and early on in his walk with God he was disobedient and faithless. In Exodus 4:12-13 Moses says “O Lord, please send someone else to do it. Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses..”), David was an adulterer (Bathsheba) and in effect murderer (of Uriah). Ruth was not a Jew (God’s chosen people) and in fact she was a Moabite, a people who were long-standing enemies of God’s people. Clearly God’s special affection was not because of their goodness.
Perhaps it was because they were the most talented? But in Exodus 4:10 we find out that Moses stuttered and couldn’t speak well. When Samuel was sent to Jesse’s house to anoint the new King, he didn’t even notice David but thought Eliab was God’s anointed one “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord, But the Lord said to Samuel do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.” 1 Samuel 16:6.
When we look at God’s description of these special people, the common theme is the state of their heart. About Moses, the Bible says in Numbers 12:3 “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” Numbers 14:24 – About Caleb he says “my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly (Numbers 14:24). About Ruth is was said “all my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character” (Ruth3:11) And about Ruth’s great grandson, the great King David, we hear that “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people”. (1 Samuel 13:14)
You may be an accomplished, talented athlete, but God is much more interested in the state of your heart. May we all be men and women after God’s own heart.