“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Those who are committed to the contemporary philosophy often misuse this verse as a proof text for their doctrine that the external is unimportant. The Christian rock crowd uses it to defend their habit of patterning their fashion and demeanor after secular rockers. But 1 Samuel 16 has nothing to do with dress. It has to do with stature and countenance. Samuel thought God had chosen Eliab to be the king because of his impressive appearance, but God told him that He does not select men for service based on how they look but on the condition of their hearts. To use this verse to support the idea that it does not matter what a Christian wears or how he looks is to rip it out of context and make it to say something that it does not even hint at. In fact, the verse plainly states that man looks on the outward appearance, and it is for this very reason that dress matters. The fact that man is very visual in his sexuality and is deeply enticed by the female figure means that dress matters. If a woman does not dress in a modest and holy manner but dresses rather in the attire of an harlot to emphasize her physical assets (Prov. 7:10), either by wearing too little clothing or by wearing her clothing so tight so that her figure is seductively highlighted, she is surely accountable for contributing to man’s sinful lust (Mat. 5:28). Indeed, the Lord looks on the heart, but man looks on the outward appearance, so let’s be concerned with both. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
(Friday Church News Notes, October 5, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)