Friday, October 8, 2021

After God's Heart

"...I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will." Acts 13:22b

Have you ever wondered what really made Saul different from David? Have you ever wondered what really made Saul different from David?

Saul was chosen by God to be king. So was David.

Saul was anointed by Samuel. So was David.

The Spirit of God came upon Saul. The Spirit of God moved David to write the psalms.

Saul sinned to save himself. So did David.

But God rejected Saul and called David a man after His own heart. God had given Saul another heart (I Samuel 10:9). So what was the difference?

The elders of Israel saw that Samuel was old and that his sons did not walk in his ways. They looked around at the other nations and saw that those nations were ruled by kings. The time was coming when Samuel would die and Israel would need another ruler.

Samuel was the last judge that led Israel through many difficulties. Each time a judge died, the Israelites fell away from God and did what was right in their own eyes. They would then be led into captivity, God would give them another judge, and they'd be saved. I'm sure the elders looked at their history and decided they didn't want this to happen again, so they'd forgo waiting for God to raise someone up after they'd gotten themselves into trouble. They would start a royal line.

But they were not looking to God. They saw the judges, mere men, instead of God. They assessed the situation and came up with a solution that still left God out of the equation.

God told Samuel to hearken to them and make them a king. He told Samuel the man would be Saul.

Saul was a man of Benjamin, the son of a mighty man of power. Saul was a 'choice young man', in Hebrew bakhur, which refers to a young man of mature age and often implies beauty of form. Saul was a goodly man, which means he was pleasant, agreeable. He might even have been considered upright. We get the picture that he was a cheery person, easy to get along with and kind. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Saul was his height. He stood head and shoulders above anyone else.

In fact, from the outward appearance and surface personality, Saul seemed the perfect pick for a king.

The Israelites wanted leadership. They wanted to show the nations around them that they were not a people to be trampled upon or to be taken advantage of. Saul, from appearances would do nicely. And God gave to them what they wanted.

But Saul had issues. Saul belittled himself:
"Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou to me?" I Samuel 9:21

We might think of this answer reflecting his humility, but humility isn't about thinking of yourself lower than you are. Humility is seeing who you really are, even as God sees you.

I'd venture to say that even at this point, Saul was fearful. Certainly we see his fear through the rest of his life.

To confirm that Saul would be king, God turned him into another man (I Samuel 10:6). He gave Saul another heart (note that I Samuel 10:9 doesn't say a new heart). God gave Saul another will, another understanding, another inner man with a different set of emotions, passions, appetites. Saul's first heart, his original inner man, was not after God's heart, and this would cause him problems.

And the Spirit of God came upon Saul at times then Saul would prophesy.

But Saul had a lacking that made him distinctly different than David. Saul did not trust God. Like the Israelites, Saul put his trust in Samuel, the judge. When Samuel didn't come on time in I Samuel 11, Saul turned to the ritual of sacrifice to draw the people back to him.

Later, Saul again disobeys God and trusts his own wisdom.
"...It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments...." I Samuel 15:11

When Samuel confronted him, Saul admitted his sin, but he didn't ask God to forgive his sin. He asked Samuel to and asked Samuel to join him so that he could worship God. Saul was not interested in a personal relationship with God. He looked to Samuel instead. Saul grew to love his power as king and began to see God as someone to get him out of trouble.


David, on the other hand, loved God. He sought an intimate relationship with Him. His heart was after God's. David gave God the glory for his victories. He was confident in what God could do and that gave him self confidence. He wasn't perfect. He made mistakes and he sinned, but he sought God for forgiveness, not seeking the forgiveness of some spiritual leader. And David accepted the consequences of his sin with a humble heart, seeking God's mercy and passionately desiring God's intimacy once more.

Through my life I've come across many people. Some of them great, some of them small. So with plenty of self-confidence. And some pridefully ashamed of themselves. In studying these two men in the Bible I've asked myself who do I most closely resemble? I suppose I have a bit of both in me.

One thing I do know, I burn inside to know God more. Like Saul, I live in this flesh, but praise be to God, through Jesus Christ, I live by His faith, and I am a new creature.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17.

I now have a heart after God. My passions, my affections, the essence of my understanding of life, my determinations and resolutions, all these parts of my inner person are after God, desiring to please Him. That is the new creature. That was David's heart.Saul was chosen by God to be king. So was David.Have you ever wondered what really made Saul different from David?

Saul was chosen by God to be king. So was David.

Saul was anointed by Samuel. So was David.

The Spirit of God came upon Saul. The Spirit of God moved David to write the psalms.

Saul sinned to save himself. So did David.

But God rejected Saul and called David a man after His own heart. God had given Saul another heart (I Samuel 10:9). So what was the difference?

The elders of Israel saw that Samuel was old and that his sons did not walk in his ways. They looked around at the other nations and saw that those nations were ruled by kings. The time was coming when Samuel would die and Israel would need another ruler.

Samuel was the last judge that led Israel through many difficulties. Each time a judge died, the Israelites fell away from God and did what was right in their own eyes. They would then be led into captivity, God would give them another judge, and they'd be saved. I'm sure the elders looked at their history and decided they didn't want this to happen again, so they'd forgo waiting for God to raise someone up after they'd gotten themselves into trouble. They would start a royal line.

But they were not looking to God. They saw the judges, mere men, instead of God. They assessed the situation and came up with a solution that still left God out of the equation.

God told Samuel to hearken to them and make them a king. He told Samuel the man would be Saul.

Saul was a man of Benjamin, the son of a mighty man of power. Saul was a 'choice young man', in Hebrew bakhur, which refers to a young man of mature age and often implies beauty of form. Saul was a goodly man, which means he was pleasant, agreeable. He might even have been considered upright. We get the picture that he was a cheery person, easy to get along with and kind. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Saul was his height. He stood head and shoulders above anyone else.

In fact, from the outward appearance and surface personality, Saul seemed the perfect pick for a king.

The Israelites wanted leadership. They wanted to show the nations around them that they were not a people to be trampled upon or to be taken advantage of. Saul, from appearances would do nicely. And God gave to them what they wanted.

But Saul had issues. Saul belittled himself:
"Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou to me?" I Samuel 9:21

We might think of this answer reflecting his humility, but humility isn't about thinking of yourself lower than you are. Humility is seeing who you really are, even as God sees you.

I'd venture to say that even at this point, Saul was fearful. Certainly we see his fear through the rest of his life.

To confirm that Saul would be king, God turned him into another man (I Samuel 10:6). He gave Saul another heart (note that I Samuel 10:9 doesn't say a new heart). God gave Saul another will, another understanding, another inner man with a different set of emotions, passions, appetites. Saul's first heart, his original inner man, was not after God's heart, and this would cause him problems.

And the Spirit of God came upon Saul at times then Saul would prophesy.

But Saul had a lacking that made him distinctly different than David. Saul did not trust God. Like the Israelites, Saul put his trust in Samuel, the judge. When Samuel didn't come on time in I Samuel 11, Saul turned to the ritual of sacrifice to draw the people back to him.

Later, Saul again disobeys God and trusts his own wisdom.
"...It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments...." I Samuel 15:11

When Samuel confronted him, Saul admitted his sin, but he didn't ask God to forgive his sin. He asked Samuel to and asked Samuel to join him so that he could worship God. Saul was not interested in a personal relationship with God. He looked to Samuel instead. Saul grew to love his power as king and began to see God as someone to get him out of trouble.

David, on the other hand, loved God. He sought an intimate relationship with Him. His heart was after God's. David gave God the glory for his victories. He was confident in what God could do and that gave him self confidence. He wasn't perfect. He made mistakes and he sinned, but he sought God for forgiveness, not seeking the forgiveness of some spiritual leader. And David accepted the consequences of his sin with a humble heart, seeking God's mercy and passionately desiring God's intimacy once more.

Through my life I've come across many people. Some of them great, some of them small. So with plenty of self-confidence. And some pridefully ashamed of themselves. In studying these two men in the Bible I've asked myself who do I most closely resemble? I suppose I have a bit of both in me.

One thing I do know, I burn inside to know God more. Like Saul, I live in this flesh, but praise be to God, through Jesus Christ, I live by His faith, and I am a new creature.

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." II Corinthians 5:17.

I now have a heart after God. My passions, my affections, the essence of my understanding of life, my determinations and resolutions, all these parts of my inner person are after God, desiring to please Him. That is the new creature. That was David's heart.

Saul was anointed by Samuel. So was David.

The Spirit of God came upon Saul. The Spirit of God moved David to write the psalms.

Saul sinned to save himself. So did David.

But God rejected Saul and called David a man after His own heart. God had given Saul another heart (I Samuel 10:9). So what was the difference?

The elders of Israel saw that Samuel was old and that his sons did not walk in his ways. They looked around at the other nations and saw that those nations were ruled by kings. The time was coming when Samuel would die and Israel would need another ruler.

Samuel was the last judge that led Israel through many difficulties. Each time a judge died, the Israelites fell away from God and did what was right in their own eyes. They would then be led into captivity, God would give them another judge, and they'd be saved. I'm sure the elders looked at their history and decided they didn't want this to happen again, so they'd forgo waiting for God to raise someone up after they'd gotten themselves into trouble. They would start a royal line.

But they were not looking to God. They saw the judges, mere men, instead of God. They assessed the situation and came up with a solution that still left God out of the equation.

God told Samuel to hearken to them and make them a king. He told Samuel the man would be Saul.

Saul was a man of Benjamin, the son of a mighty man of power. Saul was a 'choice young man', in Hebrew bakhur, which refers to a young man of mature age and often implies beauty of form. Saul was a goodly man, which means he was pleasant, agreeable. He might even have been considered upright. We get the picture that he was a cheery person, easy to get along with and kind. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Saul was his height. He stood head and shoulders above anyone else.

In fact, from the outward appearance and surface personality, Saul seemed the perfect pick for a king.

The Israelites wanted leadership. They wanted to show the nations around them that they were not a people to be trampled upon or to be taken advantage of. Saul, from appearances would do nicely. And God gave to them what they wanted.

But Saul had issues. Saul belittled himself:
"Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou to me?" I Samuel 9:21

We might think of this answer reflecting his humility, but humility isn't about thinking of yourself lower than you are. Humility is seeing who you really are, even as God sees you.

I'd venture to say that even at this point, Saul was fearful. Certainly we see his fear through the rest of his life.

To confirm that Saul would be king, God turned him into another man (I Samuel 10:6). He gave Saul another heart (note that I Samuel 10:9 doesn't say a new heart). God gave Saul another will, another understanding, another inner man with a different set of emotions, passions, appetites. Saul's first heart, his original inner man, was not after God's heart, and this would cause him problems.

And the Spirit of God came upon Saul at times then Saul would prophesy.

But Saul had a lacking that made him distinctly different than David. Saul did not trust God. Like the Israelites, Saul put his trust in Samuel, the judge. When Samuel didn't come on time in I Samuel 11, Saul turned to the ritual of sacrifice to draw the people back to him.

Later, Saul again disobeys God and trusts his own wisdom.

"...It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments...." I Samuel 15:11

When Samuel confronted him, Saul admitted his sin, but he didn't ask God to forgive his sin. He asked Samuel to and asked Samuel to join him so that he could worship God. Saul was not interested in a personal relationship with God. He looked to Samuel instead. Saul grew to love his power as king and began to see God as someone to get him out of trouble.

David, on the other hand, loved God. He sought an intimate relationship with Him. He desired the things that God desired. David gave God the glory for his victories. He was confident in what God could do and that gave him self confidence. He wasn't perfect. He made mistakes and he sinned, but he sought God for forgiveness, not seeking the forgiveness of some spiritual leader. And David accepted the consequences of his sin with a humble heart, seeking God's mercy and passionately desiring God's intimacy once more.

The main difference between truly godly people and people who are religious, is their relationship with God. A godly person is one who worships God while enjoying the presence of God. A religious person worships God while enjoying the presence of other men. 

Godly people put their intimate relationship with God ahead of other people. Religious people are concerned with the outward appearance of their faith.

Godly people enjoy fellowshipping with God and prefer to maintain that fellowship over following the crowd. Religious people desire to have the appearance of a relationship with God, will worship to appease or to appeal to God, but fellowship is not attained because the adoration they owe God is placed on the act of worship or on an object of worship other than God. God will not give His glory to another.

"Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me." Psalm 63:3-8


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