1999-09-23 - After God's Heart
Acts 13:21-22 "And then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. "And after He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.' (NASB)
Israel had insisted on a King. They had confronted Samuel and refused to hear what God had said to them. We often move forward based on our limited vision and finite wisdom. We insist that we must know better when God has nothing but our best interests at heart. (1 Sam 8:19-20) Saul was a strong, handsome young man. He came from a good family. He was obedient to his father. And Saul was trusted with family matters by him. By all appearances, he had everything going for him.(1 Sam 9:2)
1 Sam 15:10-14 Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, "I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not carried out My commands." And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night. And Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, "Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal." And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" (NASB)
Saul started well, with humility and a sense of insufficiency in himself. As time progressed, Saul began to attribute the victories the Lord gave him and Israel to himself. Finally, he was told to utterly destroy the nation of the Amalekites. Saul returned with 'a sacrifice' for the Lord. He inserted his own interpretation into the command of God. And while there is tremendous presumption in this, have we not done the same thing? When we are uncomfortable with something, we often either decide 'that couldn't have been the Lord', or 'I just can't do something like that'.
Saul would continue in his rebellion wafting between a sense of repentance and full blown disobedience, back and forth. As Saul fell wounded in battle and was over run by the Philistines, he fell on his spear but failed to kill himself. A young warrior would recount the story to David.
2 Sam 1:6-10 And the young man who told him said, "By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and behold, Saul was leaning on his spear. And behold, the chariots and the horsemen pursued him closely. "And when he looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I said, 'Here I am.' "And he said to me, 'Who are you?' And I answered him, 'I am an Amalekite.' "Then he said to me, 'Please stand beside me and kill me; for agony has seized me because my life still lingers in me.' "So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown which was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord." (NAS)
Saul was killed by a man who should not have been alive, possibly never been born. God knew that the Amalekites had to be destroyed to preserve Israel. When God tells you to get something out of your life, do it. He is not trying to take away your enjoyment. He cares for you more that we can understand. If we rebel against His commands we will pay the price. The things we choose will only come between us and God. There is nothing in this world that God can not replace with something more precious and more wonderful if we will let Him. There is nothing good He would withhold from you when you are ready for it. Did your dad give you the car keys at age seven? Not likely. And if we earthly fathers know how to give good gifts, how much more does our Heavenly Father know how to give good things to us.
David succeeded where Saul failed by keeping his heart in line with God. Did David fall? Yes, at times. But his repentance was total and kept no part of his rebellion from God. He laid his heart completely, good and bad, before God. Psalm 139 is an example of such a heart. It is only 24 verses. Please take the time to read it through, and consider. Keep your heart after God's own heart.
Ps 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. (NASB)