1 & 2 Samuel Part Three Deep Dive
DON'T LOSE HEART!
The heart is talked about 29 times in the books of 1 & 2 Samuel. The word for heart in Hebrew is leb meaning the inner man, indefinite, soul, comprehending mind, affections and will. In a time when God was establishing a human king and his kingdom in Jerusalem, the rise and fall of the kingdom would depend upon this one thing. Their heart, affections and will towards God.
We find the word from the beginning to the end, let me show you some key texts:
1 Samuel 1:13 Hannah was praying in her heart.
1 Samuel 2:1 "My heart rejoices in the Lord."
1 Samuel 2:35 (remember this is God speaking) "I will raise for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind."
1 Samuel 7:3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods."
1 Samuel 10:9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart.
1 Samuel 12:20 "Do not be afraid" Samuel replied, "You have done all this evil, yet do not turn away from the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart."
1 Samuel 13:14 "But your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people,"
1 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 people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
And they keep going 17:28, 17:32, 21:12, 25:37, 28:5, 2 Sam 3:21, 6:16, 13:20, 14:1, 15:6, 15:13, 18:14, 19:14, 22:46. Can you see from Hannah to Samuel, Saul to David and onwards that God is looking at their heart?
In a book that has so much going on doesn’t this shock you that it is the word 'heart' that is repeated over and over again. You would think God would focus on courage, I mean this is a time of war or a man who could fight, but no God wanted a man that would lead his nation as he would – a man that would seek his heart and outwork his will.
The key text here is the description of David as king in 1 Sam 13:14 God was looking for someone – a man after his own heart: God wanted someone that had a heart towards him, that would seek his wisdom like Solomon did, that would get guidance from him, that would stay faithful to his instructions, that would feel what he felt towards people, that would lean on his chest (so to speak) and hear his heartbeat and then want what he wanted. He wanted a man that would seek his heart desires not his own!
As you journey through the books of 1 & 2 Samuel and then 1 & 2 Kings we are going to go through the roller coaster of kings who did evil or kings who did right in the eyes of the Lord and you are going to find the key to their downfall and a warning for us today. How do I not do that in my life, how do I not get noted with the Kings that did evil in the eyes of Lord – do you want to know how – the key is your heart!
So how did David become a man after God’s own heart, how did David keep and remain in that position? It wasn’t out of perfect living, because he certainly didn’t do that, he made mistakes. But in his life he never stops seeking God - from the beginning we are told that God looks with favour on those whose heart is towards him, they can make mistakes (like David did) they can even commit murder and adultery as David did, but because of the position of their heart they keep going in God. David makes a mistake, he seeks God for repentance, he seeks God’s glory, he seeks to worship God, his attitudes, will and affections are towards God. Psalm 51:10 may show us a clue also – written by David it says "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." David’s cry was for a pure heart; a heart consecrated to God alone.
The Old Testament tells us in Proverbs 4:23 to guard our heart for everything we do flows from it. Deuteronomy 4:29 tells us if you seek him with all your heart you will find him and then again in 5:29 that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always so that it might go well with them and their children forever! It was and always has been, for God, about our hearts!
Although established in the Old Testament it points forward to the New Testament, where our heart, again, is going to be the main focus. Matthew 5:8 tells us that 'blessed are the pure in heart', 6:21 tells us 'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.' Matthew 12:34 'For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of' – WOW. So when we study 1 & 2 Samuel take note of the heart of David that kept him in good stead with God the whole way through, a feat that few other kings could follow. Of all the amazing things that we see David do in these books – Paul brings forward one accomplishment above all the rest in Acts 13:22 – After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do. God doesn’t look at the outward appearance; he is concerned with the heart!"
As you read these books, write in your margins and note David’s heart for worship when he was young, his heart for God’s people, his heart for God’s house (even though he wasn’t allowed to build it) note every time he seeks God for guidance, notice that even in sin, his heart poured out to God in repentance. Nothing hardened his heart towards God; nothing turned his heart from seeking God’s own heart, he was a man after God’s own heart. Ask yourself, is there anything that we need to change in our hearts today to be more like this? David lived his life with his heart towards God, in a culture, society and family that did not!
How amazing is that! Today in a society that is all about our own desires, how about we become people that are men and women who have a heart after God’s own heart. That we seek his desires not our own! That would mean that we need to hear the heart of God, that we would need to know what was in his heart to be a man or women that desired that also – correct? So as you journey the Bible, get to know the heart of God, as you pray, get to know him – be and remain a man or woman after God’s own desires. Don’t lose heart!
Next Book: 1&2 Timothy